What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage but a deeper pressure is used. The idea of deep tissue massage is to relieve chronic tension.  It is characterized by firm, slow massage strokes.

When performing deep tissue massage, it is common for the therapist to incorporate the use of body parts other than the hands and thumbs, which means it is possible to give a more intensive, effective treatment to the client for a longer period of time.  Elbows and forearms are commonly used, to apply a deep pressure to problem areas. The focus of deep tissue is on the deeper layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia – the connective tissue around the muscles.

So What are the Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage? 

Deep tissue massage can be used to treat any areas of muscle tension and is often used to treat conditions such as chronic back or shoulder back pain.  It also helps to lower high blood pressure and reduce stress and anxiety. It can help to break up scar tissue, loosen adhesions and allow more freedom of movement. If you have had a sports injury it can help your recovery.  Deep tissue massage can also increase joint mobility and help to ease the pain of arthritis. I feel that all of these things are so important in so many ways for people.

Is Deep Tissue Massage Painful?

Deep tissue massage is likely to be a bit more uncomfortable than a relaxation massage, but it doesn’t need to be excruciating to give good results.  It is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist and that you communicate with each other during deep tissue massage therapy. Everyone manages pain differently – if you feel it is too much, don’t hesitate to tell the therapist. It can be good to judge any pain on a scale of one to five and if it is anything above three, I’d advise you to ask the therapist to ease off.

How Will You Feel After a Deep Tissue Massage Treatment? 

First of all, the experience can be different for different people. You may feel rejuvenated, but you could also feel a bit sore. This is because of the deep pressure applied.  Any stiffness or pain is normal after a deep tissue massage and will generally subside in 24 to 74 hours. In a few days your body should feel the benefits.

Is Deep Tissue a Separate Routine or Can It Be Incorporated into Your Normal Massage?

A full deep tissue massage practice can be offered, but deep tissue strokes can also be incorporated into a holistic and Swedish routine.  If you suffer from any chronic tension and tightness in your body, such as in your back or shoulders, then incorporating some deep tissue massage will help to reach those problem areas.

What Might Be an Indication That You Should have a Deep Tissue Massage? 

If you have any pain that affects your day to day life, be that back pain, shoulder pain or neck pain, then having a deep tissue massage might be something to consider.

Deep Tissue Massage Therapy Training at Cotswold Academy

I attended the deep tissue massage course at Cotswold Academy and learnt so much!  As always, the tutors were great, and very helpful and supportive, giving me great information on performing this kind of massage and offering it as part of my treatment.  My fellow students were lovely too – it is always good to have the opportunity to talk to people with similar interests.

The course opened my eyes to the benefits of massaging without the use of thumbs and hands, both for the therapist and the client. We were taught a whole deep tissue routine and tried it out on each other. It’s such a great way to massage as you can really get into people’s tense areas without tiring out your thumbs and hands.

I believe that deep tissue massage will be really beneficial for my clients and I hope that you all enjoy this new addition to the treatments that I offer.


My Journey into Massage Therapy

I walk down the lane from my house with fresh towels over my arm to the thatched cottage with the heart on the door, heading for the garden clinic space where I will meet a new client.  It has been a busy week, but the walk gives me a moment’s calm to reflect on how I came to be here.

Childhood Memories – Instinctive Massage

I remember as a small child walking up and down my Mum’s back as she lay on the floor, or reviving her by pressing my cool hands on her face when she was ill.  Later I made friends with a Chinese girl called Ryii at summer camp; while the other kids ran around playing tag, we gave each other shoulder massages.  

The Mind-Body Connection

I also remember wondering as a child why people got sad and why some people seemed to feel feelings more strongly than others.  I always knew that my career would be about helping people and was interested in complementary therapy.  I studied Health and Social Care at college, and later took a certificate in Counselling Skills, which was fascinating and got me thinking – there must be potential to work with people physically to benefit how they feel on the inside.

Confusion, Conviction and the Cotswolds

As the idea of becoming a massage therapist began to take root, I was confused and felt a lot of emotions.  I wondered, How could I achieve that?, but at the same time a strong conviction was telling me to go for it.  That feeling overpowered my doubts and moved me to begin my journey as a massage therapist.

Cotswold Academy - my massage school
Cotswold Academy, Thomas St, Cirencester

I found a lovely college in Cirencester called Cotswold Academy.  It was a long way from home but I knew it was the best place for me to learn. The tutors had a great understanding of massage; the community and even the walls of the old building seemed to support me in my journey.  I learnt so much.

I didn’t want to rush anything so I took my time with client case studies, massaging people, learning and improving.  I love hearing about people’s lives and how my work with them has made them feel better emotionally or physically.   After nine months I took my final exam and passed my diploma.  Because the power of the mind-body connection is so central to my work, I called my business Body to Mind Therapy.

A Country Practice

My dream of becoming a massage therapist became a reality when I found a clinic space to share in the garden of this beautiful thatched cottage in my home village of Ladbroke.  My new landlady, Helen, a fellow therapist, was lovely and welcomed me in kindly. I felt so thankful and fell in love with the room!  I am really happy to be able to welcome my clients into such a relaxing space. Treating my first client in the clinic base last week was a great experience; she really enjoyed the massage and loved the room.  I look forward to welcoming many more clients there as I support them on their wellbeing journey.


Amanda x