Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage


The difference between Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue massage?

Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue MassageI often get asked what is the difference between Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage. As someone who offers Swedish and Deep Tissue massage, I thought I’d put together a short piece attempting to answer this question. I hope it helps!

This information doesn’t replace the consultation you’ll have prior to an appointment which will include a health check, some lifestyle questions and provide an opportunity to explore the reason for your treatment. The information gathered will help the therapist to understand your needs and decide the best way to treat you.

Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage

Swedish and Deep Tissue massage is very similar. The key differences are:

  • Use – Deep Tissue massage is primarily used to treat chronic pain and muscle injuries. It can help relieve the symptoms of conditions such as fibromyalgia and sciatica. Swedish massage is mainly used to promote relaxation and reduce muscle tension caused by everyday activities. Examples: sitting at a computer, driving, gardening, DIY and exercise. It can help relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
  • Pressure – Swedish is a gentler form of massage that uses far less pressure than Deep Tissue. Both types involve use of the palms and fingers to knead and manipulate your tissues, but the elbows and forearms may also be used to apply increased pressure during a Deep Tissue Massage.
  • Focus – Deep Tissue massage targets the inner layers of your muscles. It’s used to treat muscle and tendon injuries, pain, and stiffness in the major muscle groups and joints. It may also promote faster healing by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation. Swedish massage targets the superficial layers of muscle and focuses on the parts of the body that tend to hold the most tension, such as your neck, shoulders and back.

Now that you understand the differences between Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage, this should help you decide on which massage is best suited to your needs.

Swedish Massage

Your massage therapist will use oil to allow their hands to glide over your body with different strokes. These strokes are designed for relaxation, stimulation and lymph drainage. You can ask for lighter or firmer pressure. If you’d like your therapist to spend more time in a certain area just ask.

Some therapists like to play music during a massage, as it can help you to unwind. Don’t be afraid to say if you’d prefer not to have it. Being content in your surroundings is important for relaxation and will help you sink happily into your massage. The same goes for talking. Most therapists are very sensitive to how much their client wants to communicate and will limit or encourage conversation accordingly. Some people like to chat a bit, but others don’t. What matters is that you’re comfortable, relaxed and receptive.

After a Swedish massage you’ll probably feel quite relaxed and maybe even sleepy, so give yourself plenty of time to unwind. You may also feel thirsty and need to go to the toilet more than usual – this is because the massage has got your lymph circulation going and your body is flushing out toxins. Drink plenty of water as you slowly drift back down to earth.

Read more on Swedish Massage Nottingham

Deep Tissue Massage

Your massage therapist will warm up your muscles using a light touch. They’ll then start working on your problem areas, using deep kneading and stroking with varying amounts of intense pressure to target the inner layer of your muscles and connective tissues. It may feel uncomfortable but shouldn’t be painful. Your therapist will rely on you to say if the pressure is too much, so please speak up.

After a Deep Tissue massage, it’s not unusual to have some lingering soreness for a few days. Using a heating pad or a cold pack wrapped in a towel may help to relieve soreness. You should wait 24 hours before strenuous exercise to allow your body to heal and recover. Drinking water will help to flush out any metabolic waste from your muscles.


Following current Covid-19 guidelines, appointments for Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue massage are for a maximum duration of one hour. In that time, you’ll be given time to undress privately and cover yourself with freshly laundered towels. Your therapist will uncover one bit of you at a time depending on the area of focus.

If you have a question or would like to book an appointment for Swedish Massage or Deep Tissue Massage.

Telephone Riverside on 0115 9864 990

Contact Debra on 07979 528518