Deep Tissue Massage: What it entails and Benefits

There are many types of massage. Couples massage, reflexology, sports, hot-stone, Swedish, prenatal, aromatherapy massage among others. However, the list would be incomplete without mentioning deep tissue massage.

Deep tissue massage is an intense pressure massage that targets deeper muscles and connective tissues. The therapist aims at releasing muscle tension, otherwise called knots. It utilizes the same styles and movements as Swedish massage only that the pressure applied is more intense than in the latter, as quoted by Therapeutix Wellness Center.

How it’s done.

The forearm, elbow, fingertip, knuckles or hands are used to apply firm pressure and slow strokes across the grain of the muscle. Generally, the process begins with the application of less pressure to get the muscles ready and it’s increased in intervals.

A combination of different techniques is used, some are more painful than others. Though the pressure applied is intense, it doesn’t have to be way too painful. If you are uncomfortable with a given technique, let the therapist know and this should apply even on other types of massage. Never force yourself to endure unnecessary pain during massage because essentially, a massage is supposed to help you relax.

But one thing you need to realize is that deep tissue massage is more of therapeutic than it is a relaxation tool. So a little pain is fairly normal on the massage table.

The pressure applied across the muscles releases the rigid muscles, breaks up scar tissues and realigns tissue fibers. Deep tissue massage focuses on certain stiffness prone parts of the body. They include the back, neck, shoulders, and legs. Thus, if you have been experiencing some stiffness for some time, maybe what you need is deep tissue massage because other types of massage might not be as relieving.

The speed at which you perceive results will depend on the degree of stiffness and the nature of the knots. For fairly less tense tissues, the relief comes almost immediately. Nevertheless, if you have not been massaged for a while and there is a buildup of tension and chronic knots, it may take a while to perceive results.

It may even require a number of sessions with your therapist coupled with exercises, workouts, and incorporation of a variety of relaxation techniques. One thing for sure though, when done in the right way and for the needed number of sessions, deep tissue massage does wonders and you might bounce back to your normal self sooner than you thought possible.


Massage, in general, has many benefits to the body. Even so, there are many pointed benefits that come with deep tissue massage. Such benefits as:

  • Reduction of chronic pain.
  • A good stress relief.
  • Relieves joint pains, stiff muscles and anxiety associated with arthritis.
  • Helps manage high blood pressure.
  • Eases labor pains and makes delivery smooth.
  • Increases mobility by making movement easy.
  • A good antidote to back pains.
  • Breaks up scar tissue.
  • For sports and athletic rehabilitation. The massage clears muscle soreness and fatigue and also treats muscle injuries.


As much as deep tissue massage has many benefits you want to enjoy, it is not for everybody. Individuals with certain health conditions may not be allowed in for the massage. Under these conditions, you will need to consult your medic first before going in for deep tissue massage.

  • If you have blood clot complications like deep vein thrombosis or thrombophlebitis, you may want to keep off. The massage may dislodge the clot endangering your life.
  • Certain treatment procedures also make deep tissue massage a no option. Chemotherapy and radiation for instance. Or if you have recently undergone surgery.
  • Other kind of diseases may also make it difficult for you to do a deep tissue massage. Diseases like infected skin, bruises, tumors, open wounds, rushes and fragile bones (osteoporosis).