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Know the Difference between Deep Tissue Massage and Swedish massage

Updated: May 5, 2023

The need for massage therapy has considerably expanded recently as more individuals turn to natural methods of enhancing their health and wellbeing. Several massage techniques are used in the industry to address various conditions and issues. Swedish massage and deep tissue massage are two of the most popular types. Despite their apparent similarity, they differ greatly from one another.

We shall learn the distinctions between Swedish massage and deep tissue massage in this blog.

Swedish massage

The technique of Swedish massage involves kneading, circular motions, and lengthy, flowing strokes. Swedish massage aims to reduce tension in the muscles, boost circulation, and encourage relaxation. The therapist applies gentle pressure during Swedish massage. For those who are new to massage or have pressure sensitivity, it is a suitable alternative.

Swedish massage therapists frequently combine various methods, such as tapotement, petrissage, and lengthy, gliding strokes (effleurage) (rhythmic tapping). Additionally, they favour using methods that further stimulate the muscles and encourage relaxation, such as vibration and friction.

Deep tissue massage

As the name implies, deep tissue massage involves more intense pressure and concentrates on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It soothes pain and discomfort while releasing knots and chronic muscle tightness. Deep tissue massage therapists employ and apply pressure with slow, deliberate strokes to target parts of the body to reach deeper levels of muscle and connective tissue.

Deep tissue massage has a stronger sensation than Swedish massage, yet it is not painful. Your therapist will work with you to determine your comfort zone for pressure. Those with persistent pain, inflexible muscles, and restricted mobility benefit most from deep tissue massage.

Differences between Swedish massage and deep tissue massage:


The amount of pressure applied during a Swedish massage and a deep tissue massage differs significantly. While deep tissue massage uses more aggressive methods and deeper pressure, Swedish massage uses softer pressure.


While deep tissue massage concentrates on releasing chronic muscle tension and alleviating pain, Swedish massage's main goals are relaxation and circulation improvement.


Although deep tissue massage uses focused pressure and slow, methodical strokes, Swedish massage uses long, flowing strokes and circular motions.

Areas of the body:

Swedish massage therapists work on the entire body, but deep-tissue massage therapists focus on specific areas of the body that has chronic pain or tension.

Client suitability:

Generally, Swedish massage is suitable for almost everyone. Even people who are new to massage or sensitive to pressure can go for a Swedish massage. On the other hand, deep tissue massage isn’t suitable for most people, especially people with severe injuries and medical conditions.


Swedish massage and deep tissue massage effectively promote relaxation, relieve muscle tension as well as improve health and well-being, but they are different because of the amount of pressure used, their focus, and the techniques used.

To choose the right type of massage for you, speak with a licensed massage therapist. The therapist determines the best course of action based on the individual’s requirements and preferences.

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