Swedish Massage is a system of long strokes, kneading, and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of muscles, combined with active and passive movements of joints to increase general body awareness, relaxation, and blood circulation. It is often used initially to warm up tissues in order to perform deeper work.
It is the most widely practiced type of massage and is relaxing treatment designed to increase circulation using techniques to manipulate the soft tissues of the body.
The many benefits of this type of massage include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions, and improved circulation which regulates and improves many bodily functions like promoting cell growth and enhancing organ function.
Deep Tissue Massage on the other hand, utilizes techniques that are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. Deep Tissue Massage helps with chronic muscular pain, injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis. Whereas Swedish Massage focuses more on the relaxing of superficial musculature, Deep Tissue manipulates the web of connective tissues that surrounds supports and penetrates the muscles.
It is widely mistaken that the difference between the two is that a Deep Tissue Massage is just a deeper, firmer or harder massage than Swedish, which isn’t entirely wrong as the pressure is increased in the latter.
The reality? A good Registered Massage Therapist will alternate pressures and styles based on each individual treatment to give you the most effective care, depending on the part of the body being treated and the concern that it’s addressing.