What is the difference between Swedish Massage and Therapeutic Massage?

massage_njThis is one of the most asked questions when someone is considering which type of massage is right for them.
The Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing defines Swedish massage as:

A massage technique that includes effleurage, pétrissage, friction, vibration, and tapotement.

Swedish massage is intended to improve circulation and tissue elasticity while reducing muscle tone and creating a parasympathetic response.

This style involves a lot of long strokes usually in the direction of the heart with light to medium pressure. It is fantastic for relaxing the body and mind and increasing circulation and detoxification.

Therapeutic massage is defined as:

A type of massage which reaches structures far beneath the superficial fascia to attempt to relieve chronic muscle problems or injuries. This is also commonly called Deep Tissue Massage.

This method involves more sinking and slow stretches of the layers of fascia to release adhesions and scar tissue that have developed from injuries or chronic poor posture. The techniques that your therapist will use will involve fingers, knuckles and elbows. You should not experience pain but more of a feeling of medium to deep pressure. Make sure to communicate with your therapist your level of comfort.

All massage is beneficial! You really can’t go wrong. A Swedish massage would be perfect after a long work week when you need to relax body and mind. While a therapeutic massage might be the better fit for you if you have some aches and pains or an injury that you would like address. Our therapists at the MCOW are all trained in multiple disciplines and will generally combine several methodologies in each session to most effectively reach the goals of the client.

Therapeutic massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. The massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury.