Swedish, Deep Tissue or Sports: What’s the Best Massage For Me?

Swedish, Deep Tissue or Sports: What’s the Best Massage For Me?

You’ve booked your first massage and are excited to melt into the massage table. As you anticipate the arrival of your therapist, you ask yourself “What is the best massage for me?”

The answer to this question isn’t always clear cut.

Massage is like a dessert menu – do you prefer chocolate, vanilla, cake or ice cream? Some have a definite preference, while some indulge it all! Much like a waiter, your massage therapist is always there to help you with your menu selection.

Swedish Massage
“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax” – Mark Black

Swedish Massage

Swedish, or relaxation massage, is the most recognized massage type. Founded by Dutch doctor Johann Georg Mezger.  Swedish massage consists of five fundamental techniques.

Effleurage Long, gliding strokes
Petrissage – Kneading of the muscles
Friction – Firm, circular rubbing motions
Tapotement Tapping or percussive movements
Vibration – Shaking particular muscles

When requesting Swedish massage, you can expect a gentler massage that incorporates long, fluid strokes. The aim is to relieve muscular tension, increase circulation, enhance relaxation, and help induce a night of more sound sleep.

Often a massage therapist who performs Swedish massage will offer enhancements such as heated aromatherapeutic oils to enhance your senses and an eye pillow to help you relax. 

Deep Tissue Massage
“Anyone wishing to study medicine must master the art of massage” – Hippocrates

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue, or therapeutic massage, is used to address deeper muscular layers and fascia. This type of massage aims to realign scar tissue and break up fascial adhesions (the knots). A deep tissue massage will also improve healing time from an injury by helping to increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, improve mobility and reduced pain.

Deep tissue massage techniques are generally slower, and the pressure used is deeper. While it is not uncommon to experience a sensation of “hurts so good” while receiving a deep tissue massage, it should never be painful. In fact, if you ever experience pain of any sort, the therapist should be informed immediately.

If you experience any of the following, a deep tissue massage may be a perfect fit for you: low back pain, chronic headaches, symptoms associated with arthritis, chronic pain, stiff/sore muscles, scar tissue.

Sport Massage
Massage is the answer…Who cares what the question is! – Unknown

Sports Massage

Let’s face it  . . . life is a sport!

Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or desk jockey . . . a sports massage may be the perfect fit for you.

Sports massage combines elements of Swedish and Deep Tissue massage. However, this modality is often tailored to a specific region of the body or lifestyle activity.

– A weekend warrior may run 3-miles one or two days a week; and may require massage specific to the leg, ankle, and foot.

– A professional tennis player may require lower bodywork, with additional time spent on the hip, shoulder, and arms.

– Someone with a desk job, who sits at a computer all day, may require more emphasis on the neck, upper back, and hands.

Also, a massage therapist specializing in sports massage will take an athlete’s training schedule into account. The treatment will differ depending on whether the athlete is pre-season, in-season or post-season; as well as pre/post-event.

Sports massage may include many of the techniques associated with Swedish and deep tissue massage. However, other techniques such as Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), Myofascial Techniques, Active Release Techniques®, and Trigger Point Therapy may be included.

Richard A. Lehman, LMT, CSCS

Compliment Your Body, LLC NYC Logo

Compliment Your Body, LLC
1441 Broadway #6087
New York, NY. 10018
(646) 868-8956

At Compliment Your Body, LLC, our therapists are qualified to perform techniques associated with all three aforementioned massage modalities. If you are unsure what type of massage is right for you, simply discuss this with your therapist and they will find a combination tailored JUST FOR YOU!

Compliment Your Body LLC has been providing in-home and corporate/event chair massage for New York City since 2004. You are safe in our hands!

What makes Compliment Your Body rise above the rest?

We don’t rely on ads to find our amazing team of therapists. Our in-house NYC therapist referral network guarantees dedicated, vetted, experienced and professional New York State licensed massage therapists, whose goal is to produce 100% customer satisfaction.

– We are local to NYC. When you communicate with our team, you will always be within reach of a human voice. Your corporate / event planner will often make an appearance at your office to ensure things are running smoothly.

– We take care of our team of therapists.  We believe in the core principles of reciprocity. When we take good care of our massage therapists, they take even better care of you. We make sure to provide our therapists with a healthy work environment. Experience the “Happier Therapist Difference.”

– We give back to the community. Every single massage, whether in-home or corporate chair massage, provides three meals to a New Yorker in need through our relationship with Food Bank For New York City.

Commitment, compassion, connection, and charity are the pillars of our company.

Experience the CYBNYC difference!

This website may discuss topics related to health, fitness, nutrition or medicine.  The information provided should not be treated as medical advice. The information provided on the website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, expressed or implied.  The Website makes no representations or warranties about the medical, fitness, or nutrition information on the Website.

Do not rely on the information provided on the Website as an alternative to advice from your primary healthcare provider.  You should never self assess, self administer, delay or disregard seeking medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided on the Website.

The Website was developed strictly for information purposes.  You understand and agree that how you use the information provided on this website is your responsibility. Compliment Your Body, LLC  makes no warranties or guarantees. You understand that results may vary from person to person and that Compliment Your Body, LLC assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions that may appear on the website.


Richard A. Lehman, LMT, CSCS, owner and CEO of Compliment Your Body, LLC has over fifteen years of experience in the health and wellness field. During his career he has worked in a multitude of settings, including spas, chiropractic offices, and on the field at IronMan competitions. Richard was hired in 2005 with the United States Tennis Association as a Massage Therapist and provided therapy to the professional athletes at the US Open Tennis Championships from 2005 - 2010. Richard graduated in 2004 from The Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences. He is a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He also completed the Plant Based Nutrition course at the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a Level 2 Nutrition Coach with Precision Nutrition. Compliment Your Body has been providing corporate / event massage therapy, and in-home massage therapy to New York City and the surrounding boroughs for over fifteen years, and has been the corporate massage provider to the New York Times throughout this time. Commitment, compassion, connection and charity are the pillars of our business. Experience the CYBNYC difference!

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