How to Choose a Deep Tissue Massage Therapist

While some massage works only the superficial layers of muscles, deep tissue massage gets down into the deeper layers. The massage therapist applies pressure in concentrated strokes until stress pockets are found and smoothed out. Deep tissue massage is helpful in increasing range of motion for an area that was previously "stuck," such as a shoulder or neck. For this kind of deeper bodywork, choose a deep tissue massage therapist.

Instructions

    • 1

      Understand the difference between deep tissue massage, Swedish massage and other forms of massage therapy. Getting a deep tissue massage may be somewhat painful until stress pockets that have been around for a while can be worked out. After a session or two you should feel remarkable.

    • 2

      Make sure your deep tissue massage therapist is qualified. The American Massage Therapy Association can provide you with a list of licensed deep tissue massage therapists in your area. To acquire a license, therapists must graduate from a program of study accredited by the Commission for Massage Therapy Accreditation/Approval in the United States and pass the national certification exam for therapeutic massage.

    • 3

      Contact your state licensing agency to check for any disciplinary issues with a potential deep tissue massage therapist.

    • 4

      Try out a few deep tissue massage sessions to make sure it's the right type massage for you. Most massage therapy schools have programs where students work on clients not associated with the school to help with their practical experience. Most schools keep a directory of graduates which can be another helpful way to find a qualified therapist near you.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's smart to drink extra water before and after a deep tissue massage to reduce the dehydrating effects on your body and to help flush out the stress pockets released during the massage.
  • Consult your physician before beginning deep tissue massage sessions.
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