What’s The Difference Between Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage?

The main difference between Swedish massage and deep tissue massage is the amount of pressure used by your massage therapist. Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than Swedish massage. But there are lots of other reasons you may prefer one massage technique over the other.

There are so many reasons why people get massages. Whether it’s an athlete recovering from a sports injury, an office worker who hunches over a screen eight hours a day, or a busy mama who feels the strain from constantly lifting and carrying her kiddos, massages are a perfect way to heal the body from physical and emotional tension. And it doesn’t hurt that they feel downright amazing, too!

Regardless of your background, here at Viva Day Spa in Austin, Texas we believe that everyone is entitled to self-care and should treat themselves to a massage for full body and mind relaxation. Basically, we believe in wellness for everyone.

Of course, every one of our clients is a unique soul, with their own needs and preferences. That’s why we offer several different methods of massage. That way, whether you’re looking for deep structural release or prefer a more relaxing, gentle touch, you can get exactly what your body needs!

Our licensed massage therapists personalize every massage we give, drawing from the two classic and most well-known massage techniques — Swedish and deep tissue massage. Most people have heard of them because they’re the gold standards for massage. So what are the differences between the two? Are they intended for different purposes, and most importantly which is right for you? Let’s find out!

Massage therapist giving a woman at Swedish Massage at Viva Day Spa in Austin, TX.

Swedish Massage

What comes to mind when you close your eyes and think about getting a massage? Probably someone lying face-down, completely relaxed and enjoying soothing music while a therapist works their massage magic. That’s exactly what a Swedish massage offers — it’s even referred to as the classic massage technique. It aims to increase blood circulation and promote relaxation by releasing body tension and improving muscle flexibility.

What Can You Expect During a Swedish Massage?

In addition to stimulating the nervous system, Swedish massage also nurtures the skin, which soothes the nerves and reduces physical and emotional tension. How does it do that? Your massage therapist will use long, kneading strokes and deep, circular movements to increase the flow of oxygen into the bloodstream, which helps flush lactic and uric acids from your body.

Of course, we all have our personal preferences, but overall, Swedish massage is more gentle than deep tissue massage and better suited to anyone who’s looking for a pampering indulgence, or full mind-body relaxation.

Who Is a Swedish Massage Best For?

Swedish massage is great for anyone who wants to loosen muscle tension that results from daily exercise, poor posture, etc. It also works well for people with tension in their lower back, shoulders, or neck or anyone who wants to treat themselves to a luxurious indulgence of self-care!

Viva Day Spa Swedish Massage

Viva’s Swedish massage is perfect if you’re looking for that melted-butter-on-toast feeling. Our licensed massage therapists work to soothe stress and melt away tension, like a warm hug for your muscles. Here’s what you get when you book a massage with us:

  • 90, 75, 60, 45, or 30 Minute Swedish Massage | $90 – 175
  • Aromatherapy
  • Warm Neck Pillow
  • Hot Herbal Steam Towel Treatment on Neck & Feet

Make it a day of mega self care with one of these reviving  massage upgrades, available for all Viva massages:

  • Express Magic Mint Foot Reflexology | $15
  • Hot Herbal Steam Towel Treatment | $15
  • Hand or Foot Hydration Treatment | $15
  • Full-Body Dry Brush Exfoliation & Take-Home Dry Brush | $15
  • 15 Extra Minutes of Massage | $25
  • 15 Minute Viva Magic Mint or Lavender Scalp Treatment | $30
  • 15 Minute Warm Salt Foot or Back Scrub with Essential Oils | $30
  • 15 Minute Mini Hot Stone Treatment for $40
  • Sauna Time with Hot Herbal Steam Towel Treatment in Room | $40
  • 30 Minute Viva Foot Ritual (Reflexology, Warm Salt Foot Scrub, Hydrating Massage) | $95

It’s everything you need to soothe your entire body! Schedule a relaxing Swedish Massage in Austin at Viva:

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Massage therapist using her elbow during a deep tissue massage at Viva Day Spa in Austin, TX.

Deep Tissue Massage

Looking for something a bit more intense than a relaxing and revitalizing Swedish massage? A deep tissue massage is just the answer for those who require a bit more attention — and pressure! — in the deepest part of the muscles.

Deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage, but it turns up the pressure a notch — or three. (Think John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good.”) Designed to target the inner layers of muscles and tendons, a deep tissue massage aids healing by relaxing tense areas of muscle and tissue. Because it helps increase blood flow and can help reduce inflammation, it’s the best massage for working out any muscle knots or relieving body tension and soreness.

What Can You Expect During a Deep Tissue Massage?

A licensed Viva Day Spa therapist will dig a little deeper during your deep tissue massage, using many of the same stroking and kneading movements as Swedish massage, but also incorporating a higher degree of pressure. Although this technique is more intense than a Swedish massage, it shouldn’t hurt. Instead, the sensation will be a balance between a satisfying release of tension and the muscles pushing back against the pressure.

You should, however, expect to experience some soreness for two or three days after your deep tissue massage, and your therapist may suggest treating it with heat, ice, or stretches.

Who Is a Deep Tissue Massage Good For?

Deep tissue massage is a favorite of athletes, runners, or anyone else who experiences chronic muscle injuries. And it’s also great for people with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and lower back pain, or anyone who wants a deeper structural massage to work out the kinks and knots.

Viva Day Spa Deep Tissue Massage

Hello, fascial release! Wring tension and pain from deep in your muscles and revitalize connective tissue with a firm-but-loving deep tissue massage. When you book this treatment at Viva you get:

  • 90, 75, 60, 45, or 30 Minute Deep Tissue Massage | $100 – 185
  • Aromatherapy
  • Warm Neck Pillow
  • Hot Herbal Steam Towel Treatment on Neck & Feet

Book Appointment Online

Ready to experience the deep release of an expert massage? The no more Google searches for “massage spa near me.” Whether you’re looking for a deep tissue massage in North Austin or a Swedish massage downtown, we offer both massage types at our three Viva Day Spa locations, so we’re convenient no matter where you live in the Austin City limits. Come spend the afternoon with us, and let us pamper your hardworking body the way it deserves.

And if your body is in need of more intense structural work, we recommend visiting our friends at Austin Sports Therapy!

Schedule Your Self-Care

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