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  • Writer's pictureElanor Sung, LMT

Deep Tissue Vs. Swedish, What Should I Ask For?

You are so excited that you finally found a massage therapist to see. Your back has been killing you from work, your Personal Trainer has been pushing you so hard you can barely walk the next day, but you are also so stressed that you just want to relax. You go to schedule an appointment and freeze. They have a list of massages a mile long. What do you choose? Do you choose a Deep Tissue Massage to get the knots out that were caused by your move 3 months ago? Do you get a Sports Massage to help with the sore muscles from your latest round of torture (i.e. Burpees) from your trainer? Or do you embrace the serene comfort and relaxation of a Swedish Massage?

Each massage type, or modality, has it's own set of benefits. Deep Tissue addresses the deeper muscle layers, while a lighter pressure massage would be more of a circulatory session. Each has great benefits. But what is the difference between Deep Tissue and Swedish? Well, nothing but pressure really. Swedish Massage can be light pressure to firm or deep pressure. Many people ask for Deep Tissue because they think that is what they need. The pain or stress is deep in their muscles and you need to pound at it to get it out. This is a fallacy, an idea that has been put into our brains by Hollywood movies where a 320 pound woman named Helga comes in to give us a 'relaxing' massage just to make us look like a human pretzel.

Depth in a massage is all relative to the client. What is deep for one person is not deep for another. For example, my sister and I look similar (as a matter of fact people call me by her name and don't realize it is me and not her), but her version of deep is my version of light pressure. If she got the same type of massage I normally get, she would be jumping up and screaming at the therapist. And vice versa, if I got the same pressure that she receives I would be wondering when the massage is going to start.

Communication is key with any massage. If the pressure therapist is too light or too deep, let them know. If you are uncomfortable, let the therapist know. If the therapist cannot accommodate your pressure request, they will let you know. If it is me, I have several therapists that I network with and can refer people to.

When making your appointment with me at Pinpoint Massage & Bodywork, I like to make things simple. Every massage modality that I do is covered under Customized Massage. If you want a more sports type massage, Customize it. If you are looking for headache relief, Customize it. Whatever you are looking for, Customize the session. I am here to help you reach your goals with massage. We will discuss your goals for the session and then address those points in your massage. Why? Because here, we create every session with you in mind.


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