The most popular type of massage may vary depending on where you live and what you are using massage therapy for. The one type of massage that every massage therapist learns, and the one that most often comes to mind, is the traditional Swedish, or western, massage. It consists of long, gliding strokes and kneading of muscles. Swedish massage is the standard for a relaxing massage.

Sport massage and medical massage, also sometimes referred to as rehabilitative massage, are also popular for focusing on a specific injury. Sports massage includes pre-event massage, a type of technique used in warming up prior to participation in a game, race or athletic competition.

Lymph drainage massage is a common type of medical massage used to reduce fluid buildup. It is often used after mastectomies to reduce fluid buildup in the chest and arm area, as well as for those who have other types of fluid retention because of various medical conditions.

Eastern modalities, which use acupressure points, such as Shiatsu and Thai massage are gaining in popularity and, in some locations, may be more trendy than Swedish.