Massage techniques vary in a couple of important ways. Typically, a type of massage will be a unique combination of strokes and intensity of pressure. The strokes are often the most obvious or talked about way that one massage type will differ from another. For instance, the longer strokes of Swedish massage contrast with the more focused work of deep tissue work. But the amount of pressure used during a session is often not talked about in an organized and clear way. Elements Massage Glendale utilizes a four-level system for understanding and explaining how pressure can vary in order for clients to better understand what they are looking for and communicate these needs to their massage therapist.
Elements Massage studios, including ours in Glendale, makes use of the following system of pressure levels:
- Level 1: Light pressure relaxing massage (Swedish Massage)
- Level 2: Medium pressure massage with no specific trigger point work
- 2+ : Can go deep with some trigger point work
- Level 3: Medium to deep pressure massage with trigger point work
- 3+ : Can go very deep with trigger point work
- Level 4: Very deep massage with trigger point
The levels are typically written next to each name on our therapist webpage, which helps clients select someone who would be a good match for their therapeutic needs. Pressure and technique are often two sides of the same coin, but in some instances pressure can vary even when the same technique is used. It is important to know what you are comfortable with in terms of how deep you would like your therapist to go while still receiving therapeutic benefit, but it is equally important to know how deep you need to go in order to see the results you want from your massage. If you are looking for a massage with the goal of intense trigger point work because you have specific problem areas, then a deeper pressure is going to get you the improvements you want to see. But if you want a relaxing massage, with minimum intense muscle work, a lighter massage at level one or two will be more beneficial. Talk to your massage therapist and figure out where you fall on this scale!