What is Deep Tissue Massage?

What is deep tissue massage therapy? We could sit around smoking cigars and brandy and talk on that subject for a long time if you like cigars and brandy. Doesn’t sound like a very healthy discipline, but it’s one that I enjoy on a rare occasion. The notion of what you think deep tissue therapy is depends on your viewpoint. Some think it is a painful application of tools to alleviate painful conditions in your patient.

When asked how that is applied, a licensed massage therapist will often conjure up a remark such as “deep” and “painful”. I think this misconception is taught at many of the schools throughout the United States. I taught a course at the Utah College of Massage Therapy in deep tissue in the early 90s. It was a huge class of 48 people. I asked them to raise their hand answer the question, ” who deep tissue Athens to be here in this class?” 33% wanted to study deep tissue.

“Who is ambivalent about being in this class?” Another 33% raised their hands. And then I asked, “who doesn’t want to be in this deep tissue class?” Again, about 33% raised their hands. I asked the 33% who didn’t want to be in the deep tissue class, why they were not interested in studying the work of Dr. Ida Rolf. They answered unanimously that they weren’t interested because it wasn’t energy healing. I actually laughed out loud.

I asked them why they thought that deep tissue work and specifically the work of Dr. Ida Rolf or Rolfing as it is called, was not energy healing? Of course their answer was that it was deep tissue and deep tissue could not be energy healing! I smiled as I told them that they were very wrong.

I told them that energy healing was the state of mind of the practitioner and nothing else. The students were dumbfounded. Since they were new in their massage education journey, I wasn’t too hard on them and I explained to them thoroughly what the work was about. Deep tissue work and energy healing are totally interwoven. I wish I had a camera that day.