Many clients new to massage or those who haven't experienced one in a while often times ask me which massage they should choose. The answer depends on many things, including what your goals are, any chronic conditions you may have, whether or not you're pregnant, and so on.
For now though, let's go over the basic idea behind these three styles of massage - Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Therapeutic.
Swedish massages are generally what I advise clients to experience for their first massage ever. It's very basic with longer, using light to firm pressure and long flowing strokes. Swedish massage is the best option if your main goal is relaxation, to feel good, and to still receive the many benefits massage has to offer such as increasing your immune system, increasing serotonin levels, and helping with sleep.
Deep tissue massages use firm to deep pressure depending on the area being worked, and are more meant for those with chronic conditions looking to ease their symptoms and facilitate the recovery process.
A therapeutic massage can also be used for chronic conditions, and depending on the therapist, the definition will differ. I personally use therapeutic massages on many of my clients, with conditions ranging from Fibromyalgia to Piriformis Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis. My style of therapeutic massage incorporates many different styles of massage including Swedish, deep tissue (depending on the client's threshold for pain and goals), trigger point therapy, Neuromuscular therapy, and lymphatic drainage.
With all of these styles, please always make sure to inform your therapist if you need more or less pressure and to let them know if you are experiencing any discomfort. The therapist should always ask at least once how their pressure is, and should also encourage open communication.