Thursday, July 26, 2012

"What is...?"

One aspect of being a massage therapist is sharing our knowledge and educating our clients both on what we as therapists are doing and what he or she can do to help themselves.  A question that I am frequently asked is “What is the difference between a Swedish and deep tissue massage?”

For me, a Swedish massage focuses on relaxation.  I work the superficial muscles using a medium to light pressure with a variety of massage techniques.  Swedish massage tends to flow smoothly from start to finish.  

When performing a deep tissue massage, I use additional techniques and focus on the deeper, structural muscles.  These muscles tend to be shorter and stronger than the superficial muscles.  Some people find deep tissue work to be relaxing, but most often it is used to address specific problems or tensions that have been building up for a long time.  

It is common to be a little sore for a day or two after a deep tissue massage.  Although I try to loosen them first, I am working through the superficial muscles.  So, they can be sore after the massage.  A hot shower can help to relieve the ache and further loosen the muscles.

Okay, so that was the long answer.  The short answer is this: With a Swedish massage, you should get off the massage table saying "Wow, I feel great!"  With a deep tissue massage, a couple of days later, you should be saying "I feel a lot better now!"

So, which one is the right one for you?

-Posted by Ken Brown, CMT