The difference between Swedish massage and a Deep Tissue massage is mainly found in the goal of the massage. A Swedish massage is most often intended to relax the client with light pressure and improve blood circulation and move toxins and debris where the lymphatic system can more easily eliminate it. Deep tissue massage, however, is mostly intended to treat and target specific muscle groups that are not properly functioning, to aid the client in proper alignment and proper mobility. A deep tissue massage uses a firm pressure as well as multiple modalities such as trigger point release and myofascial release in order to restore the muscle to its proper function and allow the client relief of pain and discomfort.
Both Swedish and Deep tissue can be calming and pleasant while being performed. The therapist is trained to follow the clients level of comfort and to only make the massage as intense as the client is comfortable with. A Swedish massage is almost always applied to the client’s full body while a Deep Tissue massage may be limited to a specific area or targeted problem if the client prefers.