Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage

Although visiting a spa to get a message was once thought of as an unnecessary luxury, more and more people in Pittsburgh today rely on massage as a way to de-stress, relieve muscle pain and relax. In fact, massage is actually good for you. Research conducted at Cedars-Sinai Hospital found that massage has tangible health benefits including decreased stress hormones and increased white blood cell count, which boost the immune system.

Going to a spa for the first time can be a daunting experience for people who are unfamiliar with the different massage services on the menu. Two major offerings will be Swedish massage and deep-tissue massage. Learning the difference between these two services helps consumers get the most out of their very first spa experience.

Swedish Massage

As the name implies, this type of massage originated in Sweden in 1812. Physiologist Henri Peter Ling, working at the University of Stockholm, developed the technique using known massage strokes from all over the world. A Swedish masseur conducts this type of massage in a relaxing, serene environment. Frequently, there is soft music playing in the background and lighting is dimmed.

Swedish Massage Technique

In Swedish massage, the masseur drapes the patron’s body with a sheet, which he manipulates as he’s working on various muscles. The masseur uses long gentle strokes, relaxing the muscles and improving circulation.

When to Choose Swedish Massage

Consumers should use a Swedish massage to distress from the rigors of everyday life. Those with poor circulation or sensitive skin benefit from the long fluid strokes and gentle pressure applied to the entire neck and back in this technique.

Deep-Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a much newer technique than Swedish massage. Canadian physician Therese Phimmer developed formal guidelines for the deep tissue technique in 1949, although the technique itself originated in Canada in the 1800s. This type of massage focuses on addressing injuries and muscular imbalances, rather than relaxation.

Deep-Tissue Massage Technique

Deep-tissue massage is more intense and focused than Swedish massage. While many of the same strokes and motions are used, the pressure is generally harder, concentrating primarily on problem areas. A client may find this technique more forceful than Swedish massage, but when used properly by a skillful masseur, it does not inflict pain.

When to Choose Deep-Tissue Massage

This type of massage is ideal for those suffering from impact or sports injuries, those who sit or stand in one position throughout the day or those who have chronic muscle pain.

Choosing a Qualified Pittsburgh Massage Professional

Those who know the difference between these two types of massage techniques will have a more pleasant experience, whether they are searching for a Pittsburgh deep tissue massage professional or a Pittsburgh Swedish massage professional. Of course, if you are not sure what type of massage to choose, feel free to ask the salon professional while booking your appointment.

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