Swedish vs Deep Tissue Massage

With the increased advent of digitization and long sitting hours, physical and mental stress has increased tremendously. 

But what to do in this case and how to calm your nervous system?

The answer is Deep Massaging. 

Yes, there are different types of massages in which Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage are the famous ones. But what is the exact difference between Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage? Well, to know the answer, let’s have a look at each type in detail.

So sit back, relax, and read the article given below to get insights on Swedish vs Deep Tissue Massage.

What is Swedish Massage Therapy?

If we talk about Swedish Massage, it is the type of massage that uses long strokes with light-to-firm pressure. This in turn provides gentle relaxation. 

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

We can call Deep Tissue Massage a more defined and further massage that is totally intended for different purposes even though it is similar to Swedish massage. It can either be a full-body massage or focus only on one area. This type of massage uses strokes and kneading movements which are similar to Swedish massage but yes the pressure is more and can be difficult to bear sometimes. Not to forget that Deep Tissue Massage is a forceful technique. It releases tension Deep in the muscles and connective tissues as well.

What is the Difference Between Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage?

To start with, Swedish massage forms the very basis of the Deep Tissue Massage. However, to study in detail about deep tissue vs Swedish massage, there are many aspects. Let’s study each aspect in detail:

Application of Pressure

Starting with the application of pressure, the Swedish Massage is purely light and gentle strokes. It encourages the blood to have free movement throughout the body. As per the pressure tolerance, you can always ask the therapist to increase or decrease pressure accordingly. 

However, for Deep Tissue Massage, the pressure applied with the Deep Tissue Massage is more painful and severe sometimes as the massage uses deeper and more pressure with every stroke. The therapist will massage each layer and will reach deeper. In this massage, the fingers, fists, and sometimes the elbows are also used to stretch that deeper tissue. 


The Swedish Massage is best suited for people who want relaxation and relief from pain. It loses up the tight muscles that are caused by daily activities like sitting for long hours in front of computers or exercising regularly.

On the other hand, if you are looking to work out on Deep muscle tension or aid any recovery from muscle strain, you should definitely go for Deep Tissue Massage. But remember it may not be relaxing at times and might cause slight discomfort.


Since Swedish Massage is a lighter form of massage, it is best for people who require stress relief. In case you have any special area of concern, you can ask the therapist to focus and spend more time on that particular area. 

But if we talk of the Deep Tissue Massage, it is preferred more by the people who are recovering from muscle injuries. It is also a popular choice among runners and the athletes. Furthermore, it works best for people who have any kind of lower back pain as the Deep Tissue targets the inner layers of your fascia, which is a dense connective tissue. Other than that, it targets the muscles and tendons as well.

Technique Applied

The Swedish Massage consists of five different techniques. These are:

  • Effleurage (stroking) 
  • Petrissage (kneading) 
  • Friction
  • Tapotement (percussion) 
  • Vibration

On the contrary, in Deep Tissue Massage, slow strokes are used with the friction movements that go across the muscle grain. It begins in a more traditional way in which the muscles are warmed up and the therapist shall work more in the problematic areas.

P.S. It is extremely crucial to consult the right massage therapist before starting the therapy. You must talk about your injuries with your therapist so that he may suggest a relevant approach.  You must also talk about your comfort level and your expectations like what exactly are you seeking. This will help in creating a clear guide map of your massage therapy.

Final Thoughts

Before getting yourself involved in any type of massage ensure that you open up with your massage therapist intimately. This will help them in knowing the level of pressure and the discomfort that you can endure. 

Furthermore, the above information shall help you in making a better decision with reference to Swedish massage vs deep tissue massage after which you can communicate with your massage therapist clearly. 

So what are you waiting for? Go for that massage therapy that you have been delaying for a long time.

Happy massaging!