Difference Between Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage

People use massage to help manage health conditions, relax and relieve pain, reduce stress, address anxiety, and rehabilitate sports injuries. Massage Therapy is beneficial to our health in many ways. The therapy sessions help improve blood circulation, reduce muscle tension, stimulate the lymphatic system, enhances joint mobility, and improves skin tone.

There are various forms of Massage Therapy. In this post, we will focus on Swedish massage and deep tissue massage. They sound similar, but each one is different in terms of the pressure, technique, intended use, and which points to focus.

Below we have penned down more information on how these two massage styles are different from one another. Also, follow tips on how to choose the right massage therapist for you.

Swedish Massage: Overview

Swedish Massage is also known as classic massage. This massage technique promotes relaxation by applying kneading strokes or tapping strokes on the upper layers of muscles to reduce tension. The Swedish Massage Therapy aims to relax and energize the body.

The practice is gentler in comparison to deep tissue massage. People looking for therapies that help in relaxation and tension relief must book an appointment for Swedish Massage.

People who work in the offices or have to perform daily activities sitting at one place or exercise may benefit from this massage. The therapy helps loosen tight muscles caused by performing daily chores. One must visit a nearby massage therapist if notices tension in their:

  • Shoulders
  • Lower Back
  • Neck Region

How does Swedish Massage Therapy work?

This type of therapeutic massage helps to:

  • Manage pain in health conditions, such as sciatica or osteoarthritis
  • Increased blood flow
  • Address Sports Injury
  • Improves flexibility
  • Reduces stress
  • Relaxes the mind and body
  • Stimulates Nerve Ending
  • Improves Immune System

Therapists use different stroke styles for a Swedish massage. It involves:

  • A smooth long gliding stroke is applied to relax soft tissue.
  • Later, rolling or kneading strokes are followed.
  • Deep circular movements are practice to bring muscles in motion. These movements further increase blood flow and help break down scar tissue.
  • In the end, tapped strokes are practice. 

A traditional Swedish massage involves massaging the back and neck area. Later, the therapy focuses on applying pressure to the legs, arms, hands, and feet.

If you have pain in a specific region, such as suffering from a stiffed neck problem, you can consult or ask your therapist to invest more time and energy in your neck region. One may ask the massage therapist to exercise light or firm pressure depending on the pain area or your preference.

Under this massage technique, the therapist uses oil or lotion to apply on your whole body. They perform smooth and long strokes as your health condition.

Deep Tissue Massage: An Overview

Deep Tissue Massage treats musculoskeletal issues and is similar to Swedish massage therapy. But this form of massage is meant for athletes, runners, patients with lower back pain, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, sciatica, tennis elbow, or people with injuries.

Under these techniques, slow deep strokes are applied to target the inner layers of your muscles, tendons, or dense connective tissues. Deep Tissue Massage is suitable for patients with injuries as these deep strokes help break up scar tissue formed during an injury. Further, release tension in muscle and tissue. 

Other Benefits:

– Promotes Faster Healing

– Increases blood flow

– Reduces Inflammation

Deep Tissue Massage and Swedish Massage Technique use similar stroke practices, but other factors differentiate them.

Swedish massage promotes relaxation and reduces muscle tension from everyday activities, whereas Depp Tissue Massage focuses on sports-related injuries and treats chronic pain.

Also, increased pressure is applied to knead and manipulate your tissues during the deep tissue massage.

This form of massage therapy targets the inner layers of your muscles. Swedish Massage focuses massaging on body parts.

What Happens During a Deep Tissue Massage?

Before the commencement of the Deep Tissue Massage Session, the therapist communicates with the patients to have a clear idea of the problem areas. The therapy can involve a full-body massage session or only on the focussed area.

After the discussion process, the patient is requested to lie on the back or stomach under a sheet. The therapist tries to warm up your muscles by applying a little pressure to your body. As and when your muscles start lightening up, the therapist moves to the problem area.

The therapist may use palms, fingertips, forearms, knuckles, or elbows to increase pressure level.

It is recommended to update your therapist on the level of pressure or any discomfort you are facing during the session. At times therapist need feedback during the session if the pain is too much. They recommend treating with ice, heat, or stretching.

Things to do Before the Massage

To make your experience as relaxing as possible, we have penned down few things one must perform before the session:

  • Make sure you Stay Hydrated. A hydrated body will benefit your muscles to bent easily and relax.
  • Avoid Drinking Alcohol as it dulls your senses.
  • Get yourself a Warm Shower.
  • Eat Lightly.
  • Communicate with your therapist and inform him/her if you have participated in any such session earlier. Furthermore, if you have applied for a long-term treatment program, update the therapist.
  • Check the ratings and reviews for your massage session before booking. Read more about your therapist’s feedback and success rate in treating your health condition.

Which Massage Fits You the Best?

The above listed both types of massage therapies – Swedish and deep tissue massages are similar. The only difference between the two is the pressure level applied to the body during the session. 

For relaxing the body and relief from muscle tension, therapists recommend Swedish massage for you.

Whereas, if you are looking for massage therapy that will help you recover from any injury, deep tissue massage is probably the right treatment plan for you.

Before joining any sessions, it is better to communicate with your therapist or ask questions before choosing your treatment plan. Get a feedback plan for your type of massage.

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