Massage Categories and Criteria

Categories 2023

  • RELAXING HEALTH MASSAGE – Classic / Swedish Massage for reducing stress and general tension, and increasing general circulation.
  • MEDICAL MASSAGE: HIP & SHOULDER – Deep Tissue Massage for solving local muscle problems and increasing flexibility and joint mobility.
  • SPA MASSAGE: BODY – Soft Wellness Massage using products and tools to induce well-being and a feeling of luxury.
  • THAI YOGA MASSAGE – Traditional Thai Massage using big stretches and soft pressure to release tension and increase mobility.
  • FREESTYLE MASSAGE – A personal and creative mix of styles, techniques and technology – designed to give both the client and the video viewers a rich and exciting experience.

General rules

  1. You may participate in as many categories as you want.
  2. You must make a different video for each category.
  3. Each category has different goals and quality criteria. Make sure your understand and observe those!
  4. The following elements are always important:
    1. Client care – draping and use of pillows.
    2. Ergonomics – working positions and movement.
    3. Flow – continuity and smooth transitions.
    4. Beauty – layout and design of the workspace.
  5. Modesty is mandatory:
    1. The client must wear underwear at all times.
    2. The pelvic region (front and back) and female breasts must be draped at all times, and must never be touched.
  6. Hard joint manipulation (cracking) is not allowed in any category.
  7. No acupunture, dry needling or other skin penetrating techniques.

RELAXING HEALTH MASSAGE

Classic / Swedish Massage for reducing stress and general tension, and increasing general circulation. This is the foundation of all professional massage, and should always be a central part of a massage treatment.

Goals

  • Reduce stress and general tension via gentle skin massage which balances the hormonal system and reduces activity in the nervous system.
  • Increase blood circulation and reduce muscle pain/stiffness via dynamic muscle massage techniques.
  • The major body parts (back, hips, legs, chest, shoulders, arms, neck) must be treated.

Mandatory techniques

  • Stroking (Effleurage)
  • Kneading/Compression (Petrissage)

These techniques should be evenly utilized and make up most of the massage treatment.

Other techniques

  • Gentle friction, vibration, soft stretching.
  • NOTE: No hard pressures/triggerpoints or hard stretches allowed.

Tools and products

  • No tools allowed. The techniques must be performed by hands, forearms and/or elbows.
  • The massage must be performed directly on the skin using oil or neutral cream.

Evaluation

The main focus of the treatment should be to maintain a steady, rhythmic and relaxing flow, with solid ergonomics and caring client contact. A good variety of techniques and smooth transitions between them is appreciated. No technique should be painful or disturbing for the client.

MEDICAL MASSAGE: HIP & SHOULDER

This is the advanced category for treatment of specific client problems. The most frequent problems are in the shoulder and the hip, and the therapist must show skills in both areas.

Goals

This is a treatment of the shoulder and hip joints – don’t waste time on the rest of the body!

  • Test the mobility range, relative strength and pain levels of the joints and their muscles.
  • Increase mobility, flexibility and strength recruitment, and reduce pain.

NOTE: The client must be healthy. We want to see a demonstration of skills, not a real treatment.

Relevant techniques

  • Tests of mobility range, relative strength and pain levels.
  • Deep tissue massage, MET-stretching (muscular energetic techniques), triggerpoint treatment, positional release, strain-counterstrain, myofascial release, Rolfing/structural integration, neuromuscular techniques, joint mobilisation.

Other techniques

NOTE: This is a massage competition. Your treatment must be based on that (including Classic / Swedish massage), and not only use advanced medical techniques.

Tools and products

  • No tools allowed. The techniques must be performed by hands, forearms and/or elbows.
  • The massage must be performed directly on the skin using oil or neutral cream.

Evaluation

The therapist must show deep and precise anatomical knowledge and a good variety of relevant treatment methods and techniques. This must be combined with comforting client care, solid ergonomics and a feeling of flow and efficiency.

SPA MASSAGE: BODY

Soft Wellness Massage using products and tools to induce well-being and a feeling of luxury. This is a highly commercial type of massage to be used in spas and beauty clinics.

Goals

  • Wellness and well-being is key. The client should feel pampered, relaxed, refreshed and on-top-of-the-world after treatment.
  • Major body parts (minimum back, legs, feet, arms and hands) must be treated. The face may be included, but it should not be a dominating part.

Relevant techniques

  • All kinds of gentle massage performed by hands and/or forearms.
  • NOTE: Tools and spa products must also be used (se details).

Other techniques

NOTE: This is a massage competition. Your treatment must be based on that (including Classic / Swedish massage), and not only use soft skin techniques.

Tools and Products

  • Manual (non-electric) tools like Hot Stones, other stones, bamboo sticks etc. NOTE: No acupunture, injections or other skin penetrating techniques.
  • All kinds of oils and creams, body scrubs and other mildly stimulating or relaxing products. NOTE: No acid or other chemical peeling.

Evaluation

The treatment should demonstrate a good variety of relevant tools and products, combined with classic massage techniques. Smooth flow and caring client contact is appreciated, as well as the design of the room, tools, work clothes, personal style etc. Beauty is important!

THAI YOGA MASSAGE

Thai Yoga Massage using big stretches and soft pressure to release tension and increase mobility. Thai Massage is gaining respect and popularity all over the world, and is on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

NOTE: There are several styles within the Thai massage tradition. We focus on the smooth yoga-related style as opposed to the “Royal” style which utilizes hard, pointed (and often very painful) pressures.

Goals

  • Improve flexibility and mobility, reduce muscle tension, increase circulation, reduce pain, stimulate the body’s self-healing systems, balance the energy flow.
  • Traditional Thai Massage is a whole-body program, so all major body parts (back, hips, legs, feet, shoulders, arms, hands, neck) must be included.

Mandatory techniques

The client must be fully clothed at all times.

  • Mobilization of all the major joints.
  • Stretching of all the major muscles.
  • Large-surface pressures on all the major muscles, using hands, forearms, elbows, knees and/or feet.

Other techniques

  • No deep and/or pointed pressures allowed.
  • No “cracking” or fast joint movements (chiropractic techniques) allowed.

Tools and Products

  • No tools or products allowed.

Evaluation

The treatment should focus on solid ergonomics and efficiency of movement, since Thai massage may be quite hard for the therapist.

Smooth flow and transitions between positions is important, as well as high client awareness and care.

Anatomical precision and good technique when moving the client through the various positions is appreciated.

FREESTYLE MASSAGE

A personal and creative mix of styles, techniques and technology – designed to give both the client and the video viewers a rich and exciting experience.

This is the most challenging category, since the therapists are given full freedom to show their skills and styles, and to push the boundaries of massage therapy. We want to be impressed!

Goals

  • The therapeutic goal of the treatment is completely up to you. Entertainment value, creativity and personal style should be the main focus. But don’t forget the client! A relaxed tempo, smooth flow and client care is mandatory in any high level massage performance.

Mandatory techniques

  • Feel free!

Other techniques

  • Anything goes!

Tools and Products

  • All tools (even electric) and products allowed!

Evaluation

The treatment should be visually interesting and impressive, as well as containing creative ways of using techniques or tools. The main point is to show off your special “Signature Massage”. Of course, it must also be enjoyable and valuable for the client, and have therapeutic relevance.

NOTE: You should pay special attention to the layout and design of the workspace as well as personal style. Camera work and lighting is also extra important in this category.