July 14, 2021
One of the most popular styles of massage today is deep tissue massage. Aside from Swedish massage, deep tissue massage is probably the most requested massage technique. Because of its popularity, nearly all spas, clinics, and independent massage therapists offer deep tissue on their menu. It is for this reason that the San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork makes deep tissue a cornerstone of its 600 hour Massage Therapist program and offers a wide range of continuing education on the subject. “It’s an essential technique,” said Gary Witt, director of the school. “If you don’t have deep tissue skills to offer, you’re missing out on a huge segment of clients and job opportunities.”
What is Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage addresses layers of soft tissue such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Deep tissue massage works this tissue more specifically than a typical massage would. The main goals of deep tissue massage are to relax and stretch chronically contracted muscle fibers, break up points of adhesion or scar tissue, and to restore full range of motion and function to joints and muscles in the body. It is a wonderful technique for injuries, repetitive strains like carpal tunnel syndrome, and relieving the muscle tension, knots and restrictions that arise from everyday physical activity.
Despite the specific and focused nature of deep tissue massage, it need not be painful or uncomfortable as is commonly thought. Well-trained therapists performing a deep tissue session work at an intensity level that facilitates the beneficial effects of the technique while staying under their client’s pain threshold. The goal is to relieve pain, not cause it.
Different from a typical relaxation massage, deep tissue targets specific issues within the body. Deep tissue massage can address a variety of common complaints such as low back pain, whiplash, tennis elbow, or shortened muscles from too much sitting. Almost everyone can benefit from this family of techniques whether they are a high performing athlete or a weekend warrior which may be why it is one of the most requested therapies available today. Clients trust results and deep tissue massage consistently provides them.
Giving Deep Tissue Massage
For the massage therapist, applying deep tissue doesn’t necessarily mean working harder, it means working smarter. Because it is so specific, deep tissue massage requires a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology. The therapist must be intimately familiar with all of the body’s muscles, bones, and connective tissues and how they interact with one another. They must also be well versed in the body’s healing processes. This knowledge allows them to not only work safely and address the primary issue or injury, but also to treat the muscles and structures that compensate for the dysfunction that issue or injury creates.
Learning Deep Tissue Massage
Because this knowledge of the body is intrinsic to providing a safe and effective deep tissue session, where a therapist learns the skills and philosophy is important. At the San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork, we have offered deep tissue massage training for decades. Our program is based upon the work of Art Riggs, one of the most published and prolific experts on the subject. Art developed and refined his method of deep tissue and myofascial release right here in our very own classrooms. Many books, articles, and DVD’s on the subject later, Art’s classes are sought after worldwide.
Today we are proud to continue to be the epicenter of Art’s influence on the modality and carry on the legacy of his contributions through his protege, Karen Gramberg. For more than a decade Karen has taught the material both with Art and independently at the school. She also played an integral role in seamlessly incorporating it into our current massage certification program. All of our instructors have also been trained in these methods by Art or Karen. With their collective talents and this world renowned approach at the heart of our program, San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork is proud of having a program that is valuable and comprehensive.
If you are in pain, recovering from an injury, or seeking peak athletic performance, deep tissue massage is highly recommended. If you are a massage therapist and don’t currently offer deep tissue, obtaining these skills can have an immediate impact on the success of your massage sessions and practice.
Where to Learn More
If you are thinking about massage therapy for a career, contact us. We can help you get started on learning deep tissue massage and all the other techniques you will need to be a successful massage therapist. If you are already working as a massage therapist and want to master deep tissue massage, look at our program and continuing education workshops and let’s expand your skill set.