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Receiving a massage can be an excellent way to relax and relieve certain types of aches or pains plaguing your body. However, you may benefit even more by getting a specialized type of massage, such as a deep-tissue or Swedish massage. Knowing the difference between the two can help you make an informed decision on the best choice for your body.

What is Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is a common form of massage which is designed to help you relax, relieve surface muscle tension, and improve blood flow. These massages are typically full-body and involve long, light strokes on the skin.

By focusing mainly on the top layers of muscles, a Swedish massage addresses the areas that hold day-to-day tension, such as your shoulders, back, and neck. If you feel more tight in a particular spot, such as your shoulders, it would be beneficial to ask your massage therapist to give more focus to this area.   

What is Deep-Tissue Massage?

A deep-tissue massage is relatively self-explanatory—it focuses on deeper layers of muscles, tissues, and tendons in order to treat injuries, pain, and tension. Deep-tissue massages can be full-body or localized to a problem area, depending on your preference. The massage therapist will begin the massage similarly to a Swedish massage by relaxing your muscles with long, light strokes and increase the pressure as your muscles get warmed up. Some massage therapists may use their fists and elbows to reach deeper muscle layers.

While a deep-tissue massage may cause some discomfort, the pressure is necessary to relieve tension in deeper muscle layers. The massage itself is less relaxing than a Swedish massage, but more of your muscles are likely to feel relaxed in the days afterward. Speak openly with your massage therapist before and during the massage to communicate the level of pressure you are comfortable with.

Which Form of Massage Should You Choose?

The light touch provided by a Swedish massage therapist should be beneficial in increasing circulation in your body. Getting a deep-tissue massage is an excellent choice if you have strains, knots, or injuries in deeper muscle layers. Learning more about each form of massage should help you decide which one might be best for your body. To find out more, contact your local massage therapist to schedule an appointment.