What Type of Massage Will Benefit Me?
By Mary Szklanecki
Licensed Massage Therapist
The most common questions asked when thinking about getting a massage is what are the different types of massages? Which one is most beneficial to me and my needs? And why massage over other types of therapeutic services?
There are three common categories of massage that people may recognize: Swedish, deep tissue and wellness massage. Below is a brief summary to help you figure out which one is best for you.
Swedish massage involves primarily effleurage, a gentle-to-firm gliding of the tissues, or
manipulation of the upper layers of muscle tissue and skin with slow rhythmic strokes. It is the most calming of the different massage types and most people’s expectation of Swedish
massage is for stress relief, relaxation and meditation.
Deep tissue massage works to get into the muscles deeper in the body that you cannot reach with Swedish massage, using effleurage to warm the skin and upper layers of muscles before going to the deeper muscles, therefore avoiding damage to the muscles. It can be uncomfortable so you really need to be in communication with your therapist as there is a fine line between tolerable discomfort and intolerable pain. Deep tissue massage primarily helps with tight muscles, reducing stress, chronic pain relief and aiding in range of motion.
Wellness massage marries both Swedish and deep tissue techniques by focusing on specific areas that differ from patient-to-patient through the use of firmer pressure while keeping the massage relaxing. This hybrid approach is very effective for people who are looking for a therapeutic effect without the general discomfort of deep tissue massage. Wellness massage can help with both acute injury and chronic stress relief, while aiding in range of motion and overall relaxation.