Often, people think of pressure. Most people think that Swedish massage is light & stress-relieving, while Deep Tissue is strong pressure & can even hurt.
Pressure is part of the answer, but the real difference is the Intention of the massage.
If you want to relax, relieve stress, improve circulation, and even sleep better, Swedish massage may be the best massage modality (or style) for you. The pressure can be moderate to light, but did you know you can have a deep Swedish massage? Yes, pressure can be adjusted to each individual’s preference.
The intention for a Deep Tissue massage is to work on the deeper layers of the muscles and breaking up adhesion (or knots) that can refer pain to other parts of the body. Deep Tissue massage is rarely light pressure, but it’s not necessarily digging in with the elbows all the time either.
So here’s the tricky part — not all massage therapists know the difference! When you select your massage therapist, be sure to select someone who is not only skilled technically at different types of massage, but also has great communication skills. Look for a massage therapist that asks for feedback from you without disrupting the rhythm of the massage or your relaxation and can adjust the massage accordingly.