The Difference Between a Swedish Massage and a Deep Tissue Massage


Towel, hot stones and candle on shelfA common question we hear in our Retreats is, “What’s the difference between a Swedish Massage and a Deep Tissue Massage?” Both massages are popular and have different functions and purposes.

A Swedish fencing instructor named Per Henrik Ling developed Swedish massage in the early 1800s. This form of massage is primarily used to induce relaxation and uses slow, long, circular strokes with light to medium pressure. Swedish massage increases blood circulation, moving metabolic waste out of the body, and kicks your nervous system into gear, which helps relieve pain, improve mood, decrease nervous tension, improve sleep, and promote sharper thinking.

If you are looking for overall relaxation and stress relief, Swedish massage is the modality for you.

Deep Tissue Massage is primarily used to relieve specific stressed muscles, usually in the back, neck, arms, and legs.The therapist focuses on the inner layers of muscle tissue to change the muscle fibers, by unknotting and lengthening them. As the name implies, pressure is usually more intense to reach the fascia muscles. Deep tissue is popular with athletes maintaining prolonged, hard workouts; for chronic pain, such as tension headaches and back pain; for fluid retention; and for carpal tunnel syndrome. Deep Tissue Massage should not be painful, as the therapist works with the guest’s tolerance level.

Because both forms of massage flush the system and toxins out of the body, it’s important to remember to drink lots of water following a massage treatment. The increased fluid helps continue to flush waste from the body. Some muscle stiffness or soreness after a massage is common.

Remember that every Massage Therapist has their own unique style, and every guest that walks into our Retreats is unique, and has different needs. Our Massage Therapists are trained and will work with you individually to ensure that, no matter what modality you choose, you will leave feeling…Simply Better.

To learn more about the modalities Massage Heights offers, click here.

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