There’s a reason why the job outlook for massage therapists is expected to rise by 20% over the next decade. Whether it’s just to relax or to help with a serious medical condition, we rely on these professionals to feel our best.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of different types of massages out there. This can make choosing the right one for you difficult. Two of the more popular types of massages are deep tissue vs. Swedish massage.

But what are the differences between these two? And which one is right for you? In this deep tissue massage guide, we’ll be answering these questions and more. That way, you can have the perfect massage experience.

What Is Deep Tissue Massage?

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Deep tissue massages are quite similar to Swedish massage in that they both use long strokes. The difference is that deep tissue massage use a huge amount of pressure.

In most cases, this can actually be quite painful to experience. That’s because the masseuse is attempting to massage multiple layers of muscles, not just the surface ones.

First, they’ll start with light pressure to reach the surface layer. Then, they’ll transition to fists and even elbows to target deep muscle groups. Ultimately the goal of this type of massage is to increase blood circulation.

This can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the client. Deep tissue massages are often used by people who’ve been injured due to sports or exercise.

They’re also good for people with chronic pain from conditions like lower back problems and fibromyalgia. Deep tissue massage also requires a lot more communication than Swedish massages.

You will need to discuss which areas of your body are experiencing problems.

Then, during the massage, you will need to speak up if the massage gets too painful. Otherwise, you could unintentionally end up making your condition worse.

What Is a Swedish Massage?

Swedish massages are one of the most common types of massages out there. Ultimately its goal is to promote relaxation in the people getting it. It does this by releasing muscle tension.

If you’ve been feeling stressed lately or you work at a desk all day, Swedish massages are a good option for you. Swedish massages tend to involve your whole body.

You’ll start the session on your back or front, then flip over halfway through.

Typically, the long strokes will focus on your lower back, shoulder, or neck. However, if you have a problem area, you can ask the masseuse to focus on that spot.

Differences Between Deep Tissue vs. Swedish Massage

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Now that we know more about deep tissue and Swedish massages we can learn about their differences. The first difference between the two massages involves technique.

Swedish massages use light and long strokes to target the tension in your body. Deep tissue massages also use long strokes, but the strokes will be more forceful.

This allows the massager to target deep layers of muscles that a Swedish massage can’t reach. The second difference is pressure. A Swedish massage will alternate between light to firm pressure.

This can provide a relaxing massage, but the pressure might not be enough to have a lasting effect. Deep tissue massages, on the other hand, provide a lot of pressure.

This can make the massage itself a slightly uncomfortable experience. But it feels amazing afterward. The last difference between the two is their intended usage.

Swedish massages are ultimately supposed to be for relaxation. Deep tissue massages are for muscle recovery. Deep tissue massages are for people experiencing deep muscle strain or tension.

Which One Is Right for You?

Ultimately, the right type of massage will depend on your needs. If you’re like most people going to massage, a Swedish massage is the right option for you.

This can help with light soreness and the muscle tension that comes with life’s stressors. However, if you’re recovering from an injury, you’ll want a massage that can target the deep muscles.

For this purpose, we recommend a deep tissue massage. However, you should consult with your doctor to find a qualified professional.

If you still aren’t sure which massage is right for you, contact a professional. They can give you more advice on the best type of massage for your needs.

What’s Not Normal During a Massage?

Massages can be vulnerable experiences. More often than not, you will be in your underwear or even naked with a sheet over you.

Because of the potential for sexual harassment, it’s important to be aware of what’s not normal during any type of massage.

First, a massager should never touch the client’s genitals. What’s more, they should do their best to stay away from this region unless they need to work a specific muscle.

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If you’re a woman, it’s also not appropriate for the massager to touch your breasts. However, there are exceptions to this rule, like when someone is getting a massage following their mastectomy.

That being said, this needs to be properly disclosed before the session even begins. The good news is that sexual misconduct toward a client during a massage is relatively rare.

However, if you experienced it and want to press charges, you can learn more here about proving massage abuse.

Appreciate Learning About These Types of Massages? Keep Exploring

We hope this article helped you learn the difference between deep tissue vs. Swedish massage. If you still aren’t sure which one is right for you, talk to your healthcare or massage provider.

Describe your symptoms and ask for their recommendation. They can typically point you in the direction of the right massage for your needs.

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