woman getting a massage

Should I Get a Sports, Swedish, or Deep Tissue Massage?

You just got back from work and your head is pounding. It’s been a rough a week and your new exercise regimen has you feeling more tired than usual. You feel the muscle knots really building up and know you’re due for a massage. But what type of massage should you get? What’s the difference between Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and sports massage?

Let me give you the rundown.

Swedish Massage

The majority of massage therapists are trained in Swedish massage and it has become the traditional form of massage therapy found in most places around the country. This massage technique is what comes to mind when you think of getting a massage. It’s known to relax your whole body and is designed to help de-stress and loosen you up. Swedish Massage utilizes smooth gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. Not only does this massage relax you, but it also increases the level of oxygen in the blood, decreases lactic acid, improves circulation and flexibility, and eases tensions. Most popularly known as a relaxation massages, it relaxes some so much, they fall fast asleep.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage focuses on penetrating the deeper layers of muscles and surrounding tissues. It emphasizes working on the connective tissue, known as fascia. Deep tissue massage helps with improving muscle injuries, maintenance problems, as well as chronic issues. This modality is an excellent way to deal with a whiplash or other injuries, postural misalignment, spasms, and muscle tension. During a deep tissue massage, the therapist concentrates on releasing muscle tension as well as the muscular knots, or adhesions. It’s great for constantly stressed places such as the neck, shoulder area, and lower back hardness. The deep pressure, will decrease your pain and help you recover, so you can resume normal activities. You’ll be sure to feel lighter and more flexible than before.

Sports Massage

Sports massage is a type of massage technique aimed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after an event, or function better during training. This modality focuses on treating soft tissue aches, pain and injuries that are associated with recreational activities. Athletes typically opt for this type of massage before, during, and after events because it assists in relieving swelling and tension, improving flexibility, preventing injuries, reducing muscle stiffness and improving relaxation by reducing heart rate and blood pressure.

However, despite what the name suggests, you don’t have to be an athlete to get a sports massage. Because this technique emphasizes prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons, it is extremely beneficial for folks with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. Anyone who routinely pushes their body through activities like lifting weights, running, cycling, dancing, swimming, tennis, and other similar activities can benefit from a sports massage.

A good therapist will be able to assess you and give you the appropriate massage style recommendation, so make sure to choose the right one. Not all therapists are alike. Each have different levels of training and everyone has techniques in which they’re especially skilled or experienced. A high-quality massage provider will look at your health history, goals, challenges and lifestyle to match you with the modality that’s best for your situation. If you’re unsure, come on in and let your body do the talking.

If you’re in the Hermosa Beach area, come by to see me! I look forward to helping you!