What Is the Difference Between Shiatsu and Swedish Massage?

At Garden Retreat Spa, our talented masseuses blend shiatsu and Swedish massage techniques to provide a relaxing and satisfying experience. Though both are sometimes considered a deep-muscle massage, a traditional shiatsu Asian massage and a Swedish massage differ in procedure and level of pressure. Our expert massage therapists combine both techniques to provide long-lasting pain relief and relaxation for our clients.

What Is a Shiatsu Massage?

Based on traditional Japanese medicine, a shiatsu Asian massage integrates Japan’s traditional manual therapies such as acupuncture and anma, an old Japanese massage style, with Western medical knowledge. Shiatsu is a holistic form of therapy that evaluates the flow of energy (known as qi or chi) around the body.

The practitioner utilizes manual techniques to improve and stimulate the body’s natural rhythms and circulation. This practice is similar to acupressure and acupuncture, providing relief and promoting natural healing.

Unlike a Swedish massage, no instruments or oil are used. Shiatsu is generally gentler than Western deep-muscle massages, often providing a high level of relaxation and relief immediately afterward. Shiatsu massages can also be performed with the client fully clothed.

Some of the potential benefits of a shiatsu massage include:

  • Energy restoration
  • Improved sleep
  • Relief from arthritis or stiff areas
  • Healing from sprains
  • Headache relief
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved respiratory health

What Is a Swedish Massage?

Popular in medicine and massage therapy, a Swedish massage promotes overall relaxation and relief from muscle tightness and stress. Closer in intensity to a true deep-muscle massage, Swedish massage utilizes different techniques to provide relief to specific areas of the body.

Our massage therapists at Garden Retreat Spa practice these techniques, including effleurage, which involves long, circular strokes with the palm of the hand, as well as petrissage, which involves deeply kneading large muscle groups.

Some of the benefits of a Swedish massage can include:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Rehabilitated muscle groups
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased flexibility
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Improved pain management

Providing the Best of Both Techniques

Garden Retreat Spa combines the natural healing of shiatsu with the deep muscle relief of a Swedish massage. Combined with deep-tissue massage techniques from Korea and Japan, Garden Retreat Spa provides an unforgettable experience with every appointment. Focusing on the natural pressure points of the body, we can provide relief to specific areas or provide overall wellness and relaxation.

Before each session, let your massage therapist know your comfort level. We customize each massage to suit your specific needs. If you would like assistance with certain muscles or joints or have specific health requirements, let us know. We’d love to help you find true comfort and relaxation during your visit.

Experience an Asian Massage at Garden Retreat Spa

Whether you’ve experienced the rejuvenating effects of a full-body massage before, or if you’d like to experience a world-class massage for the first time, the Garden Retreat Spa is the perfect place to find true relaxation. We provide both individual and couples massage sessions in the pristine comfort of our midtown massage center. Give us a call and book a world-class massage today.