Swedish Massage Vs. Deep Tissue Massage: Which Do I Need?

Swedish and deep tissue massages are two very popular forms of massage therapy. While Swedish massage uses long-form strokes and light-to-firm pressure based on gentle relaxation techniques, deep tissue massage uses a more forceful technique that focuses on releasing tension from deep within the muscles and connective tissues.

Many deep tissue techniques are based on Swedish massage strategies. Hence, both treatments share a lot of similarities. However, there are also fundamental differences that give rise to different results in the long-term.

The following are some differences in the massage techniques that will help you choose one:


Deep tissue massage includes strokes that are often similar to a Swedish massage, but the therapist may apply these strokes more forcefully. The intensity helps release the tension in the deepest layers of the muscles, connective tissues, and fascia.

Swedish massage is known for its lighter and longer strokes that release tension from the surface and stimulates better blood circulation in the muscles.


Both the massages also differ when it comes to the amount of pressure that the therapist is allowed to apply. Swedish massage involves light-to-firm pressure with the help of long strokes. This style is generally good for a more relaxing experience, but the pressure might not be enough for some people.

Deep tissue massage uses a higher amount of pressure. This is the only way to reach the muscles and fascia. This type of massage can be too intense for people who are just looking for a relaxing experience.

Intended Use

Figuring out what both massages are intended for will help you make a more informed decision.

Swedish massage is mostly used to provide a relaxing experience to the client. The light-to-moderate pressure is excellent for relieving light muscle stress and tension. It will leave the person feeling rejuvenated.

Deep tissue massage is used for working out tension and stress from deep within the muscles. It also aids the muscles in recovering from a strain or spasm. The therapist will apply a significant amount of pressure, which can cause some discomfort to the client. Hence, deep tissue massage is not recommended to people who are only looking for stress relief or relaxation.


You will find both the massages at our massage clinic in Fayetteville, NC. We provide a range of other massage options to our clients, including sports massage, shiatsu massage, couples massage, and individual massage. You can get in touch with us to learn more about our massage therapy services!

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