Are you looking for the best relaxing massage? Then, go for a Swedish massage.

But if you are planning to loosen tight muscles, a deep tissue massage works the best.

Even though these are two of the most popular massages, both offer a wide range of benefits and differ in their techniques and target areas.

In this article, we’ll compare Swedish and deep tissue massage to help determine which is right for you.

What Is a Swedish Massage?

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Another name for Swedish massage is “Classic massage”.

What is the primary goal of this massage? The main objective and primary goal of this massage is to enhance relaxation and reduce stress.

Also, it is the most common type of massage therapy. It was developed in the 1700s by a Swedish doctor, Per Henrik Ling.

So, is it gentler than deep tissue massage? Of course, it is.

Swedish Massage Techniques

Swedish massage uses the following techniques:

  • Long and gliding strokes
  • Kneading
  • Circular movements (To manipulate the muscles)
  • Passive joint movements in your body

The therapist uses their hands, fists, forearms, or elbows to apply gentle pressure to work out muscle tension.

Target Areas

Swedish massage primarily focuses on the superficial muscles. These are the muscles just below the skin.

Swedish massage targets these main areas:

  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Lower back
  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Hands

It is primarily performed to loosen tight muscles due to day-to-day activities. For example, sitting in front of a computer or doing regular physical work.

It’s a full-body massage with health benefits but can be customized to target specific areas. For example, if you have a tight neck, you can request your therapist to massage that area more.

An oil, lotion, or cream is applied to your body throughout the massage session.

Swedish Massage Benefits

The following are the primary advantages of Swedish massage:

  • Promote relaxation
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve circulation
  • Increase flexibility
  • Stimulate nerve endings
  • Increase blood flow
  • Increase lymph drainage
  • Relieve muscle tension and pain relief
  • Help with conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia

What Is a Deep Tissue Massage?

deep tissue massage benefits

Deep tissue massage is an intense form of massage therapy. Deep tissue massage aims at the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue.

In what instances should you consider deep tissue massage?

  • Have chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia
  • Lower back pain
  • People with injuries
  • If you want to target deeper layers of muscles, fascia, and tendons

Primarily, athletes, people with injuries, and runners get deep tissue massages to affect the deeper layers of the muscles.

Deep Tissue Massage Technique

Deep tissue massage uses the following techniques:

  • Slower, more forceful strokes to reach the deeper layers of muscle
  • Stroking movements
  • Kneading movements
  • The therapist uses their fingers, fists, thumbs, forearms and elbows to apply pressure to break up adhesions (knots) and scar tissue in the muscles.

Target Areas

Deep tissue massage primarily focuses on the deeper muscles and connective tissue layers.

Here are the main target areas of a deep tissue massage:

  • Focuses on the full body or only one area (depends on the patient’s requirements)
  • Target painful areas in your body that are caused by tight muscles.

Deep Tissue Massage Benefits

The following are the primary benefits of deep tissue massage:

  • Release tension and chronic pain.
  • Improve range of motion.
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Promote healing in injured muscles.
  • Help with conditions such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and sports injuries.

Deep Tissue or Swedish Massage: Which is Right for You?

deep tissue or Swedish massage

Both Swedish massage and deep tissue massage offer a wide range of benefits. However, they differ in their techniques, benefits, and how problem areas are targeted.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding between deep tissue vs Swedish massage:

  • Pressure Preference: Swedish massage is preferred if you prefer a lighter touch and want to relax and de-stress. However, deep tissue massage is the better fit if you have chronic pain or prefer a more intense massage.
  • Target Areas: If you have tension or pain in your superficial muscles, Swedish massage provides relief. However, deep-tissue massage is effective if you have deeper muscle issues or chronic pain.
  • Time and Budget: Swedish massage is typically a full-body massage completed in less time. Deep tissue massage requires more time and focus on specific areas, which can be more expensive.
  • Consult with a Professional: The best way to determine which type of massage is right for you is to consult a professional massage therapist. They can analyze your requirements and recommend the best treatment plan for you.


What is the most relaxing massage?

  • Swedish is one of the most relaxing massages. It consists of gentle, long strokes and gentle tapping.

Is Swedish massage good for back pain?

  • Yes, Swedish massage is good for back pain. In 2017, NCCIH found that it helps relieve back pain.

Why deep tissue massage is the best?

  • Deep tissue massage is the best to target deeper muscle groups, relieve tight muscles, remove stiffness, and break up adhesions (knots).

Is deep tissue massage better than a regular massage?

  • Deep tissue massage is better than a regular massage if you want to release tight muscles and stiffness in the body.


Did you learn the wide range of benefits between Swedish and deep tissue massage?

Are you looking for the “Best Swedish or deep tissue massage near me”? Go check out Next Level Massage and book an appointment.

Terance is the BEST massage therapist in Ridgeland, MS. He serves Ridgeland, Jackson, Madison, Canton, Brandon, Flowood, Pearl, Clinton, and surrounding areas. He has over 500 5-star Google Reviews!

While Swedish massage provides relaxation and stress relief, deep-tissue massage focuses on treating chronic pain and injuries.

Based on the above-discussed factors, determine which massage is best for you and book a massage TODAY!