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Choosing the Right Massage

There are about 80 different massage therapy styles, each with different benefits and results. So how do you know which type of massage is best for you?

We're going to break down 4 of our specialty massages we offer at The Well Pasadena to help you decide which method will work best for you, the next time you schedule a session.

What is a Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is considered to be to the go-to massage if you're looking to relax and release muscle tension from everyday activities such as sitting at a desk all day. This technique mainly uses hands and fingers to gently knead and stroke your tissues.

Swedish massage is a good option if you're new to massage, prefer gentle touch/pressure and want to loosen up tightness in your body. You can expect long, fluid strokes in the direction of the heart, circular motions, passive joint movement techniques and vibration/tapping.

It's common for therapist to offer hots stones and/or aromatherapy with a Swedish massage. Here's why:

  • Hot stones placed on key areas of your body can help you feel more relaxed, reduce muscle tension and pain, encourage blood flow, and lower your stress.

  • Aromatherapy uses essential oils with the massage strokes/kneading to stimulate your sense of smell and allow your body/skin to absorb the health properties. Aromatherapy has been proven to enhance your mood, reduce pain and muscle tension, and lower stress, anxiety and depression symptoms. Your massage therapist can help you decide which essential oils to use based on your needs and preferences.

What is a Deep Tissue Massage?

This is the massage you need to treat muscle and tendon injuries, stiffness and pain in your major muscle groups and joints. Think of those nagging knots and kinks melting away through a "good pain." Deep tissue massage is a targeted technique aimed at releasing muscle tension layer by layer and often involves the massage therapist using their elbows and forearms. You'll experience firm pressure with slower strokes to get the tightness out, giving you relief in areas with chronic pain or scar tissue.

Opt for this massage if you're an athlete/engaged in high physical activity, dealing with chronic pain, or to treat sports and small muscle injuries. Deep Tissue massage may leave you sore for a few days so take it easy 24 hours after treatment so your muscles can recover.

A 2014 study involving 59 participants found that deep tissue massage helped to reduce pain in people with chronic low back. The authors likened its effects to those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil). - Healthline

Keep in mind Deep Tissue massage utilizes firm pressure, which may be uncomfortable for someone with a low pain threshold. It also may not be safe if you have an underlying medical condition, so speak to your doctor if you:

  • have a history of blood clots or a clotting/bleeding disorder

  • are taking blood thinners

  • are pregnant

  • have cancer or undergoing treatment

What is a Sports Massage?

Sports massage is ideal for post-workout recovery. Sports massage can also assist with training, rehab, and pre- or post-performance goals. Similar to Deep Tissue, you can expect firm pressure, however this method typically involves stretching and works on a specific area of the body (likely for a specific sport).

This massage method increases blood flow to your muscles, prevents soreness and injury, and promotes flexibility and mobility. Sports massage is not limited to professional athletes, it can also help amateur athletes and anyone who regularly exercises.

What is a Lymphatic Massage?

Lymphatic (drainage) massage or manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), is a type of gentle massage that supports the lymph fluids circulation through the body.

The lymphatic system helps remove toxins and improve circulation, which is great for your immune system. It can help with health conditions such as:

  • lymphedema

  • fibromyalgia

  • edema

  • skin disorders

  • fatigue

  • insomnia

  • stress

  • digestive problems

  • arthritis

  • migraine

If you have any of the following conditions, you shouldn't receive a Lymphatic massage:

  • congestive heart failure

  • history of blood clots or stroke

  • current infection

  • kidney or liver problems


We enjoy educating our clients as much as we love helping them feel relaxed and empowered physically, mentally and emotionally. Massage is an art and it's important that you receive treatment from a licensed professional that listens to you and assesses your needs in a holistic way.

Schedule an appointment with The Well so you can leave feeling better than you came.

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