What is Deep Tissue Massage, How is it Done and What Does it Heal?

The deep tissue massage is a technique which can be physically demanding. It is not only challenging for a therapist to practice this therapy, but can also be a challenge for the client as well. This is because the pressure applied in deep tissue massage is greater than regular massage therapy and this can cause a lot of discomfort.

However, the possible results obtained after a deep tissue massage cannot be matched by any other technique.

What Is A Deep Tissue Massage?

The deep tissue massage is unlike any other massage techniques. Most massage therapy techniques are quite gentle and are aimed at relaxing muscles, easing muscle pain and improving circulation with light hand movements. However, a deep tissue massage is a very intense technique.

Instead of gentle strokes, it uses vigorous hand movements. Moreover, you may not just be using your hands for the massage. To get maximum muscle activation, you would generally use the fingers or the palms. However, to activate deep muscles, you might even have to use your elbows.

The movements of a deep tissue massage are not fast either. In fact they are quite slow, but the intensity of the pressure that is applied is quite high. Unlike other massage therapies, deep tissue massage can be intense and painful.

However, many people who realize the benefits of this type of massage therapy prefer it over others. Initially the deep tissue massage may be painful; but, its immense benefits are well worth the initial discomfort.

What Is The Purpose Of The Deep Tissue Massage?

There are many purposes of the deep tissue massage. Unlike other therapies that focus more on relaxation, the deep tissue therapy aims to improve muscle functions in the long run. Over time, due to playing sports or due to everyday activities there are certain issues which may develop in the muscles.

Now, these dysfunctions do not develop immediately and it takes quite a lot of time for them to become serious issues. There are many reasons why these dysfunctions develop, which include improper posture, extreme stress, etc.

When this happens, the muscle develops immense tension and in quite a few cases, knots. These knots are also known as adhesions.

The adhesions are fiber bands that form in between the muscles. These knots can be very uncomfortable if not treated properly. This is where the deep tissue massage proves extremely efficient. Regular massage techniques only work on the upper layer of the muscles. However, a deep tissue massage does what other many therapies cannot.

It works on the muscle layers on the inside and relieves them of the knots and stress. This is the reason the deep tissue massage is so painful at times. You need to apply a lot of pressure to relieve the muscles of the knots and strains. If enough pressure is not applied, you may not be able to reach the underlying muscle layers.

Dysfunctions That a Deep Tissue Massage Can Heal

Since the deep tissue massage works on the internal muscle layers, it can be very effective in curing sports related injuries. The deep tissue massage can also be used as an effective way of boosting muscle recovery.

This is why deep tissue massage is extremely popular amongst athletes. Of course, individuals who are suffering from chronic pains also benefit from this therapy.

However, one should keep in mind that this type of massage is not for recreational purposes. Unlike other massage therapy techniques, the deep tissue massage should only be used to cure dysfunctions. Let’s look at some of the ailments that the deep tissue massage may be able to effectively cure:

  • Post-surgery, muscles tend to develop scar tissue. Of course, same scar tissue can also appear if you had a previous injury. In most cases, this scar tissue cannot be removed. However, the deep tissue massage works towards healing it. With the help of this massage, full functionality can be restored to the injured or operated area.
  • Another effective application of the deep tissue massage therapy is to cure injuries. Many athletes who have suffered an injury resulting in chronic pain or discomfort benefit from this therapy. Deep tissue massage could effectively cure muscle related injuries.
  • There are many types of tensions in the muscles that are not beneficial for the body. In some cases, the tensions may not even cause discomfort or pain. However, they must be released to ensure overall well-being. The deep tissue massage can cure this effectively.
  • The deep tissue massage can also help increase mobility within your muscles.

Cons of Getting a Deep Tissue Massage

There are many advantages of getting a deep tissue massage, But like anything else, there are also certain disadvantages as well. The first and foremost disadvantage of the deep tissue massage is the pain that is causes.

Even though the long term benefits of this massage type are many, the initial discomfort can be immense. For some, it may even be impossible to bear.

However, this discomfort is what makes it so effective. In order to reach the multiple layers of during a deep tissue massage, you need to apply a lot of pressure.

But like all therapies, there is a limit to what the deep tissue therapy can achieve. If the discomfort lasts for more than a day or two, it usually means that the issue is beyond what this therapy can cure.

In addition to this some clients may experience swelling and inflammation in the muscles after this massage. This is quite common with other therapies as well.

But with the deep tissue massage, this happens more often. Applying plenty of ice on the affected area could help lessen the swelling.

Always tell your clients to hydrate by drinking plenty of water all day after the massage and the days following it. The muscles really do take a beating. Another considerate gesture is to periodically ask your clients how the pressure feels on them. Sometimes you just have to take a step back.

Learning Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage does not have a dedicated massage school. Moreover, you do not need special certification to practice it. If you are interested in learning deep tissue massage, you can contact any massage school since most schools teach this therapy as an extended educational program. You can also learn it as part of your continuing education requirement and broaden your professional horizons.

Including deep tissue massage in your list of services could take your practice to new heights. Of course, it is physically demanding but it’s definitely worth the effort. And speaking of truly delivery life changing benefits to your clients – this is it.

Contact the top schools near you and learn about their curriculum and how much they focus on deep tissue massage. Requesting information is 100% free.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

Posted in Types of Massage Techniques
6 comments on “What is Deep Tissue Massage, How is it Done and What Does it Heal?
  1. John Ferrell says:

    I didn’t know that a deep tissue massage was to improve the muscle functions in the long run. I think that if I was having muscle problems then I would want to know that I could get them taken care of for a long time. I think that if you are trying to keep your muscles healthy then you might want to get a deep muscle massage then keep them healthy.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      John, deep tissue massage is good for the purposes you mentioned, as well as overall blood circulation and longevity of health and well-being. for many, it is by far the most effective and beneficial massage as it has more medical elements to it than most other types; especially those that are meant mainly for relaxation.

  2. Gloria Durst says:

    I never knew that deep tissue massage can help heal scar tissue. If you are suffering from pains post surgery and recovery maybe this kind of massage would work for you. My sister has been complaining of some post surgery pain for months so she’ll have to consider a deep tissue massage.

  3. Tanya says:

    My friend is a rugby player, he get 2 times a week sport / deep tissue massage for before rugby game and excerice.Is this sport / deep tissue massage necessary ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A Must Have iPhone App for All Massage Therapists
Massage Trigger Points App on iTunes
Massage School Topics

Top 10 Massage Career Tips

Learn exactly what you need to do to expedite your career success as a Massage Therapist.

Get your first tip NOW by entering your email address below.

More tips will follow weekly!