If you look around for a massage you will find a lot of terminology describing different massage styles and services. The problem is you probably aren't aware of the actual differences in the treatments, after all you're not the licensed therapist. You are just the client seeking relief. While not every therapist is the same, this is what I find to be the truth in our beautiful area of Jacksonville, North Carolina.
You'll find a lot of services misrepresented by the term Swedish massage. A true Swedish massage is characterized by the use of 5 specific techniques within the session. These include the long gliding strokes used to apply oil, kneading, friction, tapping/percussion, and shaking/vibration. A majority of the time what you truly end up experiencing is not a Swedish massage, which can be applied deeply or lightly, but rather a relaxation based massage incorporating longer, slower techniques with less focus on problem areas and more generalized treatment. This was actually not the intent of Swedish massage, but it is what it has become in the industry.
Deep Tissue Massage
What exactly is deep tissue massage? It is not what you think. Deep tissue was originally used to describe a deeper Swedish massage. The amount of pressure used is what gave it a different name. In the session the goal was to sink into the deeper layers of muscle tissue using the same Swedish techniques. This is generally not what you find in a deep tissue session. Most therapists now use the term deep tissue to describe a session that blends several clinical techniques to address specific areas of muscular tension to provide pain relief.
Specialty massages are those listed under specific titles. For example Lomi Lomi is a specific style of massage that has its own techniques and flow to the session. You may find other specialties listed separately like cupping, acupressure, neuromuscular therapy, or medical massage. Many therapist will just incorporate these techniques into a deep tissue session rather than listing separate sessions. It pays to read the description of the massages so you know what you're getting out of a service.
If you are ever in doubt, call the therapist and ask what to expect out of the session, or you can always explain the issues you are seeking relief from so the therapist can guide you to the best choice. As a therapist we don't expect you to know or understand the therapy we provide, but to be in this field you will generally find the therapists are sincere in helping you to the best of their ability.
Massage & Bodywork, Shamanic Reiki, Coaching
4915 Arendell Street, Suite I
Morehead City, NC