Massage categories:

  1. Swedish massage (Western massage including classical relaxing massage) Category sponsor: Casa Del Silencio 
  2. Thai massage (Traditional Thai, Warrior, Royal, Thai yoga ect.) Category sponsor: Global Cupping
  3. Wellness massage (Hot Stone, Aromatherapy, spa massage, lymph drainage, hoilistic massage etc) Category sponsor: MySpa
  4. Free style massage (Western inspired) (Combination of different types of western massage methods, mobilization, cupping, massage with tools, bodywork etc.) Category sponsor: Songbird
  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.) Category sponsor: Sargabodywork
  6. Chair massage (both Western and Eastern inspired massage) Category sponsor: Habys
  7. Sports massage (Deep-Tissue massage, MFR, MET, neuromuscular techniques, stretching etc.) Category sponsor: Select
  8. Facial massage (Japanese facelifting, Gua Sha, Classical facial spa treatment ect.) Category sponsor: Beauty Massage School by Victoria Bilousova

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


  1. Each Massage Therapist can participate in 1 or 2 categories
  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.. Select and MySpa is delivering massage creams and oils to the World Championships in Massage 2023. The participants are not obliged to use these products, but IMA can highly recommend the use of these during the Championship
  5. The recipient of the massage must wear underwear at all times and have covered their chest (if she is a woman). Any area which is not being worked on must be covered/draped.
  6. No cameras are allowed during the rounds and the final. Unauthorized use of cameras and recordings can result in expulsion.
  7. Insurance – It is your own 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 massage of sensual/sexual nature would result in immediate disqualification and expulsion from the Championship.
  9. All participants are required to receive massage, 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. The IMA decide which music will be played during the World Championship in Massage. Most of it will be inspired by the choices of Alexandru Filip who is an expert in the philosophical and spiritual part of massage.

Competition area:

The competition area is divided into 4-5 massage areas. 30-40 massage tables are available, as well as 10 mattresses for Thai massage and 10 chairs for the chair massage. Height of tables will be adjusted by the participants.

Please note, there is shower facilities.

Participants will be divided into groups of three.

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 National Massage Associations 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:

  • Techniques
  • Ergonomics
  • Flow 
  • Innovation and Development of new methods
  • Client contact
  • Recipient feedback

The participants can’t expect feedback and score results from the judges neither during or after the competition.

All decisions regarding the competition are made collective 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 as Overall World Champion in Massage 2022.

How can one compete in massage?

At the World Championship in Massage, 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 does the therapists use their own bodies (work environment) and their remedies (Massage tables etc)

Techniques: Different techniques 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 medias. This goes for pictures as well. By participating at the World Championship in Massage you are allowing the IMA to do so.

In addition to the World Championship in Massage the IMA also host the Massage Video Awards. Read more.

Please, follow us here on our Website and Social Medias for further updates:

Website (International massage Association)

Facebook (International Massage Association)

Facebook group for participants 


Article about the World Championship in Massage

Article about a participant of the World Championship in Massage


World Championship in Massage