Always let your therapist know if you:

are, or think you might be, pregnant

have a history of heart or respiratory problems

have problems with your joints

have any skin allergies or conditions

have recently had surgery, or are prone to or recovering from injury

you have any other medical condition, or are receiving treatment of any kind as this might

affect the kind of treatment you can have, or on what areas of your body the therapist can

work on.


What is deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage does what it says "on the tin" ‐ it is a massage technique that works on the deeper layers of muscle tissue.

Similar to Swedish massage, deep tissue massage uses slower and firmer strokes and pressure than other treatments ‐ deep finger pressure that concentrates on particular areas, and follows or goes across the fibers of muscles and tendons.

Deep tissue massage is a blanket term that describes a number of different therapies, and is often used medically by physiotherapists, chiropractors and so on.

What is a deep tissue massage good for?

Deep tissue massage helps to refresh and relax muscles, increasing the blood flow and therefore the oxygen flow around your body. This gets rid of toxins in very sore and strained muscles, which helps them to strengthen and heal.

Deep tissue massage is often used to treat people who are recovering from accidents, and for sports injuries as it increases blood circulation in muscles that are underused, relieves chronic muscle tension throughout the body, and can also break down scar tissue and "knots" deep in the muscles.

Before you go

The aim of deep tissue massage is not to leave you feeling relaxed and full of bliss; it tends to tackle particular physical, muscular problems. You're unlikely to be lost in an ocean of private serenity, so you can plan to go back to work, drive, or go out afterwards without feeling you'll have ruined it for yourself!

Deep tissue massage is also not recommended for people with acute or long term mental health problems. As with any massage, it's a good idea to avoid big meals and alcohol beforehand. You should also drink plenty of water before and after the massage.

What to expect from a deep tissue massage

A doctor or other specialist for a deep tissue massage may have referred you. Generally speaking, deep tissue massage is recommended for specific problems, so you may know what to expect already. If you have decided to have this massage treatment yourself, you need to make sure that you give the therapist as much information as you can. 

The therapist will talk to you about any special problems you have, how an injury or muscle strain has improved or got worse, your lifestyle, exercise routine, diet and so on, so they know how best to help you.

Depending on how you feel and the therapist or treatment center you go to, you will either need to wear loose‐fitting comfortable clothes or just a towel. Oils may be used, but they are unlikely to be aromatherapy oils. This is not a massage where you expect soft lighting and music either.

The length of a deep‐tissue massage session or course will vary depending on what you need. A session is unlikely to last more than an hour, and a course will probably include about six sessions spaced over a few weeks or months, unless you are a professional sportsperson.


You may feel a bit sore, or tired after a deep tissue massage though, so give yourself plenty of time to get there and get settled, and to have a lie‐down or a shower afterwards. Any discomfort should go away within a few hours. It is really important to drink plenty of water to continue to flush out the toxins in the

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