Massage Therapy

Swedish, Therapeutic, or Deep Tissue massage - what's the difference?

The difference between each one of these massages is in both their pressures, goals, and techniques used. 

In Swedish massage, the general goal is relaxation. The pressure aims to be on the light to medium side with calming, fluid massage techniques that allow the body and mind to shut off and de-stress. Clients might enjoy this style when they’re sore after working out, have a low pain tolerance, are dealing with high stress, anxiety, insomnia, or are new to massage therapy. 

Therapeutic massage can be light to fairly firm pressure with a goal of rehabilitation, pain reduction, injury prevention, or improved mobility. The techniques vary widely but ultimately focus on getting you back to feeling your best or moving well so you feel good. Often times stretching and active movement from the client to further relax muscle tissue is used. Clients might enjoy this style of massage when they have a nagging pain that just won’t go away, are experiencing difficulty turning their neck left or right, have back or joint aches, or have a sudden, new pain that is causing discomfort. 

Deep tissue massage does use a heavier pressure but contrary to popular belief, the “no pain no gain” mentally doesn’t apply here. Deep tissue massage techniques are slower aim to reach deeper muscle fibres, which actually takes more relaxation from the client so if sharp pains are felt or a client is wincing, this is actually counter-productive to this style of massage. Clients might enjoy this massage style when they are fairly active, are experiencing tight muscles, or have experienced massage before and are comfortable with working the deeper muscle layers of the body. 

It's my first massage, where should I start?

 Swedish and therapeutic massages are a good place to start for first time clients. This gives your massage therapist a chance to meet you, discuss your treatment goals, and offer suggestions based on your health history and the way your muscles feel. Muscles make a great “map” of the body and your massage therapist has skillsets to feel those tight spots, knotted areas called “trigger points”, or even muscles that might not be functioning well. They may recommend trying other massage styles like hot stone massage or cupping therapy too. 

We love clients who are looking to book their first massage! Our best advice is to give us a call. Our admin team are very patient oriented and will be able to help narrow down a type of massage or even a massage therapist who best fits your reason for booking.

I have an injury, what would you recommend?

Treatment for injuries always depend on what kind you’re experiencing. If clients have sore, stiff, tight, or aching muscles, any of our massage services are a great place to begin. Even a Swedish massage which is generally used for relaxation can be arguably “therapeutic” when the pain from an injury is high. This happens when nerves fire repeatedly, causing discomfort and varying levels of pain. Swedish massage can actually help calm this nerve firing which reduces the pain and allows the therapist to do more therapeutic or deeper work later on. 

When the injury hasn’t improved with massage therapy or a fracture is suspected, utilizing physiotherapy is actually better recommended. 

What other services do you offer?

We currently offer a wide range of massage therapy services including hot stone, raindrop therapy, cupping, bamboo rattan massage, lymphatic facilitation and more! Hover over the massage therapy tab under services to view each individual service. 

Aside from massage, we also offer reflexology, acupuncture and physiotherapy services which are all complimentary and can boost your massage results! 

How often should I receive treatments?

When clients are suffering from high stress, sleeping issues, or even stomach issues brought on by stress, then 1 massage per week for the first 3- 4 weeks is recommended. When symptoms start to feel better or stress levels aren’t as high, therapists can work with their clients to begin spacing massage sessions farther apart. If the reason is for a new or longterm injury that’s causing pain, or you require a rehabilitative approach after having surgery, giving birth, or preparing for a sporting event, the timeline can be more frequent. Maintenance massage appointments every 4 – 6 weeks help keep you feeling at your best and are a great preventative care to pain management and muscle health. 

Massage therapy works two-fold because it has short and long term benefits. Clients generally feel better after their first session which allows for a small window of relief from pain or discomfort, but continued treatment allows the massage therapist to work on not just your symptoms, but also work towards the root cause of you pain source. 

How many massage treatments a client should book really depends on their treatment goal or desired outcome. Ultimately, it’s our goal at 4 Elements to get you feeling better and on the path to maintenance instead of staying in pain. 

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