SWEDISH MASSAGE Swedish Masssage is the modality that comes to mind when most people think about massage. As the best-known type of bodywork performed today, one of the primary goals of Swedish massage therapy is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage goes beyond relaxation. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE Deep Tissue Massage targets the deep tissue structure of the fascia and muscles, referred to as connective tissue. Of the many types of massage, deep tissue focuses on the release of muscle tension and chronic knots (aka adhesions).
Deep tissue massage can break up and eliminate scar tissue from previous injuries. A common problem is that stressed muscles can block nutrients and oxygen from getting to where they need to go, and this will cause inflammation that allows toxins to build up in your muscle tissue. The inflammation and toxins contribute to pain and stress.
Deep Tissue Massage breaks up and releases the built-up toxins by loosening the muscles. With the toxins released, blood and oxygen can circulate as they should through one’s body. Being properly hydrated before you go to your massage appointment and drinking plenty of water after one of these massages is highly recommended.
SIMILARITIES The strokes used in Deep Tissue Massage are similar to those used in a Swedish Massage except more pressure is used and it uses cross grain strokes (strokes that go across the gain of the muscles instead of with the grain). As with a classic Swedish massage, you will be lying naked on a massage table and partially covered with a sheet or towel. During Swedish massage, usually the therapist will only use their hand and forearm, however with a Deep Tissue Massage, elbows, and fingers and may be used for optimal penetration of the muscle.
ADJUSTING TO YOUR BODY The speed of the strokes will be slower than a classic massage as well, which means they are longer in duration (about an hour and a half, depending on the therapist and how much you pay). If you tell the therapist where your trouble spots are (everyone has one or two) before the massage starts, during the massage I will apply pressure and hold it for a few minutes before moving on, for extra relief.
Everyone has their own particular technique in giving a massage and I use the format of a Swedish Massage and apply deep tissue techniques throughout the body where extra work is needed. My massages can be very intense and of course throughout the massage I check in to see if the pressure needs to be adjusted. I will know when adjustments to the pressures being given need to be done. I am always in tune with my patient, always paying close attention to the body. Just like all massage therapists have their own way of performing their art, all people receiving massages are different. It is important for a massage therapist to be in tune with their patient, especially if the pressure is that of deep tissue.