Manhattan Health Education School - Swedish Institute - New York, NY

What’s the Difference Between Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage?

massage therapist performing a deep tissue massage

Whether you’re a massage therapist or just looking for pain relief, you might wonder one important question: What’s the difference between Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage? You know the terms but might not know exactly what separates the two. With this in mind, we wanted to help you understand the difference. Therefore, we broke it down to the important elements that make them unique forms of treatment. 

What is Swedish Massage? 

According to WebMD, Swedish massage is one of the most frequently used forms of massage. A therapist will generally perform Swedish massage for overall wellness and health. Some benefits include improved circulation, better mental health, boosting immunity, and much more. Basically, a Swedish massage focuses on the entire body, soothing you from head to toe.  

What is Deep Tissue Massage? 

A deep tissue massage is a great technique to relieve specific pains and tensions across the body. By targeting certain areas and muscle groups, a deep tissue massage can help reduce inflammation and pain in regions affecting you in your day-to-day life. This form of massage is designed to promote faster healing of muscular injuries and involves heavier pressure on the body. If you want a treatment that gets to the root of the muscle, you’ll want a deep-tissue massage. 

Similarities and Differences in Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage 

There are several similarities between Swedish and deep tissue massages. For example, both types of massage include similar physical movements on your body. A combination of kneading, tapping, friction, pressure, and other movements provide physical relief to the body. All licensed massage therapists know how to perform both types of massage, though some therapists might specialize in specific forms of massage.  

The main difference between Swedish and deep tissue massage is the intent behind the massage and the type of pressure applied. A Swedish massage is for overall wellness and involves healing the whole body. It typically targets muscles closer to the surface level. Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, involves much more pressure. It mainly treats the inner layers of muscles. You’d want a deep tissue massage to treat a specific injury or ailment, not to provide overall relief.  

 If you want to receive a deep tissue or Swedish massage, you’re in luck! Here at Swedish Institute, our massage therapy clinic offers treatment to the general public, allowing our students to get hands-on experience. If you’re interested, sign up today!