The Difference Between Swedish & Deep Tissue Massage

Pleasant Hill Massage ThearpistA common question we get is, “What’s the difference between Swedish Massage & Deep Tissue Massage?”

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.

Self-Massage for The Head and Face

To temporarily improve your mental clarity and concentration, and to reduce tension or anxiety, try massaging your head and face.


1. Placing one index finger directly over the other, begin pressing and releasing, “walking” rhythmically from the hairline down the center of the forehead. Then, moving about one inch horizontally to the right of the centerline, press and release from the hairline downward. Move your fingers one inch to the left of the centerline, and repeat.


2. Beginning with your thumbs or index fingers at the center of your forehead, “draw” a line from the midline to the temples. Smooth the skin across the eyebrows, the center horizontal line of the forehead, and across the hairline.


3. Make small circles on each temple with your index fingers.


4. With your hands, make a “claw.” Make small circles into your scalp, slowly covering your entire scalp, lingering wherever it feels tight.


5. Using alternate index fingers, stroke down the bridge of the nose from the top to the tip.


6. With your thumbs or index fingers, gently stroke from the inner corner of the eye across the cheekbones to the ears. Repeat in horizontal strips as you work down the face.


7. Make circles into the well-developed muscles of the jaw. Linger on areas that are sore or tight.


These methods are easy and great to try out while sitting at your desk at work or on your break. Let us know how they work out for you?


Loosen Up Bodywork provides the highest quality service by educating our clients on how to best utilize our services and products that are available. We have multiple online resources and our phones are answered by our therapists so you can always reach a trained professional to answer your questions.

Our goal is to empower our clients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. With our therapists vast knowledge in various natural health treatments, we can assist you in finding the best modalities to match your unique body.

Visit our services page to see how we can partner in cultivating health and wellness in to your life @

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