What Is Deep Tissue Massage?

deep tissue massage being given

The world of massage is diverse, with a wide variety of techniques and modalities. Examples include Swedish massage, sports massage, geriatric massage, and the list goes on. It’s important to understand how each of the different techniques are used and what they can do for you.

Deep tissue massage is a foundational technique that many massage therapists know well. But if you’re the one on the massage table, you may be asking “what is deep tissue massage?”

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is different in that it focuses on deeper layers of muscle and fascia. This type of massage is also used to break up knots, or adhesions, in your muscles. Massage therapists use slightly more pressure and specific techniques to target the areas that are tight in a deep tissue massage. Compared to other massage therapy techniques, deep tissue massage can be more focused and specific.

male client getting deep tissue massage on his shoulders

Deep Tissue Massage Technique

There are many different techniques and ways to provide a deep tissue massage. The first thing a massage therapist will do is warm the muscles up. They will do this with lighter massage. This is also when the massage therapist will find the areas that are tight and need special attention.

Once the muscles are warmed up, the therapist will start to apply the right amount of pressure to help “untie” the knots or loosen adhesions. Some massage therapists even use forearms, elbows, and thumbs to apply the right amount of pressure to specific areas. While pressure is sometimes increased during deep tissue massage, this shouldn’t mean more pain. With proper technique and preparation, deep tissue massage should still be relaxing and stress relieving.

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage

This type of massage has been known to help with more than just muscle tension and adhesions. Some of the benefits of deep tissue massage may include:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved range of motion
  • Headache reduction
  • Better circulation
  • Increased lymphatic circulation
  • Much more

You can discover the benefits of deep tissue massage for yourself in our student massage clinic.* Schedule an appointment here.

female client getting deep tissue massage on her back

When to Get Deep Tissue Massage

As long as you don’t have any health complications that may interfere, it’s never a bad time to get a deep tissue massage. The following are some times when deep tissue massage may be extra beneficial:

  • When you’re experiencing muscle tightness, soreness, aches, pain, or pinched nerves.
  • If you’re involved in competitive physical activity or sports.
  • When you have suffered an injury or hard impact.
  • After extended periods of repetitive motion.
  • When you sit or stand in the same position for extended periods of time.

These are a few examples of activities that may cause your muscles to tighten. Deep tissue massage is a great way to release the stress and pressure that builds up. It can help your muscles return to a more comfortable and natural state.

What to Expect After a Deep Tissue Massage

Many people are hesitant about deep tissue massage at first. A common misconception is that the increased pressure and deeper massage will make them sore after the massage. While some soreness may be normal, it should subside within a few days. A few key things to do to make your massage more effective are to drink lots of water before and after the massage and give your body time to rest and recover. If you do these things, you should feel very little discomfort during or after your deep tissue massage.

Want to Learn Deep Tissue Massage?

If you’re considering a career as a massage therapist, this technique is a cornerstone that you will want to master. To get started on your path to becoming a massage therapist and becoming a deep tissue expert, contact us. We can help answer your questions and help you begin your journey to a career in massage. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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