Learn about the pros and cons of each massage technique.
|Features||Swedish massage||Regular massage|
|Technique||Uses a series of soft, long, kneading strokes to relieve surface tension||Any massage that manipulates your skin, tendons, and muscles by pressing or rubbing|
|Target area||Topmost layer of muscles||Layers of muscles, tendons, and other tissues deep under the skin|
|Pressure||Therapists may apply light-to-firm pressure to provide a relaxed and energized feeling||Therapists may use light strokes to deep pressure|
What are the pros and cons of a Swedish massage?
Swedish massage is the most common type of massage that uses long, flowing strokes with kneading, tapping, and vibrating movements to relieve surface muscle tension. Swedish massage uses five types of strokes:
- Effleurage: The therapist gives smooth, gliding strokes using their hands and forearms, which leads to relaxation of the soft tissue.
- Petrissage: Kneading movements following the effleurage promote the movement of cellular fluids and blood circulation.
- Friction: The therapist performs deep pressure massage in small circular movements using their thumb or a pointed object.
- Vibration: The therapist presses the body tissues in an up and down motion using their palms or fingertips of either or both hands.
- Tapotement: The therapist performs rhythmic, tapping, drumming or cupping of the tissue at the end of the massage to wake up the client and energize them.
Health benefits of Swedish massage may include:
- Relieving muscle cramps and muscle fatigue
- Strengthening muscles
- Soothing the nervous system
- Stimulating blood circulation
- Relieving symptoms of various diseases
- Firming skin and muscle tone
- Relieving back pain due to poor posture and prolonged sitting
- Relaxation from stress
When to avoid
Avoid Swedish massage if you have the following:
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Broken, fractured, or dislocated bones
- Contagious diseases
- Recent surgery
- High blood pressure
- Heart diseases
- Kidney disease
- Large hernia
- Varicose veins
- Open or unhealed wounds
- Inflamed, swollen or bruised body parts
- Drug treatment with blood thinners
What are the pros and cons of a regular massage?
A regular massage is any massage that involves rubbing, pressing, and manipulating your skin, tendons, and muscles.
Health benefits of a massage may include:
- Reducing stress and making you feel rejuvenated
- Alleviating pain and muscle soreness
- Improving circulation and mental alertness
- Treating various conditions such as:
When to avoid
Avoid a massage therapy if you have the following:
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