What is the difference between a deep tissue massage and a Swedish massage?

Thumbtack Editors
Answered

Deep tissue massage and Swedish massage are both forms of therapeutic bodywork. In both modalities, a licensed massage therapist uses strokes administered with their hands or forearms to loosen and relax your muscles and other soft tissue. These releases can promote relaxation, pain relief and wellness.

Deep tissue massage may be an excellent therapeutic choice for people with chronic pain or severe tension in their muscles. The deep tissue massage technique moves below the top layer of muscle and soft tissue to release adhesions in your core muscles. In comparison, the strokes used in Swedish massage focus on loosening and relaxing the top layer of your soft tissues. Swedish massage produces relaxation and well-being, but if you have a long-term injury or back pain that won’t seem to go away, deep tissue massage may be a better option for you. The systematic deep tissue strokes will work to break down any scar tissue or stiff tissues and create ease in your body again.

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