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Swedish or Deep, Which Modality is Right for You?

Swedish and deep tissue are two of the most common types of massage.

When choosing which type of massage therapy meets your needs, it’s important to understand the benefits of each different modality.

Whether your goal is to manage blood pressure or increase range of motion, adding massage therapy to your health regimen can help you achieve a successful outcome.


The Swedish modality includes five basic techniques: effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, friction and vibration.

Generally, someone requests Swedish massage to relieve muscle tension and reduce stress. Beyond these relaxation benefits, there are also therapeutic benefits of a Swedish massage.

In fact, Swedish massage was invented by a fencing instructor in the 1830’s after he experienced an injury. He would note that certain techniques would offer relief and went as far to say that he cured himself of his injuries.

Swedish massage can help break up scar tissue, improve circulation as well has reduce muscle pain and inflammation. It can even help shorten the amount of time it takes to heal after an injury!

Deep Tissues

Deep tissue massage is a modality typically used when an individual is experiencing chronic musculoskeletal pain caused by injury, inflammation, or repetitive use.

A therapist with advanced training in deep tissue technique will provide you with a better experience. It is recommended that you choose a massage therapist with extensive knowledge of both anatomy and physiology.

When you are experiencing pain, it is common to have tighter surface muscles and this can impede the progression of a deep tissue massage or cause additional trauma and pain to the tissue.

Deep tissue massage does not need to be painful to be effective. To repeat, deep tissue massage does not need to be painful to be effective! To avoid unnecessary pain, your therapist may integrate techniques such as rocking and compression that are deeply sedative and relaxing.

The technique that adds a significant difference between the Swedish and deep tissue modalities is effleurage.

Effleurage would be defined as long, sweeping strokes to the body with the therapist’s hands. This technique is used to introduce touch, apply lotions or oils as well as to warm up the body and for the therapist to find knots or adhesions that may need attention.

Which Modality is Right for You?

At Radiant Wellness, we have so many modalities that we can offer based on your goals and needs. Hands down the favorite is our Signature massage that we tailor for each individual! We keep in mind your preferences and work with your body to help you relax and get lasting relief.

Call us today to schedule your appointment: (479) 279-0106

Written By Stacey Dilley – Radiant Wellness

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