Before getting a massage, it is important to recognize the differences between the options. A Swedish massage and a deep tissue massage may seem similar, but there are clear differences that set the two forms of massage apart.
Swedish massage was originally developed in the 1800s to maximize circulation, improve flexibility and cause a deep level of relaxation. It uses five different strategies to cause relaxation, which include:
• Strokes across the area that is being massage in long and short movements
• Kneading of the muscles with gentle pressure
• Therapeutic friction
• Tapping, which may also be called hacking
All five of the principles are used during a single massage to cause a deep level of relaxation. Even though it may seem to have a greater amount of pressure than some other forms of massage, it still uses gentle kneading that focuses on muscle relaxation and improved circulation.
Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage is designed to cause relaxation to much deeper muscles. The primary target of deep tissue massage is the back, neck and deeper connective tissues.
Since the massage focuses on connective tissues and deeper muscle groups, it is often recommended for those who are healing from muscle strains and sprains. It can help work out tension around the sprain so that the body is able to heal.
Deep tissue massage is more forceful than Swedish massage and it is often used to target specific areas that are causing pain or discomfort.
Getting the right type of massage is essential for healing, relaxation and meeting specific goals. Although a Swedish massage may seem similar to a deep tissue massage, the two methods of causing relaxation are different. Swedish massage is gentler and focuses on relaxation while deep tissue massage is forceful and focuses on supporting the body while it heals.