Friday, October 4, 2013

Deep Tissue Massage vs. Swedish Massage:

What’s The Difference & How Do I Know Which Is Right For Me?

Most people are aware that massage is effective at relieving stress and promoting relaxation, but that only scratches the surface. We now have scientific proof that massage not only feels good, but is good for you. The benefits of massage range from treating chronic diseases and injuries to alleviating the growing tensions of our modern lifestyles. For those who suffer from low-back pain, a study by the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle has shown that massage is more effective than medication at reducing pain.  In addition to helping people reduce pain or cope with physical injuries, the healing touch of massage is a way for people dealing with grief or loss to relax without having to actively share their feelings, a welcome relief for many people.

Types Of Massage Therapies

There are numerous types of massage modalities which can include various techniques utilizing different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, kneading, applying pressure to specific points, rocking movement, and more. Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage are probably the most well-known of the many different modalities. But how do you know what type of massage is right for you?

SWEDISH MASSAGE- was named about 120 years ago not in Sweden, but by a dutch practitioner who defined the basic massage strokes in today’s classic massage. Swedish massage uses five basic strokes and steady manipulation of the muscles and connective tissues of the body. Also known as Western or Classic massage this technique manipulates the body's soft tissues by stroking, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping all flowing toward the heart. Often it begins with these long steady strokes releasing pent-up tension and stimulating the nervous system and increasing circulation. It is designed to interrupt the cycle of stress and internalized muscle tension by energizing the body and stimulating circulation. The goal of a Swedish massage is relaxation, rehabilitation and a sense of well-being and inner peace. A heightened awareness of the mind-body connection is an added bonus.

Benefits From Swedish Massage -  Results from this classic massage therapy have been well documented and extend much farther than the relaxation benefits it is so well known for. This vigorous system of treatment can hasten the healing time of injuries, reduce swelling, and help dissolve scar tissue adhesions. It is often recommended for children, especially hospitalized children which is very different than the adult massage treatment. This specialized form of Swedish massage is very rarely deep and always comfort focused. Pediatric massage is very patient centered, with their age, physical, and mental condition in mind.

DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE - is a dedicated set of techniques incorporating a slow, consistent, firm pressure focused on reaching the larger layers of muscle and tissue deep under the skin and surface muscles and fascia (connective tissues).  Deep-tissue work is exactly what it sounds like. It is used to treat specific complaints often associated with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation.  Among other ailments, Deep Tissue massage is effective at reducing swelling and muscular pain and stiffness. Once the outer muscles have been relaxed, treatment goes deeper into the connective tissue of the neck area, the back, and also the fascia. The muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep-tissue massage otherwise the therapist is unable to massage these deeper layers of muscle. These techniques require advanced training and a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology.  

Benefits From Deep Tissue Work -  It helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis This modality addresses chronic pain patterns and severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue Deep-tissue work is an excellent remedy for chronic muscular pain, injury rehabilitation, and reduction of inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis.

Although there are times when your therapist will recommend a specific bodywork, a clients personal preference is still key to receiving the full benefit from a massage. Your therapist may ask you about your medical history, activity level, and massage expectations prior to treatment. Because everyone is unique in their expectations it is important to share any recent injuries or illness, areas of concern, and past massage results with your therapist. Together as a team you will determine the most effective treatment to achieve your desired benefits.

Swedish Massage vs. Deep Tissue    
Gentle, Long Strokes vs. Penetrating, Multiple Muscle Layers
Whole Body Massage vs. Area-Specific Treatment                               
Stress Relief vs. Pain Relief

Request Swedish Massage For:
  • Relaxation
  • Improved Circulation
  • Cancer & Other Chronic Illnesses
Request Deep Tissue Massage For:
  • Chronic Pain Relief
  • Muscle Aches & Cramps  
  • Athletic Injury Rehabilitation
  • Arthritis & Tendinitis Related Inflammation Pain

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