Choose between Two Options
- $39 for one swedish, deep tissue, or chinese sports massage (up to a $160 value)
- $119 for three swedish, deep tissue, or chinese sports massages (up to a $480 value)
Swedish vs. Deep-Tissue Massage: Finding the Right Way to Relax
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.
Some people prefer to pamper themselves in the comfort of their own home. Others like to get out of the house and take refuge in a quiet spa. April Jones-Britt wants her clients to relax whichever way they want, so through Pamperme1st she offers massage treatments both in her spa and onsite at homes and offices. Her techniques range from the relaxing kneads of Swedish and chair massage to more intense deep-tissue or Chinese sports massages. She can also arrange couples treatments for pairs celebrating a romantic milestone or point guards preparing to defeat their opponent.