What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Posted Wednesday, Aug 5, 2009 by Allen B. Ury

Deep Tissue MassageDeep Tissue Massage is available at virtually every day spa in North America. For those people who have never had a Deep Tissue Massage, the concept is often associated with fears of intense pressure, discomfort and even pain. It’s a misconception that needs to be dispelled, for not only is Deep Tissue Massage not supposed to be painful, it can be used to relieve pain associated with muscle strain, sports injuries, whiplash, osteoarthritis and other debilitating conditions.


Experts believe Deep Tissue Massage—which involves focusing prolonged pressure on the inner layers of muscle tissue to break up adhesions or “knots”—was first used by the ancient Egyptians. Its modern incarnation goes back to mid-19th century Canada where physicians used it to address specific medical conditions such as whiplash. Although it was brought to the United States in the late 1800s, it wasn’t well-known until Canadian physician Therese Phimmer established rules for the technique in her 1949 book, “Muscles—Your Invisible Bonds.” Since then, Deep Tissue Massage has slowly been adopted by sports medicine practitioners and muscular therapists as a way to deal with soft tissue injuries and chronic pain.

The Essentials of Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage works by manipulating the muscles’ underlying connective tissue—called fascia—to loosen up areas that have stuck together to form “knots” and increase overall flexibility. This technique increases circulation to targeted areas, stretches tissue and releases toxins that were trapped in the adhesions. The motions used in Deep Tissue Massage are similar to those employed in traditional “Swedish” Massage, although they tend to be done against rather than with the muscular grain. The style also employs the use of elbows and perhaps even ceramic, glass or wooden tools to focus pressure on specific areas.

Because pressure is more focused and intense than in traditional massage, many people believe that Deep Tissue Massage must be painful. While Deep Tissue Massage can be a bit uncomfortable at times, it should never actually hurt. Those people going in for Deep Tissue Massage should first consult with their therapists to set expectations, and communication should be maintained throughout the session to ensure the experience is painless as well as productive. (Note: There may be some soreness after a Deep Tissue Massage session, but this should go away in no more than a few days.)

The Benefits of Deep Tissue

Deep Tissue Massage can provide relief from pain and stiffness associated with sports injuries, whiplash, osteoarthritis, muscle spasms, fibromyalgia and strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Multiple sessions may be required to get the maximum effect. Deep Tissue Massage should never be used on clients with infectious skin diseases, open wounds or rashes, or immediately following surgery.

Professional Massage Therapy Training Courses Offered at Everest College

Everest College is one of America’s leading providers of professional massage therapy training.

Because Everest has dozens of urban campuses conveniently located throughout the United States, men and women interested in pursuing this exciting and rewarding career can likely find a campus conveniently close to their home or work. Everest’s courses are designed to prepare students for the licensing exam most states require in less than a year. Everest’s Career Placement teams work to prepare each graduate for their job search and interface directly with major health care employers to help fill new job openings. All Everest campuses also provide financial aid services for those who qualify.

People interested in training in massage therapy should contact Everest today for information on class schedules.

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