There are all different types of massage out there. How do you know which one is which, or what they’re used for? How do you know which one will best meet your specific needs? Let’s take a look at two of the most common types: Swedish massage, and deep tissue massage. On the surface, they may look similar, and can have similar benefits as well. But there are significant differences, making them useful for very different purposes.
The most common type of massage therapy, Swedish massage uses long strokes and rhythmic tapping with the fingers and palms, to work the top layer of skin and muscles. It helps blood circulation and stimulates the nerves. The pressure level can vary, depending on your personal preference, but it’s still fairly gentle when compared with other types of massage.
Swedish massage covers the entire body, and is most commonly used to relax and relieve tension. However, it can also be used to treat pain and injury, to some degree. If there’s one particular area that’s giving you trouble, you can ask your massage therapist to focus more on that particular area.
While Swedish massage encompasses the entire body, deep tissue massage is designed to focus on specific areas that are causing problems. It can be used as a full body, relaxation massage, like Swedish, but more often it’s used to treat a particular injury or ailment.
Deep tissue massage a less rhythmic, more vigorous massage, which puts pressure on your muscles and tissues that run deeper than the top, surface layer. In addition to fingers and palms, your massage therapist may also use their forearms and elbows, to apply greater pressure than a traditional Swedish massage.
Deep tissue massage is great for treating sports injuries, which makes it particularly popular with athletes. However, it can also be used to treat chronic pain, and a variety of other problems.
Because of the wide range of uses for deep tissue massage, and its targeted nature, you should talk to your massage therapist beforehand about what, exactly, you expect to get out of the process. Do you have a particular injury? What type of pain are you experiencing, and where?
You should also communicate with your therapist during the massage, to let them know if they’re using too much pressure or causing you discomfort. The more open you are with them, the better they’ll be able to give you what you need and avoid any problems.
When it comes to massage, communication is important no matter what. Let your massage therapist know what benefits you’re looking to glean from your experience, and they can help you determine which type of massage is right for you and how best to administer it. Whether it’s a nice, relaxing, Swedish massage, a vigorous deep tissue massage to treat an injury, or a combination of both, a good massage therapist will work with you to help you get the best possible experience.