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Swedish vs Deep Tissue Massage: Which Is Better?

by | Mar 1, 2022 | Massage

What’s your usual response when someone asks you which you prefer: Swedish vs deep tissue massage?

If your stress levels are particularly high, you might reason that a Swedish massage is more relaxing. On the other hand, if you’re more of the “no pain, no gain” type, you might argue that deep tissue is the most therapeutic type of massage.

The other possibility is that you’ve heard a lot about both types of massage, but you’re still not sure which is best for your body.

We’re here to set the record straight. Keep reading to learn about how Swedish and deep tissue massages are similar, what makes them different, and how you can decide which treatment to book.

What Is Swedish Massage?

If you want to trace the origins of modern massage (as we know it), we need to travel to Sweden in the 1830s. This is where a fencing instructor named Per Henrik Ling developed specific techniques to heal his injured elbows.

A few decades later, two Swedish doctors introduced these techniques to America. Fast-forward 150 years or so, and Swedish massage is now the most popular type of massage in the US.

Swedish massage involves light-to-medium pressure. The massage therapist uses kneading, percussion, friction, and long gliding strokes to manipulate the superficial layers of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Most people describe Swedish massage as a deeply calming, relaxing, and rejuvenating experience.

What Is Deep Tissue Massage?

So then, is “deep tissue” massage simply a Swedish massage using deeper pressure? Not exactly. Although some of the techniques may be similar to Swedish massage, the goal of deep tissue massage is usually different.

By applying firmer pressure, your therapist works to break up scar tissue and realign the deepest layers of muscles and connective tissues. This is an ideal way to release areas of chronic pain and tension or restore normal function after an injury.

Deep tissue massage helps to combat those pesky “knots” that signal congestion in the muscle fibers. It might also include some active and passive stretching to improve your joint mobility and range of motion.

Which Type of Massage Is Best?

This brings us to our million-dollar question: Should you get a Swedish or a deep tissue massage?

The answer is: It depends on your needs and goals.

One isn’t “better” than the other. It simply depends on what’s happening with your body that day. If you’re looking for a relaxing experience to soothe tension and ease stress and anxiety, a Swedish massage will help you meet that goal.

On the other hand, if you’ve been skiing hard, you’re training for an athletic competition, or you’re on the rebound from an injury, a targeted deep tissue massage could be just what the doctor ordered.

Whichever modality you choose, remember to always listen to your body and communicate with your therapist. They’ll be happy to adjust the pressure at any time to keep you comfortable and make sure you get exactly what your body needs.

Swedish vs Deep Tissue Massage: Class Dismissed

When it comes to Swedish vs deep tissue massage, there’s room in the world for both modalities to co-exist. The question is: Is there room on your schedule for your next massage?

Whether you prefer Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, or another type of massage, you’ll find everything you want at Apres Massage & Facial in West Vail, Colorado.

Give us a call at 970-445-2114 to book your appointment or browse our massage menu to learn more!