You may feel an ache in your back/neck/shoulders and think a massage would really help, but where should you go? A specialist for a deep tissue or sports massage, or your local beauty salon? What’s the difference between them and how will you feel after each one?
Sports and deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage does what it says – it focuses on the deep layers of tissue and can be particularly beneficial for those suffering from a stiff neck, shoulders or back.
A deep tissue massage is a standalone treatment that treats tight and shortened muscles. Targeting the deeper layers of muscle tissue helps to initiate a change in the muscle’s fibres and connective tissue. A massage of this kind will often focus on a specific area of the body, and because of the pressure and targeted nature of the massage it may feel a little sore during or after treatment. However, this will pass within a day or two.
A sports massage uses similar principles to a deep tissue massage, but it’s particularly good for people who play sport, or train, regularly. This is because it can help reduce muscle tension, improve mobility and reduce the risk of injury.
Beauty salon massage
A beauty salon will often offer an aromatherapy massage and/or Swedish massage. Whilst both of these can be relaxing and enjoyable, they might not target a particular area or help an area of pain.
Swedish massage has four common strokes that cover stroking, kneading, tapping and rubbing. These strokes help relax the whole body and, like all massage, helps increase oxygen in the blood, which can improve circulation.
Aromatherapy uses plant materials and perfumed plant oils to alter your mood or physical health. An aromatherapy massage uses these oils on your skin, so their fragrance and absorption may help you feel a different mood, for example you may feel calm, energised or uplifted.
Which massage should I choose?
If you’re after general rest and relaxation and want some pampering, then contact your local salon.
If you need massage for a particular ailment, or you want a particular area of your body targeting to help it improve, you’re better off going to a specialist for a deep tissue or sports massage. We have highly trained and experienced massage therapists specialising in giving deep tissue and sports massage, and they each tailor their approach to suit your needs.
Ryland Culling and Rebecca Ash both specialise in treating sports injuries and providing sports and deep tissue massages. Both are based at our Royal Arsenal practice in Woolwich. Ryland can also be seen at our Slade Practice in Plumstead. To find out more and book an appointment, please call 020 3589 8664.