Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue – What Are the Differences?

Jan 14

Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue – What Are the Differences?

The benefits of deep tissue massage and Swedish massage have undeniably brought wonders to countless individuals who experienced these types of relaxation services. But if we delve deeper, what how does Swedish massage vs deep tissue differ to one another? While both have similarities, they also have differences, mainly on the following factors:


  • Technique
  • Areas to focus
  • Purpose
  • Pressure

Digging deeper, let’s get to know more of these two.

Swedish Massage

Also known as a classic massage, this type is one of the most commonly offered massage techniques across the globe. Its main goal is to promote relaxation through the release of muscle tension.

In terms of pressure, Swedish is known to be gentler and more suitable for customers aiming for tension relief and relaxation. If your activities of daily living such as prolonged sitting on the computer or exercising tighten up your muscles, Swedish can help you loosen up. It’s also apt for you if you have a lot of tension on your neck, shoulders and lower back.

When undergoing a Swedish massage, the therapist would use the following techniques:

  • Long strokes
  • Passive joint movements
  • Deep circular movements
  • Kneading

The abovementioned techniques are applied to the client to promote relaxation, stimulate nerve endings, increase blood flow and improve lymphatic drainage.

The entire body is involved in a Swedish massage. But if you have a concern on a specific area such as your lower back, you can ask the therapist to focus more on that area. You can also request for the pressure you want to be applied, whether it’s light, medium or firm.

Deep Tissue Massage

Although deep tissue massage is quite similar to Swedish, it’s for a much deeper purpose. This technique is more recommended for runners, athletes and individuals who have suffered various types of injuries.

Deep tissue massage is also best for those suffering from lower back pain and fibromyalgia. Through this approach, the inner layers of your tendons, muscles and fascia are targeted.

Although deep tissue massage also uses the same kneading and stroking techniques like the Swedish, the pressure is firmer and deeper. In some instances, it can be painful.

swedish massage vs deep tissue

To reach the deep muscles tissues, the therapist needs to massage every layer of the muscle, with more pressure applied through special techniques. These techniques are done using fists, fingers and even elbows just to reach the deep tissues.

Deep tissue massage promotes healing through the release of contracted tissues and muscles. Moreover, it reduces risks of inflammation and promotes the increase of blood flow to the soft tissues, a great advantage to the human body.

However since this massage involves the deep tissues, expect a little bit of soreness a few days after the session. You can always manage with a warm and cold application, accompanied with regular stretching.

To find a deep tissue massage therapist, look for the type who has the knowledge to specifically distinguish a massage type. Someone who knows how to treat a particular condition like sports injury, arthritis or fibromyalgia is highly recommended.

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