You may have heard of an advanced massage therapy technique known as deep tissue massage. Qualified massage therapists apply strong pressure to the inner layers of muscle groups and the surrounding tissue, or fascia. This technique helps treat musculoskeletal issues, such as chronic pain, sports injuries, and strains.A man receives a deep tissue massage.
In the Miami, FL, area, students receiving healthcare training in the advanced therapeutic sports and clinical massage program at The Praxis Institute can earn massage therapy certification in deep tissue techniques. Here is a closer look at the art – and science – of deep tissue massage.

How Is Deep Tissue Massage Different?

The amount of pressure applied by the massage therapist in deep tissue massage carries much more force and penetrates more deeply than in other forms of massage therapy. Deep tissue massage often is prescribed for those who undertake demanding physical activities, such as running, skiing, gymnastics, rock climbing, and other competitive sports and recreational pursuits. The strains and sprains experienced by players in many team sports also can be relieved with this massage therapy technique. Practitioners apply sustained pressure, using strong force in their arms and hands, and they make slow, deep strokes with their hands and fingers.

These strategic pressures reach the inner layers of muscles and fascia, and they are especially directed at muscle adhesions. These are knots that form due to the tension often experienced after trauma, such as injuries or surgeries. Firm finger pressure follows the line of muscle fibers, fascia, and tendons. These massage therapy movements also help break down scar tissue that may form after trauma and injuries. They free up movement and allow muscles to heal better, with less tension. In some cases, deep tissue massage may increase blood flow and circulation in areas of concern and is thought to decrease inflammation.

As in other forms of massage therapy, deep tissue massage can help clients with the reduction of chronic pain. Deep tissue massage is thought to be particularly helpful with chronic low back pain, for example, and may be prescribed as part of a treatment regime by allied healthcare professionals. In this way, advanced massage therapists use their skills in deep tissue massage to work closely with physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, and chiropractors.

Benefits of Learning Deep Tissue Massage

Practitioners of advanced massage therapy benefit from having deep tissue massage techniques in their toolbox. Through the development of multiple skills and practical experience gained in healthcare training programs, as well as continuing education opportunities, therapists can offer their clients whole-body solutions to nagging pain and physical function problems.

Complaints Treated with Deep Tissue Massage

Using deep tissue massage, therapists offer treatments for the following:

  • Traumatic sports injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Sciatica
  • Muscle spasm
  • Chronic lower back and neck pain
  • Limitations to mobility and posture

Avoid Deep Tissue Massage for These Conditions

Deep tissue massage is not recommended for the following issues:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancers that have spread to bone structure
  • Pregnancy
  • Clients with low pain thresholds
  • Clients seeking relaxation and relief from mild tension

Through deep tissue massage, massage therapists can treat pain, improve stiffness, and help repair muscles after strain. By removing the hard knots of tension, clients have greater ease in movement and can improve their posture. Through increased flexibility of the fascia and soft tissue structures, clients find relief from joint and muscle pain, and this often reduces their use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Earn Certification in Deep Tissue Massage

When students complete the advanced therapeutic sports and clinical massage program at The Praxis Institute, they earn a diploma. In addition, they are prepared to complete either the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) licensing exam (MBLEx). In addition to deep tissue massage, students develop skills and obtain certification in electro stimulation, sports massage, spa therapies, ultrasound, and neuromuscular therapy. With two campus locations in the Miami, FL, area, students also get practical experience in the service component of the program, which provides applied clinical training.

Start Your Career in Massage Therapy

Discover how you can help clients heal from injuries and stresses with deep tissue massage and other techniques in our advanced massage therapy program. We offer rolling admissions, so with an approved application, you can enroll in the program in as little as one week. The Praxis Institute, with campuses in Hialeah and Miami, FL, offers competitive pricing and is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in its Title IV Financial Aid programs. Contact us for more information.