FAQ: Swedish vs sports vs deep tissue massage. What’s the difference?

(00:00) Anna asks “What’s the difference between Swedish, sports & deep tissue massage?” That’s a great question, Anna. And the answer is… there really isn’t an answer. How frustrating is that? Let me explain.

(00:08): So Swedish massage traditionally meant the Swedish movements, which were (depending on who you asked and when you asked) anywhere from five to seven to ten different types of movements we use in massage that make up Swedish massage. Over time, some places have reinterpreted the term Swedish massage and may use it as a term for a light to medium massage. Then other places say use the term Swedish for all differing types of massage and pressures, whether it’s deep tissue work or light tissue work, and anything in between. Then that brings us to our next question.

(00:44): What is deep tissue and light tissue and why is it different from deep pressure and light pressure? Again, the answer is everybody has their own opinion on what that means. But typically, when you heard the words deep, it means deeper work. Whether that means that they’re going to be using deeper pressure or through lighter pressure working the deeper tissues of the body, we don’t really know. That’s up to the interpretation of the individual massage therapist.

(01:12): So, I feel like I say this all the time. But again, it all comes down to communication. Talk to your massage therapist and ask them for their interpretations of the differences, what their interpretation of the differences are. For me, you’re not going to see those terms used directly on my website. Everything is listed as a customizable, individualized therapeutic massage. And that’s because we’re going to take into account many different elements. And based on your session and your overall goals, we’re going to utilize some, many, all, none of those techniques. It’s all going to be customized to you.


So I hope that’s helpful for you. And I look forward to seeing you at your next massage. Until then, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns!