People often ask me what would be best for them, either deep tissue or Swedish massage.
It is primarily the purpose of the massage that will change.
- Swedish massage is best at creating relaxation, relieving muscle fatigue, relieving stress and anxiety. It is great at helping to manage certain types of pain typically those that are more diffuse and less localised. The main characteristic of Swedish massage are the long effleurage stroke over large section of the body. Booking a Swedish massage is the perfect time for you to close your eyes, lay down, and just enjoy the experience.
- Deep tissue massage is particularly useful when you get localised muscular pain. I often see clients with a lot of tension in certain areas - mid-back, lower back, shoulders, neck are common. Deep tissue massage works deeper into muscles, primarily by spending more time, slowing down on certain areas, and using more localised pressure (fingers instead of palms). As such, a deep tissue massage session will generally not cover the whole body. Bear in mind though, that often the perception of pain in one part of your body could be due to tension somewhere else - sometimes unexpected places, so I always look for tension everywhere. For instance, it is not uncommon that back pain can be triggered by tight leg muscles.
Is deep tissue massage painful?
It shouldn't be. It is a widespread myth that "to be effective it should hurt". This is an obsolete approach and definitely not ideal. My massage certainly doesn't, and I will always work within your comfort zone. I ask all of my clients to tell me if they would prefer more or less pressure, and it is important that you give me feedback during the session.
What if you are still unsure?
If this is you, be reassured. It is easy to switch from one approach to another mid-massage, and to add a little bit of the other to either one. The way I practice massage is very fluid and I adjust every massage to each client that sees me.