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Swedish Massage Vs Deep Tissue Massage

One question I get asked a lot is, what is Swedish Massage, and how does it differ from Deep Tissue Massage?

Swedish and Deep Tissue massage use a lot of the same strokes and techniques, but the pressure is different and they have different aims.

Swedish Massage

Also known as Classic Massage, Swedish Massage uses long strokes and kneading using palms, fingers, thumbs and knuckles to relax the muscles, stimulate nerve endings and increase blood flow and lymph drainage.

It targets the superficial layers of the muscles, to reduce muscle tension. It is ideal for people who wish to relieve tight muscles caused by desk working or daily life,or those needing relaxation for stress relief.

Your massage therapist can adjust the pressure to suit you, depending on your pain threshold and whether you prefer a light, medium or firm pressure.

Usually a medium such as massage oil is used to allow smooth and long strokes. Aromatherapy can also aid relaxation and ease muscle tension.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage uses similar strokes but greater pressure, and uses forearms and elbows to target the inner layers of muscles, tendons and fascia (deep connective tissue).

It is ideal for people who regularly partake in sports or running, and those with sports injuries. It can also benefit people with chronic pain conditions.

The massage therapist will start with gentler pressure to warm up the muscles and them apply more pressure, to knead and stretch out the muscle. This helps release contracted areas of muscle and aid healing. It can be painful but you can speak up if it hurts too much!

After a deep tissue massage you may experience soreness for a few days. Your massage therapist may advice heat, or ice, or stretching.

Swedish Massage

Deep Tissue Massage



Targets superficial layers of muscles

Targets inner layers of muscles

​Aims to relax and relieve muscle tightness and tension

Aims to treat muscle and tendon injuries, chronic pain and stiffness in your muscles and joints

Check if your massage therapist offers the type of massage you would like! I am trained in Swedish Massage, and can recommend Deep Tissue Massage Therapists, just ask!

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