Swedish massage is characterized by broad, flowing strokes of the practitioner's hands over the client's body to stimulate blood flow to outer layers of tissue, and facilitate general relaxation. Swedish massage is often used as an introduction between the practitioner's hands and the client's body, especially in the beginning stages of a massage to help the client's body acclimate to the practitioner's
Deep Tissue massage incorporates slower, firmer strokes that are intended to mobilize tissue that is deeper inside the body. Deep tissue strokes may also be used on relatively superficial muscles to help the more stubborn muscle fibers relax. Effective deep tissue work requires a certain intuitive touch, where the practitioner "listens" to the client's body. Because deep tissue strokes tend to utilize more pressure, the client's muscles may involuntarily react, which calls for adjustments in pressure, angle, direction, or other compensatory movement.
Trigger Point Therapy is a form of massage that targets a trigger point or "knot" in the muscle fibers. Steady and consistent pressure is applied to a trigger point in a way that encourages it to release. I often follow trigger point therapy with Swedish strokes and rocking to help disseminate the energy released.
Copyright Duane Gammill 2010