Swedish massage is a popular option for massage. It is the basic massage on which many other kinds of massage are based. A Swedish massage utilizes pressure to achieve relief from tension or pain. Clients can request a lighter or a firmer touch, however, to suit their needs. Techniques that require firm or more intense movements can address soreness in the muscles. Typically the massage client removes all of his or her clothes during this kind of massage.
There are many different techniques employed within Swedish massage. One of these techniques is known as effleurage. This is a movement that is best characterized by a sliding or gliding motion, often done in a circular motion using the palm of the hand. Therapists who employ Swedish massage techniques use massage oils to make it easy to apply these gliding motions to the muscles being massaged.
Petrissage is another techniques used in Swedish massage. This is a more intense technique and involves motions such as kneading and wringing. Petrissage movements can also include rolling and squeezing the skin. Massage therapists use their palms, fingers, and thumbs. Occasionally they use their knuckles to knead the muscles.
Tapotement is a technique in which a tapping motion is used. This tapping is done rhythmically and evenly. The tips of the fingers are often used to administer tapotement, but sometimes the hand is cupped when performing this motion. It is often used to get lymphatic fluid flowing in the tissue.
Cross fiber friction is another element of Swedish massage. This movement is often done without the use of massage oils, and is completed using the therapist’s thumb. The technique is applied against the muscle or ligament’s grain. This can cause the client to experience discomfort or pain, but if done properly it can prevent the tissue from becoming further damaged.
Deep tissue massage differs from Swedish massage in its intensity. People get deep tissue massages when they have severe muscle tension that requires deep penetration. Typically people who need this kind of massage have tension in the muscles that lie underneath the top layer. This kind of massage is recommended for people who have special reason to require it. Athletes, those who engage in heavy physical labor, or those who have sustained a muscle injury are those who can benefit the most from deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage is often used to alleviate sore or tense shoulders, necks, and backs. Strained muscles of many different kinds can be addressed with this kind of massage.
Whereas Swedish massage can be used on the whole body depending on the amount of pressure used, a deep tissue massage is usually used on a targeted location in accordance with the patient’s needs. It is possible to get a full-body massage with deep pressure applied during the entire length of the massage, but this is not the same as a deep tissue massage. A deep tissue massage, if applied to the entire body, may actually end up causing new injuries, and it is not recommended to be performed this way.
Deep tissue massage is used to break down the tissue that has become tight and rigid due to injury or overuse of tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Deep tissue massage therapists often use many of the same techniques and movements as those used in Swedish massage, though they are usually done more slowly and in such a way that the therapeutic motions sink deeper into the tissue being massaged.
At the same time, there are some techniques that are more commonly used in deep tissue massage as opposed to Swedish massage. Sometimes the therapist will utilize the tips of his or her elbows during a massaging motion instead of using the palm of the hand in order to release the knots in the muscles. Other times massage tools will be used. These items can include body sticks and body rollers that are specially designed for this time of massage.