Swedish Massage is considered to be the foundation of most western forms of massage. Practitioners utilize four basic strokes including:
- Effluerage - long, gliding strokes
- Petrissage - kneading of individual muscles
- Tapotoment - vibration, hacking, tapping, slapping, etc.
- Friction - short digging strokes applied to adhesions either alongside or across muscle fibers
The main purpose of Swedish Massage is to increase circulation, flush metabolic waste, and develop general relaxation. Deep Tissue Massage is a term often used to describe a Swedish Massage applied with a heavier handed technique. It differs greatly from Neuromuscular Massage in the technique, intensity, and specific attention that Neuromuscular Massage provides over Deep Tissue Massage.
Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage are great ways to relax and eliminate superficial tension while increasing circulation and range of motion. However, Neuromuscular Massage is more apt for dealing with injuries and persistent pain.