You can’t go wrong with either a Swedish or deep tissue massage. Both are popular massages and great for you, but each is used for different reasons.
When comparing a Swedish massage vs. a deep tissue massage, it’s important to understand what each massage is typically used for, what parts of the body they target, and the techniques used.
A Swedish massage is one of the most common and popular massages out there. It’s even referred to as the “classic massage.”
The focus of a Swedish massage is to increase blood circulation, rid the body of toxins, and promote relaxation throughout the body. This type of massage is great for people who have never received a massage or don’t get massages too often.
Relaxation through the body is promoted by manipulating muscles through slow, long, and gliding strokes with light to medium pressure. During a Swedish massage, massage therapists will often use lotions and oils to reduce the friction between the therapist’s hands and the recipient’s skin. Lotions and oils also offer a more relaxing, calm, and comfortable experience.
Deep tissue massages
A deep tissue massage is a more specialized massage compared to a Swedish massage. While somewhat similar to the Swedish massage, a deep tissue massage is commonly used to target problems areas in the body. A deep tissue massage can be used to relieve pain and stress from knots, spasms, back or neck pain, tension headaches, or other injuries.
Before receiving a deep tissue massage, your therapist might ask if you have problem areas you would like addressed in your body. If there isn’t a specific area you want to focus on, you have the option to receive a full-body deep tissue massage.
Initially, a deep tissue massage might feel like a traditional Swedish massage as the muscles are warmed up. However, deep tissue massages involve your massage therapist applying more pressure to target deeper layers of muscle. Your massage therapist will use their knuckles, palms, fingertips, forearms, and elbows to increase pressure to release tension in the body. Through the release of tension, blood flow can be increased, and inflammation can be reduced.
A common question people have is “do deep tissue massages hurt?” and the answer varies. You might experience some discomfort and pain, and if you are feeling too much pain during a deep tissue massage, you can request your massage therapist to apply lighter pressure.
Which massage is better?
In the case of a Swedish massage vs. a deep tissue massage, there isn’t necessarily one that’s better than the other. The biggest difference between the two massages is a deep tissue massage traditionally involves more pressure applied to the body.
There are some circumstances where one massage is better than the other. If you’re looking for a more relaxing massage experience, a Swedish massage would be better.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain due to an injury, a deep tissue massage would probably be the massage to go with. This is especially true for athletes, who might regularly receive a deep tissue massage if they’re recovering from a sports injury.
There’s also the element of pain that can come from massages, and there’s a higher chance you might feel pain after a deep tissue massage vs. a Swedish massage.
You can’t go too wrong with picking a Swedish or deep tissue massage. Either way, you’re bound to have a pleasurable experience.
At Happy Head, we offer both Swedish massages and deep tissue massages performed by our professional massage therapists in a welcoming and calming atmosphere. You can find Swedish or deep tissue massages at any of our locations.