NKC Blog - The Difference Between Swedish Massage & Deep Tissue Massage
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The Difference Between Swedish Massage & Deep Tissue Massage

Swedish massage and deep tissue massage are the two most popular types of massage. While they might be similar, there are vital features that make them different. To help you understand here are a few aspects in which they differ from each other. 


  • Pressure applied
  • The technique used
  • Objective of massage
  • Focal areas


Swedish Massage

Also known as a classic massage, a Swedish massage promotes a relaxed state of body and mind. A gentle touch that is ideal for those looking to relieve stress and set in a relaxed mood. Additionally, it can help loosen up tight muscles, and mild knots caused by day-to-day activities such as - workout routines, or even sitting on the chair for too long. 


Focusing mainly on your: 


  • Shoulders
  • Lower back
  • Neck

Practices Used During A Swedish Massage: 

During a Swedish massage, your therapist may use: 

  • Long stroked
  • Kneading
  • Circular movements
  • Passive joining movements


These practices are designed to help you relax, stimulate nerve endings, increase your blood flow, and even help with lymph drainage. 


A traditional Swedish massage involves your entire body, except your private areas. While it's considered general coverage, you can ask the masseuse to focus on a specific area of concern, such as your neck, lower back, legs, etc. Moreover, you can adjust the intensity of pressure used during the massage, taking on only what you can handle. 


Deep Tissue Massage

While similar to Swedish massage, a deep tissue massage as the name suggests goes deeper. As the massage is dedicated to a specific purpose. As it aims to focus on your muscles, fascia, tendons, and dense connective tissue. Making it a common choice for: 


  • Injured individuals
  • Professional athletes
  • Runners
  • Active enthusiasts

Moreover, a deep tissue massage can help individuals suffering from a chronic pain condition such as lower back pain issues, and fibromyalgia. 


Practices Used During A Deep Tissue Massage

  • Kneading movements
  • Stroking movements
  • Circular movements
  • Passive joining movements


While the practices are similar to a Swedish massage, the intensity of pressure is far greater during a deep tissue massage. There are times when it's physically painful to take on a deep tissue massage. 


However, this is standard practice as it is the only way to reach tissues buried deep under your skin. The masseuse will massage your muscles, applying pressure, and using specific techniques to ensure an impact.


A deep tissue massage is not for everyone, which is why it starts with a small conversation between you and the therapist. By understanding the issues you face, the therapist works out a plan to ensure relief. Beginning with a soft touch, the therapist will move up during the first session, or in the session to come depending on your condition. Once you have reached a relaxed state, and your muscles have warmed up; the therapist starts to dig deeper. Helping you heal your muscles and tissues by boosting blood flow allows the soft tissue to access a healthy fluid flow speeding up the natural process while reducing inflammation.


Both massages offer great results based on your requirements, while a Swedish massage is reserved for beginners, and individuals who are just looking to relax. On the other hand, a deep tissue massage is reserved for individuals recovering from an injury, suffering chronic pain, or incredibly active. 



Yours in self-care,

Adrian Wilk

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