top of page

Difference between a Swedish massage and a Deep Tissue Massage

Melissa what is the difference between a Swedish Massage and a Deep Tissue Massage?

At Grounded Wellness I offer both kinds of massage but I here are some key differences so you can decide which massage is best for you. Below is information taken from Medical New Today that shows the distinctive difference.

Swedish massage vs. deep tissue massage: What's the difference?

Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI

By Jon Johnson on November 13, 2019

Swedish massage and deep tissue massage are popular forms of massage therapy. Although some of their techniques are similar, they differ in the amount of pressure that they involve and in their intended purpose.

Swedish massage helps promote circulation and relax the surface muscles. Deep tissue massage works into the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to remove knots or chronic tension.



  • Swedish massage uses a series of light, long strokes to ease surface tension and stimulate circulation in the muscles.

  • Deep tissue massage may include strokes similar to those of Swedish massage, but the therapist will apply the strokes more forcefully.

  • This intensity helps release tension in the deeper layers of muscle and in the connective tissues, or fascia, beneath the muscles.


  • The massage types also vary in the degree of pressure that the therapist applies.

  • Swedish massage involves long strokes using light-to-firm pressure. This style generally provides a more relaxing experience, but the pressure may not be enough for some people.

  • In contrast, deep tissue massage applies much more pressure to release tension deep within the muscles and fascia. It may be too strong for people who simply want a relaxing massage.

Intended use

The massage types also vary in their intended uses.

  • Swedish massage is a popular massage for relaxation. The light-to-moderate pressure is good for relieving light muscle tension and stress. It can leave a person feeling rejuvenated.

  • Deep tissue massage is mainly for working out deep muscle tension or aiding recovery from a muscle strain. To achieve this, the therapist must apply greater pressure, and this can cause some discomfort. As a result, deep tissue massage is typically not for relaxation or stress relief.

Who is it best for?

Swedish massage is a lighter form of massage. It may be best for people who simply require stress relief

Deep tissue massage is popular among people who are recovering from muscle injuries due to sports or an accident.


bottom of page