The most common type of massage is Swedish massage therapy. It involves soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic tapping strokes in the topmost layer of muscles. This is also combined with movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish massage can be both relaxing and energizing.
The four common strokes of Swedish massage are:
1. Effleurage: a smooth, gliding stroke used to relax soft tissue.
2. Petrissage: the squeezing, rolling, or kneading that follows effleurage.
3. Friction: Deep circular movements that cause layers of tissue to rub against each other, helping to increase blood flow and break down scar tissue.
4. Tapotement: a short alternating tap done with cupped hands, fingers, or the edges of the hand.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is best for giving attention to certain painful, stiff “trouble spots” in your body. Slow deliberate strokes are used that focus pressure on layers of muscle, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin. Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage is very therapeutic. It relieves chronic patterns of tension and assists with the healing process of an injury.