Deep tissue massage


Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fiber's of the muscles, tendons and fascia.
Deep tissue massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage, a more superficial massage, but the pressure will generally be more intense.
This type of massage is often used to treat chronic pain, limited mobility, recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injury), repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, postural problems, osteoarthritis pain, fibromyalgia, and muscle tension or spasm.

Related Terms

Massage, Swedish massage.
For an overview of massage, please see the massage monograph in the Complementary Practices Database.


Use cautiously in those with infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds; immediately after surgery; immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by a doctor; in those with osteoporosis; in those prone to blood clots; or if pregnant.
Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia or areas of recent fractures.