Deep Tissue Vs Soft Tissue Massage: What’s the Difference and Which Is a Better Therapy?

With any form of therapy there are different schools of thought, different techniques and approaches available. Often the technique used is down to the experience and skill-set of the therapist and what they deem is the most relevant treatment option. In this article we will look at massage therapy and in particular deep tissue or soft tissue.

What’s the difference and which is a better solution?

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage therapy is as you would imagine a type of therapy that focuses on the deep layers of muscle in the body. It works by using slow and firm massage strokes that concentrates the pressure a lot deeper than classic massage therapy. It works by breaking down adhesions, increasing the flow of blood and helping to reduce inflammation.

It is particularly effective with those suffering from chronic muscle injury and those who are seeking injury rehabilitation. It is a popular technique with sports massage and can help improve performance.

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a technique that as you will be able to guess is less intrusive than deep tissue massage. Instead of focusing on slow and pressured movements to affect the deep layers, soft tissue massage focuses on working with a range of depths, pressures and durations.

As a massage therapy it will aim to work with your muscles, tendons, ligaments and will be very similar to the techniques used in deep tissue massage.

It is a useful technique to help relax muscles, increase endorphins, reduce muscle tension and improve blood circulation.

Which is better?

There is little in the way of difference when it comes to these two apart from the depths of the treatment. The techniques used are similar but deep massage will tend to involve longer, slower and higher pressure strokes compared to a larger variety of strokes used in soft tissue.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the answer the question above is not that straightforward. Many therapists will also not just stick to one technique or field of massage and will dip into other areas as and when they are needed. The difference between the two is quite limited and there are similar benefits from both.

When it comes to injury recovery deep tissue massage is certainly the most effective type but on the other hand it can also be quite unnecessary if used at the wrong moment.