Massage is a form of physical therapy that manipulates the soft tissues of the body using varying degrees of pressure. Massage therapy is a medically approved approach to dealing with muscle and connective tissue discomfort.
Swedish and Deep Tissue Massages
Swedish massage is one of the most commonly known types of massage, and is what most picture when they think of massage therapy. Swedish massage is generally used for relaxation and stress reduction and concentrates on the superficial layers of tissue in a light, rhythmic manner to relieve muscle tension.
This massage helps increase blood circulation, which in turn increases oxygen delivery and gives the body a means of detoxifying. Swedish massage is great for those just starting their exploration into massage therapy, or for those who are looking for a calming and comfortable experience.
Deep tissue massage,
on the other hand, is more targeted than Swedish massage and involves the use of pressure to access deeper layers of musculature and sites of inflammation. It is a common misconception that deep tissue means hard pressure. While applying deep pressure is one technique that is used in deep tissue massage, often the massage therapist uses a light touch on specific pressure points to relieve tension.
This approach is much more effective than Swedish massage when it comes to treating specific sites of discomfort, such as lower back pain. Deep tissue massage is beneficial for athletes who are looking to find relief for tight, sore and over-worked muscles. This technique stimulates receptors in the muscles, which allows them to release lactic acid buildup and speed up the healing process.
Which massage is best for you?
Swedish and deep tissue massage are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to massage modalities. With so many different options, it can be difficult to find the style that works best for you. When deciding to try massage for the first time, or a new modality, it is important to ask the therapist what the goal of the session is and the techniques used to achieve those goals.
It is also important to be clear about what your intentions are with the session, so the massage therapist can be an ally in achieving those goals. At Santa Cruz CORE, our award-winning massage therapists are experts in their field and know the proper techniques to offer a truly therapeutic experience. Whether you would like to relax and decrease stress or get your body out of chronic pain, CORE massage therapists can find the right technique for you!