In our last blog we delved into the differences between two distinct philosophies of therapeutic massage. But did you know that there are over 350 types of massage being utilized today? Today we will explore two types of massage, which are also called “modalities”. Let’s look at Swedish verses Cross Fiber massage.
Swedish massage is what comes to mind for most people when they think of massage. It is often found in a spa or resort setting and at large chains such as Massage Envy or Hand and Stone. It is the first modality learned when training to be a massage therapist due to its versatility and relaxing nature. Swedish massage is effective in whole body relaxation, increasing oxygen levels in the blood, improving circulation and easing tension through long, repetitive strokes that follow the fibers of your muscles.
Cross Fiber techniques include modalities such as Pfrimmer (pronounced Frim-mer) and Cross Fiber Friction. These modalities are often used in medically based massage practices and in some chiropractic offices. Cross Fiber is effective in treating a wide range of ailments such as soft tissue damage from traumas, releasing scar tissue and tendonitis. The goal of most cross fiber work is to allow muscles to contract and expand easily when you move, break up adhesions between the muscle layers, tendons and ligaments as well as to increase range of motion. The staple of cross fiber work is that it is performed just as the name implies – in short strokes across the fibers of your muscles. Cross fiber is an ideal treatment for chronic pain, old injuries and those stubborn ‘knots’ that just never seem to disappear.
Both the Swedish and Cross Fiber modalities have desirable results. Talk to your therapist today to see which one would be the best fit for you to stay Active for Life!