Physiotherapist massaging male patient with injured shoulder blade muscle. Sports injury treatment.

Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue: What’s the Difference?

Massages are a great way to relieve tension in the body. They even have some medical benefits. It’s important to know that there are different types of massages so that you know exactly what you are asking for next time you see your massage therapist.

There are several types of massages that will:

  • Use different techniques
  • Focus on different areas
  • Contain different levels of pressure

Continue reading to learn about the difference between Swedish massage and deep tissue massage.

What Is a Swedish Massage?

A Swedish massage is the traditional type of massage that you might think of when someone mentions massages. This type of massage promotes relaxation and stress relief via muscle tension release. The Swedish massage can also help to stimulate nerve endings and increase blood flow.

The technique for this massage includes a lot of kneading, long strokes, and circular movements. Swedish massages are ideal for those who hold a lot of tension in their neck, shoulders, or lower back. If you are stuck hunched over a desk all day or need to unwind after holding in some tension all week, you may benefit from a Swedish massage.

What Is a Deep Tissue Massage?

A deep tissue massage is similar to the traditional Swedish massage because they help to relieve tension. However, they are more intense and have different purposes. Deep tissue massages are ideal for runners and athletes, but they can also be useful to treat chronic pain conditions and serious injuries.

The focus of deep tissue massages is on the muscles, tendons, and connective tissue in these trouble areas. They are great for getting out those annoying knots in the muscles.

In general, the same kneading and long stroke movements are used as they would in a Swedish massage. The difference is that more pressure gets applied to the body. Sometimes, the increase in pressure is created with fists and elbows in addition to fingers.

This additional pressure can sometimes be uncomfortable. However, it shouldn’t hurt. If you find that it does hurt, you need to communicate that with your massage therapist so they can adjust the pressure.

You may find that you will reap the benefits of a deep tissue massage when you are struggling with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia when nothing else seems to be working for you.

Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage

So, Swedish massage vs deep tissue massage… Which one is right for you? The massage that you go with depends on your end goal. If you are looking to relax, a Swedish massage may be perfect for you to relieve some of that built-up tension. If you are looking for something a little more intense to get those deep knots out, you might want to go with a deep tissue massage.

If you found this post to be helpful, make sure you check out our other health-related content for more great tips.