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Differences between Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Hot Stone Massage


Getting a massage can be a fantastic way to relax and unwind, to treat chronic pain, or to help in recovery from an injury. Massages are incredibly beneficial to your body, but if you’ve never had one before, you might not know what kind of massage you should be getting. The most common types of massages you’ll see offered by spas are Swedish, deep tissue, and hot stone massages. But what are the differences between these, and how do you know which one you need? Keep reading to learn more about these types of massages and the kind of massage therapy training a Cromwell, CT, massage therapist needs to perform them.


Swedish Massages

A Swedish massage is the name for what you might call your “basic” massage. It’s focused on helping to relax the muscles and improve circulation throughout the body. If you’re just looking to relax and reduce your stress levels, or you’re looking for some relief from muscle aches and pains, a Swedish massage is what you need. A massage therapist will perform a variety of movements to help work out the knots in your muscles and provide a soothing, relaxing experience.


Here are some of the techniques you might experience when receiving a Swedish massage:


  • Petrissage – This technique uses a kneading motion to pull and twist superficial tissues. This enhances blood circulation while also helping to relax and tone your muscles.

  • Effleurage – These long, smooth strokes help to ease tension out of the muscles and encourages your body to relax.

  • Percussion – As the name implies, this is a tapping or drumming technique. It relaxes the nerves and increases circulation in the muscles.

  • Friction –This is a more targeted rubbing technique that a therapist will use on knots in the muscles, scar tissue, or trigger points. Friction can be light, medium, or heavy, depending on how tight your muscles are and how much friction is required.


Massage therapists are all well trained and experienced in providing Swedish massages because they’re the most commonly requested massages in spas.


Deep Tissue Massages

A deep tissue massage focuses less on relaxing your muscles and more on softening and lengthening connective tissues. As the name implies, the pressure in this type of massage goes a bit deeper, and the massage therapist will use quite a bit more force to achieve the desired results. A deep tissue massage is usually best if you’re recovering from a connective tissue injury, a common form of injury in athletes. These types of massages are often given as part of a physical therapy regimen.


Hot Stone Massages

Hot stone massages are usually something that’s added to one of the two types of massages mentioned above. Hot stones are placed along the spine, and the heat helps to stimulate blood flow even further while contributing to further muscle relaxation. The stones may also be used as tools to stroke along your muscles. This type of massage is usually only offered in select spas, so be sure to ask if you’re hoping to get this type of massage.


If you’re interested in a career as a massage therapist, contact Cortiva Institute Massage Therapy & Skin Care School to ask about massage therapy school cost in Cromwell, CT.

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