Swedish massage is perhaps the most commonly known massage technique. It involves soft, long, kneading strokes on the topmost layers of the muscles with pressure varying from light to medium to firm.
The goal of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. The technique is also combined with moving the joints. Swedish massage can be relaxing, energizing and possibly help after an injury.
Deep tissue massage is beneficial for chronic aches and pains, stiff neck, sore shoulders, lower back pain and leg muscle tightness.
It focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. The massage technique is slower and the pressure deeper in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles) and break down adhesions. The muscles must be relaxed so that the therapist can reach the deeper muscles.
There may be soreness, stiffness and some discomfort after a deep tissue massage but this should subside in a day or two. Your therapist may recommend using a cold pack to the afflicted area.