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.
The meteoric growth of Massage Envy has led to more than 800 spa locations and a healthy share of limelight from printed media buzz to promotions on
The Ellen DeGeneres Show and
The Doctors . Its experts have kneaded more than 50 million backs using modalities that range from the gliding strokes of Swedish massage to the targeted pressure of deep-tissue massage. Although the spa treats a wealth of clients, each Massage Envy session is personalized to individual needs. While indulging in prenatal, hot-stone, or trigger-point-therapy massages, clients can also request the soothing mint and rosemary essential oils of aromatherapy or the addition of warming and cooling products that help decrease inflammation and ease pain.
In addition to staffing massage therapists, the spas employ skincare experts who wield Murad products for four kinds of facials. Clients can treat sensitive skin to mild exfoliation or opt for anti-aging facials with glycolic acid before attempting to order off the kids’ menu at a diner.
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Nu Image Med Spa Tampa brings medical expertise into a spa-like environment. Expertly aimed laser beams take on multiple tasks, alternately nipping hair follicles in the bud or restoring aging skin to youthful opulence. FDA–approved injectable such as Restylane and Botox ward off wrinkles and lift sagging countenances. Topical treatments such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion reduce signs of aging by sloughing off dull outer layers and unveiling new, fresh skin. Nu Image Med Spa Tampa's practitioners hire private detectives to keep tabs on the beauty industry's latest research and accept only the most effective skincare products by companies such as Obagi and Skin Medica for use in conjunction with beauty treatments.
Structural Energetic Therapy is a luxury day spa in Lutz that offers both innovative and relaxing spa treatments.
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