Swedish and deep-tissue massage are two bodywork approaches that render very different benefits. Read our guide to choose the best option for you.
The relationship between deep-tissue and Swedish massage is much like that between DayQuil and NyQuil. Both are designed to help you feel better, but the one that makes the most sense depends on your individual needs. Here's what to expect from each of the two modalities:
Swedish massage combines four distinct motions?effleurage, petrissage, friction, and tapotement?to help relieve muscle tension and stimulate blood flow, thereby energizing the body and soothing the mind during a single relaxing session. The four phases are easy enough to distinguish. Effleurage refers to the smooth, gliding strokes that help relax soft tissues at the beginning of the treatment, followed by the squeezing, rolling, or kneading gestures of petrissage. Deep, circular motions make up the friction phase, in which layers of tissue rub against one another to boost circulation. Therapists conclude the massage with tapotement, a rapid cadence of percussive taps performed with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand.
Whereas Swedish massage focuses on relieving mental and physical tension, deep-tissue massage has more specific concerns. Due to stress and other factors, the layer of connective tissue that covers and interpenetrates the body's muscles and bones?the fascia?often tenses up, resulting in muscle knots and a painful buildup of lactic acid. Deep-tissue massage aims to warm up the fascia and release the accumulated toxins. To achieve this, the therapist?s fingers, thumbs, and elbows move along the body in slow, deliberate strokes, applying pressure to penetrate beyond superficial muscle layers. Although the intensity can produce some discomfort, deep-tissue massage should still be relaxing; the goal, after all, is to relieve the tension between muscles and their weird roommate, the skeleton.
At Unique Faces Make-Up Studio, founder Yolanda “China” Smith and her staff adhere to a simple motto: "It’s our job to make you look unique and it’s your job to be unique.” Unique is also a fitting word to describe this business, which refuses to limit itself to a single customer demographic. Proudly proclaiming her business "the home of the $20 makeover,” Smith also boasts a resumé that includes past work for noted photographers, recording artists such as Gorilla Zoe and Chingy, and high-profile companies including Elite Model Management. Whether her crew is providing on-location makeup for fashion shows or weddings or hosting Lil Diva spa parties in their pink-and-purple-walled studio, they ensure every face gets the celebrity treatment it deserves regardless of its budget or number of degrees from Kevin Bacon.
Tali Pariser came all the way from Israel to New York in a journey that led her to study chiropractic medicine. After another big move to Georgia, her dream became a reality in 2002 when she graduated from Life University of Marietta as a doctor of chiropractic; she has practiced her craft ever since. For more than 10 years, she's used her skills to quell a slew of common aches, such as migraines, sports injuries, pregnancy pains, carpal tunnel, and whiplash. Her team at Radiant Health Chiropractic includes two licensed massage therapists who further her mission, quieting chronic aches by pressing the hard-to-reach mute button at the top of the spine.
Luxury Nail Bar & Spa lives up to its name with treatments that leave hands and feet feeling and looking well groomed. Nail technicians start many appointments with a massaging exfoliation done with sugar or coconut-scented scrub. But the options that make their manicures and pedicures so soothing don't end there. A special foot mask and a heated stone and oil treatment calm feet, making it easy for technicians to remove calluses. Most treatments include a light massage that adds an extra soothing touch before nails are clipped, filed, and buffed. Finally, clients can select their favorite nail polish hue in regular or chip-resistant options.
An aesthetician gently scrubs a mixture of Dead Sea salts and moisturizing oil over a client's skin, revealing younger and fresher layers of cells; in another room, a massage therapist places heated stones onto tense muscles, dispersing the stress they've been harboring for months. Scenarios such as these are common at Evene Day Spa, where the staff specializes in both relaxation and beautifying treatments. The spa's menu also includes European facials which allot one hour to eliminate dirt and exfoliate to clear the pores. In addition to improving skin condition, the spa's aestheticians keep faces looking polished with permanent cosmetics for the eyes, eyebrows, or lips, leaving time in the mornings for more important endeavors, such as baking homemade Lucky Charms.
Under the watchful eye of board-certified surgeon Dr. Jean-Claude Schwartz, U MedSpa's team of clinical aestheticians bestow soothing services and advanced clinical procedures upon customers in need of personal, custom attention within its retreat-like confines. The skilled team clears and strengthens skin with signature facials optimal for all skin types and conditions and performs more intense facescaping with microdermabrasion and chemical-peel treatments. Persistent fingers work over the arms, hands, and d?colletage to track down fugitive tension in detailed massages, and wrinkles caused by said tension fade from view after the doctor's cosmetic procedures, such as Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, and laser treatments.