Difference Between Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage

Massage is the manipulation of different layers of muscles and connective tissues using various techniques to relax them by boosting blood circulation. It also enhances the function of muscles and connective tissues as it aids in the healing process. While there are various kinds of massage, with different names, it can be divided into three basic types; acupressure, Swedish massage and deep tissue massage. Acupressure refers to the massage from Central Asia, especially China and it focuses on pressure points of the body as well as on the movement of energy throughout. Swedish massage focuses on relaxing superficial muscles and enhancing circulation of blood and lymph nodes in the body. While deep tissue massage, as the name suggests, focuses on the connective tissues and the aim is to improve the movement and posture of these tissues.

Swedish massage is gentle and soft as compared to a deep tissue massage, which is quite intense and forceful. Swedish massage is best for those who have extremely sensitive skin as people often get one as a recreational activity. A deep tissue massage is mostly applied to sore muscles to help alleviate pain and relax the tissue. While a Swedish massage takes care of superficial muscles, the deep tissue version checks the muscles and tissue located below the top layer. A Swedish massage is usually the choice of people who are stressed from work, whereas, a deep tissue massage is given to those suffering from chronic pain. The former is always done manually, while the latter can be performed both manually as well as with mechanical aids.


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    Swedish massage

    Swedish massage therapy is the most common type of massage requested by clients to reduce physical as well as mental stress. The therapist giving a Swedish massage first applies a lubricant, oil or lotion to the body and then several basic strokes are applied with light to medium pressure, depending upon personal preferences. The sequence of the strokes is determined by the therapist. The primary goal of a Swedish massage is to relax the client’s entire body.

    - Image courtesy: spasinportland.org

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    Deep tissue massage

    Deep tissue massage is a type of massage in which intense pressure is applied to the client’s body to relieve chronic muscle tension in the neck and back region. In a deep tissue massage, as the name suggests, the focus is on the deepest layers of muscles and connective tissues as well as tendons and fascia. It is great for people who sit or stand in the same position for long periods of time or who engage in strenuous activities on a regular basis.

    - Image courtesy: dpchallenge.com

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