Massage Contest Categories and Rules

Massage categories:

  1. Swedish massage (Western massage including classical relaxing massage)
  2. Thai massage (Traditional Thai, Warrior, Royal, Thai yoga, ect.)
  3. Wellness massage (Hot Stone, Aromatherapy, spa massage, lymph drainage, holistic massage, etc.)
  4. Free style massage (Western-inspired) (Combination of different types of western massage methods, mobilization, cupping, massage with tools, bodywork, etc.)
  5. Free style massage (Eastern-inspired) Combination of different types of Asian massage methods (Shiatsu, Acupressure, Thai massage, cupping, Tui Na, Ayurveda, Reflexology massage with tools, etc.)
  6. Sports massage (Deep-Tissue massage, MFR, MET, neuromuscular techniques, stretching, etc.)
  7. Facial massage (Japanese face lifting, Gua Sha, Classical facial spa treatment, etc.)
  8. Reflexology massage (Foot massage, Hand massage)
  9. Group Massage  (Only for people who do not participate in individual massage but participate in the group massage)

Participants are informed, that the judges at the competition are capable of evaluating the individual treatment, and please note, that one treatment can be placed in several categories. 


  1. Each Massage Therapist can participate in only one category.
  2. Non-English speaking participants can bring their own translator for briefing speeches and general communication.
  3. Dress Code: Participants are allowed to wear personal sponsorship clothing or any other National suit that fits the category. Participants must wear sports shoes, sports pants or yoga pants, T-shirts, etc.. Shoes are not allowed in Thai Yoga Massage.
  4. Participants are to bring their own sheets, towels, tools, etc.
  5. The recipient of the massage must be covered at all times. Any area which is not being worked on must be covered/draped.
  6. No cameras are allowed during the rounds and the final. The unauthorized use of cameras and recordings can result in expulsion.
  7. Insurance – It is on your own that the insurance that covers both you and the participant you treat during the competition.
  8. There is an absolute zero tolerance policy concerning inappropriate behavior. Any unsuitable massage would result in immediate disqualification and expulsion from the Championship.
  9. All participants are required to receive massages, as well as giving massages. If necessary the International Massage Association will arrange for suitable candidates/massage recipients in particular cases.
  10. No chiropractic and osteopathic manipulations are allowed during the competition.
  11. IMA decides which music will be played during the individual contest.

The location of table/mattress/chair and receiver for each participant will be chosen by lot. Duration of each round is 65 minutes (incl. examination).

Participants have approximately 5 minutes to examine the receiver before the massage is given.

The Judges:

In the preliminary rounds, the Judges are constituted by members of the Board of Directors at The International Massage Association as well as elected representatives from the Rama Spa and Schools worldwide. The Judges are all highly skilled within their categories and have all taken the IMA Judge Course and Seminar. 

Judges will evaluate the participants in the following areas with a point system:

  1. Techniques
  2. Ergonomics
  3. Flow 
  4. Innovation and Development of new methods
  5. Client contact

The participants can’t expect feedback and score results from the judges neither during nor after the competition.

All decisions regarding the competition are made collectively within the group of Judges – this is to make sure the competition is as fair as possible.

The Final:

The Duration of the Final is 65 minutes.

Massage recipients (Professional and highly educated Massage Therapists) hand up to 6 points depending on their experience of the massage they receive.

The head judges are able to hand out 3 points each to only one finalist.

The Winner will be the Massage Therapist who gets the most points, and he/she is appointed to the 2024 Overall Open International Iranian Massage Championship.

How can one compete in massage?

At the Open International Iranian Massage Championship, the focus is on examination, techniques, ergonomics, and overall performance in each category – judged by specialists and highly experienced judges in the specific category.

By “The flow of the massage” means a continuous non-stop movement and variation of techniques performed by the therapist.

Ergonomics: How do the therapists use their own bodies (work environment) and their remedies (Massage tables, etc.)

Techniques: Different techniques are used in each category. Innovative and effective techniques for both therapist and client.

The judges will each evaluate the participants in their field of expertise in close cooperation with other judges. The recipients in the final are also judges and will give up to 6 points for the treatment as well.

NOTE! Lectures, the preliminary rounds, and the final, as well as prize giving, will be recorded on TV and used for future marketing on social media. This goes for pictures as well. By participating in the Open International Iranian Massage Championship you are allowing Rama Spa and IMA to do so.

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