What Are The Main Differences Between Swedish And Deep Tissue Massages?

A wonderful dinner, a get-together with friends, a karaoke night, and a gym session are some of the best activities to do after a long workday. Although all of these activities are good, have you ever tried getting a massage?

Once you hit the spa and get a massage after a stressful day, you’ll always feel refreshed. Also, many people find their sleep comfortable after a good massage session. If you’re unfamiliar with getting a massage, this article is for you. When you arrive at a spa, the reception will most likely offer you a variety of massages.

Differences Between Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage

Most spas and professional massage services utilize Swedish and deep tissue massage on their clients. Fairies Realm, for example, offers these two and many more types of services. For more info, you can visit them at https://fairiesrealm.co.uk/. Although there are more than 20 types of massage, the two mentioned above are the most common. So what are the main differences between the two? Here they are:


This popular type of massage utilizes long strokes and firm pressure to provide a soothing touch on the body. Aside from strokes, Swedish massage also uses kneading and friction to produce a warm feel that helps release tension.

5 Basic Strokes from Swedish Massage

Swedish massage utilizes five basic strokes:

Tapotement – This stroke can be described as light strikes on a specific part. The light striking can help a tense muscle to relax. Similar to a karate chop, tapotement is often an effective stroke that massage therapists include in every massage session.

Friction – Friction is created through fast, short strokes on the surface. The heat created by these strokes helps circulation and aids recovery in painful areas.

Vibration – Similar to friction, vibration also involves fast movements from the massage therapist. However, the movements come from their fingertips or palms. When done correctly, these vibrations create a relaxing effect on the body.

Effleurage – Effleurage is the most common stroke in Swedish massage. Long, rhythmic strokes across the skin allow the therapist to get a feel for the muscle tone. With repeated stroking, the therapist will be able to ease tense muscles and relieve pain.

Petrissage – If you feel a tight squeeze or a light pinching during a massage session, then the massage therapist is using petrissage. These squeezing motions are made mainly to release muscle tension.

Deep Tissue Massage

This massage type often uses stronger, slower strokes than Swedish massage. Although the client might feel a bit more pain, these strokes help release muscle knots and strains. These knots often come from sports, accidents, or any rigorous activity the client does.


As mentioned above, deep tissue massage may feel a bit uncomfortable. This is especially noticeable when the therapist is working on a painful knot. If you feel more pain than usual, you can tell your therapist to lessen the pressure or avoid certain areas of your body.

Benefits from both Massage Types

Many people who prefer deep tissue massage often like the feelings they get after each session. Most of the time, they feel relaxed and somewhat joyful. This effect could be attributed to the body releasing hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.

These hormones are responsible for that elated feeling most people get after a deep tissue massage. Since circulation is also improved during massage, the hormones freely circulate throughout the body. Sleep is also greatly improved after a soothing massage. Melatonin, a hormone that helps with sleep, is also released(due to serotonin being a precursor). Feelings of anxiety and stress are also relieved, making sleeping quality better for many clients.


Both Swedish and Deep Tissue massages offer a lot of benefits. Aside from relaxation, you’ll also feel relieved from muscle aches and pain. Although both massages use similar strokes, there are key differences that separate the two. Whether you choose Swedish or Deep Tissue massage, it’s a sure thing that you’ll feel a lot better afterward.

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