Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage How are they different

Swedish Massage v/s Deep Tissue Massage: How are they different?



Swedish massage is the basis for deep tissue massage techniques. These two massages are different, yet share many similarities. The main difference between the two is the amount of pressure applied by the therapist. 

Under Swedish massage, therapists use long strokes and light pressure to offer gentle relaxation to the body. Deep tissue massage uses more pressure to release tension deep in the muscles and connective tissues of the body. 

If you are thinking of booking a massage therapy session and can’t decide between the above two techniques, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here we are going to share important information on Swedish Massage v/s Deep Tissue Massage. Also, let’s explore how they are different from each other so you can decide which one is an ideal choice for you. 


What is a Swedish Massage?

In Swedish massage, therapists use mild & long strokes to release tension and stimulate blood circulation in the body. This helps flush out lactic and uric acids from your body. 

This technique offers a relaxing experience; however, the pressure is not adequate for certain people. Swedish massage is better suited for people who are looking to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Besides stimulating the nervous system, Swedish massage nurtures your skin, soothes the nerves and mitigates physical and emotional tension in the body. 


How is a Swedish Massage performed?

Swedish massage involves the use of long and gliding strokes along with kneading and friction to release the surface tension in the muscles. It uses five strokes which are:

  • Effleurage

Therapists use long, gentle, and rhythmic strokes across the body. Besides being relaxing, the strokes allow the therapists to feel the muscle tone and identify the problem areas in the body that need to be tapped. 

  • Friction

Short and fast strokes are used to create heat when the hands rub against the body. The heat helps to ease tension and promote circulation in the affected area. 

  • Petrissage

Squeezing is used to lift the muscle and release tension. 

  • Vibration

Rapid and superficial movements of the palms or fingertips are used by therapists. 

  • Tapotement

This technique involves a series of strokes that help relax tense muscles. 


Is it the right choice for you?

Swedish massage is ideal for people who simply need relief from stress. As per research, it leaves positive results for reducing anxiety. It can reduce the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

It is also good for people who have circulatory issues. Regular sessions of massage can reduce heart rate and blood pressure. 

It is also beneficial for people who want to loosen muscle tension that is a result of daily exercise or poor posture. It can reduce tension in the lower back, shoulders, neck and is a great form of self-care. 


What is a Deep Tissue Massage?

Looking for a massage more intense and revitalizing? Deep tissue massage is a great choice for individuals who want more pressure in the deepest part of the muscles.  The massage targets the inner layers of the muscles and tendons and encourages healing by relaxing the tense areas of muscles and tissues. 

In Deep tissue massage, therapists use more forceful strokes to release tension in the deeper layers of the muscles and connective tissues. It can be uncomfortable for people who want a relaxing massage. 

Therapists apply great pressure, which may cause discomfort. Hence, it is not ideally suited for stress relief or relaxation. The massage increases blood flow and helps mitigate inflammation. It is good for relieving tension and soreness and working on muscle knots. 


How is Deep Tissue Massage performed?

Some of the popular and commonly used Deep tissue massage techniques are as follows:

  • Elbow Pressure

The therapists place their elbow directly over a pressure point in your body. Then, they increase the depth of the compression by leaning on you. The technique helps to relieve pain from shoulder muscles.

  • Knuckle Pressure

The therapists use their own body to channelise a deeper level of force. They may also rotate and roll their fist to work on muscles and ligaments, loosen tension, and promote blood circulation around the affected area.  

  • Double Finger Press

Pressure is applied using a padded instrument that feels comfortable. People usually prefer therapists to use the softer tips of their fingers as elbows and knuckles can be boney.

  • Thumb Rolls

Therapists will get deeper into specific muscle areas of tired or strained calf muscles. It allows the therapists to apply increased pressure while maintaining a soothing style.


Is it the right choice for you?

Deep tissue massage is ideal for athletes, runners, or others who have suffered chronic muscle injuries. It helps people recover from these injuries. It is also beneficial for people with chronic pain conditions, such as lower back pain and fibromyalgia. 

The technique is more intense than a Swedish massage. The sensation helps to release chronic muscle tension and promote correct muscle functioning. 


Wrapping Up

Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage are two of the best forms of massage therapy. To decide which one is better, you must understand your body’s needs and analyse their benefits for your health. 

At Kaizen Health Group, our registered massage therapists can also offer you guidance to make the right choice. You can book an appointment with us to experience a soothing massage session and rejuvenate yourself.

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