What is the Difference Between Swedish and Thai Massage?

When considering massage therapy, two popular styles that come to mind are Swedish and Thai massage. Both offer unique benefits and experiences, but they differ significantly in techniques, goals, and origins. Understanding the differences can help you choose the right type of massage for your needs and preferences. Let’s explore the key distinctions between Swedish and Thai massage.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Technique and Focus: Swedish massage uses long, flowing strokes for relaxation, while Thai massage combines stretching and pressure points for flexibility and energy flow.
  2. Positioning and Clothing: Clients are typically unclothed and covered with a sheet during Swedish massage, whereas Thai massage is performed with clients fully clothed and involves more dynamic movements.
  3. Overall Benefits: Swedish massage is aimed at relaxation and muscle tension relief, while Thai massage focuses on improving flexibility, circulation, and energy balance.

Origins and Philosophy

Swedish Massage: Originating in the 18th century by a Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling, Swedish massage is part of the Western tradition of massage. It focuses on the anatomy and physiology of the body, aiming to relax the entire body through various techniques that release muscle tension and improve circulation.

Thai Massage: Thai massage, on the other hand, has its roots in ancient healing traditions from India and Thailand over 2,500 years ago. It is based on the concept of energy lines that run through the body, similar to the meridians in Chinese medicine. Thai massage seeks to clear blockages in these lines to restore health and vitality.

Techniques Used

Swedish Massage: The techniques used in Swedish massage include effleurage (long, smooth strokes), petrissage (kneading, rolling, and squeezing of the muscles), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), and friction (deep circular movements). These techniques are designed to relax the muscles, improve blood circulation, and promote overall relaxation.

Thai Massage: Thai massage is more dynamic, incorporating stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques to relieve tension and enhance flexibility. Practitioners use their hands, elbows, knees, and feet to apply pressure along the body’s energy lines, as well as to manipulate the body into various yoga-like stretches. This type of massage is often described as a passive yoga experience.

Experience During the Massage

Swedish Massage: During a Swedish massage, clients are usually unclothed and covered with a sheet or towel. The massage is generally performed on a table, and oil or lotion is used to facilitate smooth, gliding strokes over the muscles.

Thai Massage: In contrast, Thai massage is performed with the client fully clothed, typically on a padded mat on the floor. No oils are used, and the massage involves a lot of movement, making it a more active experience. The therapist moves the client into various positions that stretch the body and release tension. Some refer to it as “lazy man’s yoga.”


Swedish Massage: The primary benefits of Swedish massage include relaxation, decreased stress levels, improved circulation, and relief from muscle tension and pain. It is an excellent choice for those new to massage or looking for a more gentle, relaxing experience.

Thai Massage: Thai massage offers benefits such as increased flexibility, improved range of motion, better circulation, and a balance of the body’s energy system. It is ideal for those who enjoy a more active form of massage and are looking to improve their physical flexibility and energy flow.


Choosing between Swedish and Thai massage depends on your personal preferences and what you’re looking to get out of the massage experience. Whether you’re in need of deep relaxation and tension relief with a Swedish massage or seeking to enhance your flexibility and energy balance with a Thai massage, both styles offer unique benefits that can contribute significantly to your overall well-being. 

Ready to experience the benefits of a professional Swedish massage? Consider making an appointment at Dreamclinic. Our team of expert therapists is here to guide you through the process, ensuring a therapeutic and beneficial massage experience tailored to your needs and preferences.

Dreamclinic and University of Washington Athletics: A Winning Partnership

Dreamclinic is truly honored to have its longstanding partnership with the University of Washington (UW) Intercollegiate Athletics. As a beacon of excellence in sports massage therapy, Dreamclinic has been at the forefront of providing specialized care to student-athletes, contributing to their performance, recovery, and overall well-being. This collaboration embodies our commitment to excellence and the pivotal role of sports massage in athletic achievement.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Proven Partnership: Over a decade of collaboration with UW Athletics, serving hundreds of student-athletes across various sports.
  2. Comprehensive Support: Tailored massage programs for football, volleyball, gymnastics, tennis, basketball, golf and other intercollegiate teams.
  3. Performance and Recovery: Regular sports massage contributes to enhanced athletic performance, muscle elasticity, and injury prevention.

The Relationship Details

Dreamclinic’s relationship with UW Intercollegiate Athletics is a testament to our expertise and the trust we’ve built in the area of Sports Massage over more than ten years. UW, a member of the NCAA Division I-FBS and competing in the Pacific-12 Conference, has a diverse and talented roster of over 700 student-athletes. Dreamclinic’s role in their athletic program is multifaceted, providing on-site massage services to the football and volleyball teams at their facilities and welcoming athletes from gymnastics, tennis, basketball, and golf to our clinic locations on a weekly basis.

“Thank you so much! The girls have really enjoyed going off site for massages so it’s worked out great. Thanks again for working with us and being so accommodating!”

The Impact on Teams

The partnership between Dreamclinic and UW Athletics is not just about offering massage services; it’s about integrating sports massage into the athletes’ regular training and recovery programs. This approach has proven beneficial for enhancing sports performance, maintaining muscle elasticity, and significantly reducing the risk of injuries. Targeted sports massage sessions ensure that athletes can achieve optimal power and performance, essential for excelling in highly competitive environments and giving athletes a competitive edge.

The Importance of Sports Massage

Sports massage is an invaluable component of modern athletic training. Its benefits extend far beyond relaxation and recovery, impacting athletes’ performance in several key ways:

  • Enhanced Performance: Regular sports massage improves muscle elasticity and flexibility, leading to increased power and performance. This is crucial for athletes across all disciplines, from the explosive power required in football and basketball to the endurance and precision in tennis and golf.
  • Injury Prevention: Tight muscles are more prone to injuries. By ensuring muscles are loose and flexible, sports massage significantly reduces the risk of strains, sprains, and other common sports injuries.
  • Faster Recovery: Sports massage aids in the quicker recovery of muscles by enhancing blood circulation. This increased blood flow accelerates the removal of toxins and replenishes muscle tissues with vital nutrients, helping athletes to recover faster and more effectively from training and competitions.

Growing Together

The partnership between Dreamclinic and UW Athletics has grown stronger over the years, evolving to meet the changing needs of student-athletes. This dynamic relationship is a cornerstone of Dreamclinic’s commitment to supporting the athletic and personal development of athletes of all ages. By continually refining our services and techniques, at Dreamclinic, we aim to keep pace with the advancements in sports science, ensuring that UW athletes always have access to the best in massage therapy.


The collaboration between Dreamclinic and the University of Washington Athletics Department exemplifies the critical role of sports massage in the world of collegiate sports. It’s a partnership that enhances athletic performance and fosters a culture of overall health and well-being among student-athletes. Dreamcilinic looks forward to continuing this fruitful relationship and remains dedicated to providing exceptional care that meets the unique needs of each athlete, helping them to achieve their highest potential both on and off the field.

(Photography by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

What Should You Not Do During Your Massage Session?

What Should You Not Do During Your Massage Session

Key Takeaways:

  • Avoiding Distractions: Ensuring phones and other devices are silenced to maintain a tranquil environment.
  • Communication is Crucial: Refrain from staying silent about preferences or discomfort
  • Physical Preparation: Avoid heavy meals, alcohol, or strenuous activities right before a massage.

When you book a massage, especially at a professional establishment like Dreamclinic in Seattle, it’s not just about what the therapist does.  It’s also about what you, as a client can do to ensure the session is as effective and enjoyable as possible. Understanding the do’s and don’ts of a massage therapy session can greatly enhance the effectiveness and enjoyment of your massage experience.

Avoiding Distractions Once You are in the Massage Room

In a world where we are constantly connected to our devices, one of the key things to avoid during a massage is distractions. This means turning off or silencing your phone and other devices. A massage session is a time to disconnect from the outside world and focus on your well-being.  Minimizing distractions allows your parasympathetic system (rest and relax response) to kick in fully for the most profound relation. At Dreamclinic, we strive to create a calm environment that allows you to relax deeply, and your helping by minimizing interruptions is a crucial part of this.

Communication During the Massage is Crucial

Whether you are loving a particular massage technique or experiencing discomfort, while it might seem polite to remain silent,  this can be a mistake.  Therapists know that each body is unique and count on your feedback for delivering optimal therapeutic results.  If you’re experiencing discomfort, if the pressure is too much or too little, or if you’re not comfortable with a certain area being touched, it’s important to speak up.  The words you can use are “lighten up” or “add pressure.”  The therapists at Dreamclinic are professionals who value your feedback and comfort.  When you speak up, they can adjust their techniques to ensure your experience is positive and beneficial.

Before the massage session

What you do before your massage can also impact your experience. It’s advisable to avoid eating a heavy meal right before your session. A full stomach can be uncomfortable when lying down and can distract from the therapeutic impact of the massage. Additionally, its important to avoid consuming alcohol before your massage.  Blood flow is increased during a massage session and mild intoxication might surprisingly become more than expected. Alcohol can also potentially lead to dehydration, which is counterproductive to the massage’s benefits.

Lastly, it’s recommended to avoid strenuous activities right before your session. Engaging in intense exercise immediately before a massage can leave your muscles too exhausted or tender,  creating risk of micro-injury.  This might detract from the effectiveness of the massage.


In summary, to get the most out of your massage at Dreamclinic or any professional massage center,  take steps to minimize distractions, communicate openly with your therapist, and avoid certain activities or consumption that might hinder your relaxation and the effectiveness of the treatment. Remember, a massage is a partnership between you and your massage therapist, and your actions play a key role in its success.

Stay informed and make the most of your massage experiences by considering these tips during your next session. Your body – and mind – will thank you!

Discoverypoint School of Massage: Setting Standards in Massage Education

Discoverypoint School of Massage

In the heart of Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood stands Discoverypoint School of Massage (“Discoverypoint”), a beacon of excellence in massage education. Founded in 2010 by industry veterans Pat Archer, Lisa Nelson, and Julie Ann Darrah, the school continues to be a standard-setter in the field. Let’s delve into the journey and ethos that make Discoverypoint an institution of distinction in massage therapy education.

Key Takeaways:

  • Legacy of Excellence: Founded by industry leaders with deep roots in massage education.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Offering a 750-hour program that is among the most comprehensive in the field.
  • Continued Leadership: Under the new ownership of Dreamclinic’s founder, Discoverypoint upholds its founding principles and commitment to quality education.

Foundational History

Discoverypoint was born out of a rich legacy left by Brenneke School of Massage, one of the oldest and most esteemed massage schools in the United States. When Brenneke was acquired by Cortiva, the trio of Archer, Nelson, and Darrah, who were pivotal figures at Brenneke, embarked on a new journey. They established Discoverypoint, bringing with them a wealth of experience and a vision for a unique approach to massage education.

Unique Approach and Vision for Massage Education

What sets Discoverypoint apart is its commitment to providing a personalized, comprehensive learning experience for massage school students. The school offers a 750-hour program, which is meticulously designed to be thorough and holistic, preparing students not only with great techniques but with a full understanding of emotional and energetic dynamics present between massage practitioners and their clients.  The massage program ensures that graduates are well-equipped with a deep understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of massage therapy.

Leadership and Legacy

In 2022, after facing pandemic related challenges, the massage school was able to remain open when it was acquired by the founder of Dreamclinic Massage, marking a new chapter in its history. The move to the Roosevelt neighborhood brought fresh energy, but the school retained its curriculum and outstanding approach to education and continues to embody the spirit of its founders. The emphasis remains on setting high standards in massage education, resonating with Dreamclinic’s commitment to the highest quality standards in therapeutic massage.

The Founders’ Impact on Discoverypoint Massage School

The founders of Discoverypoint  have left an indelible mark on the school and the wider field of massage education:

  • Pat Archer:  A nationally recognized leader in sports massage and an educator with over 35 years of experience, Archer infused the curriculum with a blend of massage and athletic training expertise, setting a high bar for practical skill development.
  • Lisa Nelson: Fostering a culture of passion, presence, and empathy, Nelson played a pivotal role in curriculum development and faculty mentoring, ensuring the school’s educational framework was solid and student-centric.
  • Julie Ann Darrah: Bringing a multifaceted approach to her role, Darrah’s contributions spanned administration, teaching, and student services, imbuing the school with her enthusiasm and commitment to student success.

Continuing the Legacy of Discoverypoint Founders

Today, Discoverypoint not only continues with the founding vision but also evolves to meet contemporary educational and industry standards. The management team and faculty are dedicated to upholding the founders’ legacy of excellence, individualized support, compassionate culture, and inclusive community. This legacy is evident in the school’s graduates, who stand out in the field for their comprehensive training and holistic approach to massage therapy.


Discovery Point School of Massage remains a cornerstone in massage education, continuing to set standards and evolve. Its comprehensive program, rooted in the rich legacy of its founders and aligned with Dreamclinic’s values, ensures that its graduates are among the best-prepared professionals in the field of therapeutic massage, not only in Seattle but across theUnited States.

Experience the Benefits of In-Home Massage Therapy with Dreamclinic

in home massage

In our fast-paced world, therapeutic massage, for stress reduction or body aches, has become an essential part of maintaining our overall well-being. While visiting a massage clinic offers a realm of therapeutic benefits, the ease and convenience of in-home massage therapy can’t be overlooked. Dreamclinic, renowned for its holistic approach, is now extending the same highest quality of service you know and trust, directly to your living room throughout the great Seattle area.

Why Opt for In-Home Massage?

Convenience of Your Safe Space:
Having a massage at home means you retain maximum control of your setting and your schedule. Your home is a space where many feel the most comfortable and there is the convenience of not needing to travel.

Tailored to Your Needs:
Our massage sessions begin with an essential component: a conversation. By understanding your goals for the massage session, whether it’s pain relief, stress reduction, or muscle relaxation, we ensure that your massage delivers the results you’re after.

Expert Therapists, Caring Hearts
What sets Dreamclinic massage therapists apart is that, in addition to their deep knowledge of human anatomy and their skillful hands, they all share a caring outlook on life and genuine passion for wellness. Dreamclinic massage therapists approach every session with the intent of helping you maintain and improve your long term health.

Consistent, Award-Winning Service:
The therapists who knock on your door are the same quality, highly-skilled and award-winning professionals that Dreamclinic is best known for. Whether you’re grappling with back pain, neck discomfort, or just the stresses of daily life, our medically-informed therapists are equipped to offer relief. And the best part? They’re just around the corner, ensuring you receive timely service without the long waits.

In-home massage is more than just a convenience; it’s a deeply healing experience that combines the comfort of your home with the therapeutic benefits of a professional massage. Dreamclinic remains committed to ensuring that every session, be it at our clinic or in your home, is a step towards a healthier, happier you. Your well-being is within reach, now just a doorbell away.