Too often people pick a massage without knowing what separates it from other options. One of the most common areas of confusion comes between therapeutic and Swedish massages. While there are many similarities between the two, Swedish massages tend to be gentler and more focused on relaxation while therapeutic massages try to help relieve muscle tension.
Swedish massages tend to be what most people think of when they think of a massage. After a stressful week at the office or as a way to relax on vacation, Swedish massages are aimed at helping people simply feel good. They focus on slow and gliding strokes with light to medium pressure that will increase circulation and blood flow.
More than anything, they help people relax without putting too much pressure on the muscles. The end result is a person who is happier and more relaxed than when they came in.
On the other hand, therapeutic massages tend to be deeper and more intense. They are perfect for relieving muscle tension or discomfort and improving range of motion. Therapeutic massage can help loose tense areas and break up knots. Since these massages are more intense, it makes for a much different experience than a Swedish massage.
While both will leave the person getting the massage energized and refreshed, therapeutic massages are more intense. It's not uncommon for a person getting a therapeutic massage to be sore a day or two after their massage as their muscles have been worked in ways they may not normally be worked during daily physical activity.
No matter your choice, though, both massages will offer benefits. The key is if you have larger problems you would like to correct or if you would like a more relaxing experience that will leave you feeling good, but may not attack trouble areas that may benefit from the experience.