How many types of massage, or modalities, do you know? Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Thai, Hot Stone, CranioSacral, … the list goes on and on. In fact, according to Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), there are as many as 250 types of massage and bodywork… and growing! These modalities range from an energy work that doesn’t need touch such as Reiki to a deep, rigorous bodywork such as Rolfing. Various modalities use different strokes, techniques, approach, pressure, movement, target area, and more. Here is a good glossary for the different types of massage and bodywork. http://www.massagetherapy.com/glossary/index.php
If you thought 250 types are a lot, many modalities come with different flavors. Different massage schools teach one modality differently. Teachers can add their flavors as they teach while massage therapists can add their flavors as they learn based on their experiences, beliefs, limitations, knowledge, etc. Hence the birth of more modalities.