Relaxation and Deep Tissue massage are essentially the same set of strokes applied to achieve different end goals. They both consist of broad firm strokes applied in a flowing pattern throughout the client's body.
During a deep tissue massage we will likely spend more time on the muscles that you use during your day to day activities. Most often people want more focus on their Neck, Back, Shoulders, Low Back, and Hips.
The goal of a Relaxation massage is for you to melt into the massage table and drool all over yourself.
Two misconceptions are that Relaxation massage can’t focus on aches and Deep Tissue massage can’t be relaxing. I am equally at home providing either type of session, and I actively encourage my clients to be very explicit with their goals for a given session. The biggest difference between Relaxation and Deep Tissue is the type and amount of interaction between us during the massage. If you choose a Relaxation session I will check in at the beginning with regards to pressure and after that I will leave you alone to relax. Finally during a relaxation session I will not break the flow of the session and attempt to “work out tight spots.”
If you choose a Deep Tissue session we will be interacting much more often. We will talk about tight spots when we run across them and I will check in with you to make sure we are getting improvements in your pain level before me move on. I will occasionally have you help me get tight areas to relax with focused active or resisted movement. During a Deep Tissue session we will start with whatever areas are bothering you and we won’t move on until they have improved.