So you’ve heard of Swedish Body Massage and Deep Tissue Massage but which one is best?

There are so many massage techniques to choose from but speaking from experience, Deep Tissue Massage & Swedish Body Massage are the two most popular choices.  Whether you are into keeping fit, recovering from an injury, or want relief from stress and anxiety or just want to unwind and take some well-deserved time out for yourself massage therapy is a great way to treat mental and physical tension within the body.

But deciding which massage is right for you can be a little tricky.  Anything related to your health it is better to be well informed before opting for a particular treatment putting your mind at rest and knowing you will get the results you’re looking for from your treatment.

There are some key differences between deep tissue vs Swedish Body Massage this includes what the massage is for, the pressure applied and which area of the body that needs to be focused on.

Deep Tissue

Deep tissue massage is used for therapy and rehabilitation, not relaxation but saying this, it depends on your therapist. My treatments do rehabilitate but they are also relaxing but you need to be prepared to feel some discomfort during treatment and after treatment. You will experience some pain during the massage as this form of treatment concentrates on relieving strain and tension from tissues that go deeper. The pain could also be because the massage uses movements against the muscles rather than moving with them but if you are experiencing tense pain, immediately inform the therapist as the experience shouldn’t be excruciating. The best way to make the most of a Deep Tissue Massage is to be as relaxed as you can and trust your therapist to massage your pain away.

Unlike Swedish Body Massage which has a relaxing effect and uses lighter pressure, Deep Tissue Massage uses deep finger pressure with strokes that are firm and slow and works on the deep layers of muscle and fascia in the body. It has several therapeutic effects and can be used to treat various different conditions. The type of massage is ideal for major muscles groups eg neck, shoulders, or lower back. It can also be used to relieve strain and treat injuries in your joints and tendons. By applying deep pressure in a consistent way using slow and deep strokes, the muscles are loosened up and the scar tissue that may have formed around them is broken up.  People who like firmer pressure and have tense muscles that need quite a lot of work and struggle with aches and pains, a deep tissue massage is usually the best option. Because of the deep pressure applied, the techniques that are used in providing a deep tissue massage need to be more accurate too.  The skill set of the Massage Therapist has to be accurate and it’s much more important with this kind of massage because they are placing greater stress and strains on the body.  Your massage therapist is much more likely to ask where your problem areas are and to start warming up the body and begin to work on the affected areas with deeper, kneading techniques.

Benefits of Deep Tissue:

  • Lowers High Blood Pressure
  • Treat Back Pain
  • Helps relieve Arthritis pain and symptoms
  • Muscle Rehab
  • Breaks down scar tissue
  • Relieves stress
  • Increase joint mobility
  • Reduces chronic pain

Do not opt for this treatment if you have been diagnosed with blood clots in the past since the massage may dislodge the clots. Consult your Doctor if you have or are at risk of forming blood clots.

Check with your Doctor if you have had Chemotherapy, Radiation, recent surgery, or any medical condition. Also avoid this treatment if you have Osteoporosis.

Swedish Body Massage

Swedish Body massage is the most well-known and widely practiced type of therapeutic massage. This type of massage focuses on muscle relaxation, targeting the superficial muscles rather than the connective tissues targeted in deep-tissue massage and increases blood circulation. This technique has been around for a very long time and is focused on relaxation.  This is why you’ll see it listed at most spas and salons.

If you have a motion restrictive condition like Sciatica or Osteoarthritis and suffering from chronic pain as a result, Swedish massage can be an effective method for managing that pain in a natural way.

Effleurage – a long, stroking motion in the direction of blood flow towards the heart – in order to open up your blood vessels and increase your blood flow. Increased blood flow means that your muscles are getting more nutrients and oxygen and your body is removing toxins more efficiently.

Kneading and friction techniques are used to address any existing injuries, such as adhesions which occur when muscle tissues fuse together. Many people say that this technique, which relaxes layers of muscle, makes it feel as if the kinks have been worked out.

When your muscles are more relaxed, you’re able to experience a wider range of motion. A combination of Swedish massage and regular stretching eg yoga is a great way for anyone to avoid workout-related injuries and get the most out of their regular workout sessions.

Swedish massages maximize relaxation. The combination of the hands-on attention and the environment should relax you, lowering the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. Lowering your stress level offers a great number of additional benefits, including reducing or eliminating tension headaches, giving you more energy, and allowing you to get better nights sleep.

One other great benefit of reducing your stress with this treatment is that the lower cortisol levels allow your immune system to grow stronger, meaning that you’re less likely to get ill.

Swedish massage is a great way to pamper yourself but it’s also a lot more than that. The physical and mental health benefits of this treatment makes it a great option for those new to massage or someone looking for a complete massage experience.

Benefits of Swedish Body Massage:

  • Pain Relief
  • Increases blood flow
  • Rehabilitation for muscle injuries
  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduces stress
  • Improved immune system

Both treatments use similar techniques, but what sets them apart is the deeper, more intense pressure of a deep tissue massage and the focus on particular areas of tension but if you are looking for a massage that will help with tension and stress, a Swedish Body Massage may be the best option for you.  If you feel a deeper level of muscular discomfort or are recovering from injury, then a Deep Tissue Massage would be a better option.

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