You will encounter many different forms of massage depending where around the world you travel. However in this modern age, you can probably find all significant forms of massage within a close proximity.
Massages come in different forms or specialties and often times, due to some similarities; one could very well misconceive a particular kind of massage after the other. Take the case of firm pressure and deep tissue massages for instance. Both massages are widely popular and although there are some affinities, it is worth noting that firm pressure and deep tissue massage therapies differ in pressure, areas of focus, technique, and intended use.
What Is A Deep Tissue Massage?
Unlike any other types of massage, a deep tissue massage therapy only utilizes little to no lubricant to make sure that the muscles can easily be gripped by the therapist. This is an excellent way for the masseuse to help elongate and stretch the muscles as well as divide immovable muscle compartments. Moreover, a deep tissue massage is also at the bottom of not only providing a better way to align muscles but also allows fewer restrictions in the joints, thus, enhancing muscle function and movement.
Interestingly enough, this kind of massage therapy primarily employs strokes that are not only shorter but also considerably slower as the therapist normally anticipates for a passive acquittal of tension. Alternatively, some parts of the body are likely to be skipped in order to further concentrate on particularized areas of needs. Simply put, deep tissue massage begins the healing process by discharging contracted parts of tissue and muscle.
Through this process, the massage therapist is not only able to assists in increasing blood flow to the soft tissues but also help minimize inflammation. Normally, deep tissue massages are more appropriate for runners, athletes, and people who are recovering from injuries. By the same token, it also works splendidly on people who are suffering from chronic pain issues such as lower back spasms and fibromyalgia.
Ordinarily, a deep tissue massage begins by working the soft layers before moving into the more complex layers in order to make sure that the client’s body can profoundly relax. In addition, it is also expected that the therapist may use a number of Swedish massage techniques such as percussion, kneading, and friction to thaw out the tissues and mellow the hollow layers. Consequently, with little or no lotion, the masseuse will make use of their forearms, knuckles, elbows, and fingers to apply a slow yet steady type of stroke.
With the absence of lotion or oil that may cause sliding, the therapist can get complete control of the fascia, which is highly necessary in order to elongate it. On the other hand, the slow and steady stroke can alter short and hardened tissues into a more lengthened and fluid one. It is, however, intense and could elicit moderate discomfort as conventional adhesions and chronic dysfunctional motifs are changed.
What Is Firm Pressure Massage?
On the other hand, firm pressure or Swedish massage is the complete opposite of a deep tissue massage as it utilizes lubricants to smoothly move over light and deep layers. Additionally, it also employs percussion and vibration or even a little kneading of the muscles to not only embroider the blood and lymph circulation but also soften and relax tense tissues. What is more is that a Swedish massage is also an effective way of reducing cortisol levels in the body such as stress hormones and providing a more comprehensive sense of pleasure to the client.
Apart from kneading and friction, a Swedish massage is also comprised of an effleurage, which is a free-gliding movement towards the heart. On a normal basis, this stroke is utilized by the therapist to calm the nerves, warm up the body, and improve heart function. Friction strokes, meanwhile, can be utilized on deeper muscles as the therapist applies firm pressure by placing its weight on the flat of the hand and the pads of the fingers, knuckles, and thumbs before gently releasing the pressure.
Another stroke that is most commonly used in a Swedish massage is tapotement, which is a swift rhythmic movement that has a stimulating result. Among the variations of a tapotement include the cupping, hacking, and the pummeling. While hacking and pummeling mainly involves the hands, cupping is the process wherein the therapist forms his or her hand into a cup shape with its finger straight.
Meanwhile, physical benefits that are associated with Swedish massage include the sudden increase in muscle strength and relief from dangerous symptoms such as asthma, muscle spasms, cramps, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and myofascial pain. Besides its physical benefits, a firm pressure massage is also geared with emotional assets such as mental relaxation and an increased skill to concentrate as well as relief of irritation, stress, anxiety, and depression. Likewise, it also helps in amplifying the length and quality of sleep and the sense of well-being.
Which One To Choose?
While both techniques offer specific benefits, a client could never go wrong between choosing a firm pressure massage or a deep tissue massage. However, it is most desirable for every client to talk with their respective therapist about their goals for a particular session rather than being overly worried about selecting the correct session.
Since a deep tissue massage runs at a slow pace, it is advisable for everyone to schedule a 90-minute appointment in order to ascertain that their bodies would be fully addressed. On the other hand, if the main goal is to relax and minimize stress as well as have a firm full body massage, it is best to go for the Swedish massage. Subsequently, after the session, the therapist is more than likely to suggest the client to put heat or ice their body the next day to relieve any pain.
Aside from that, clients can also fall back on Epsom salt to effectively trim down muscle pains. It is also advantageous to avoid high-energy activities to help calibrate the body to the alterations in the joints and tissues. Best of all, it is highly recommended for clients to communicate with their professional massage therapist so that the former can specially modify the session based on their needs.