7 Reasons: Deep Massage vs. Deep Tissue

By David Lauterstein

  1. Massage therapists performing Deep Massage generally work without lubricant (unless there is a painful feeling of stretching the skin). Using lubricant causes the therapist to slip over the tension and, to compensate, they have to use tremendous pressure not to slip. This often causes overwork syndromes for the therapist and sometimes excessive pain or bruising for the client.
  2. Deep Massage recognizes the scientific fact that muscles don’t relax! It is the nervous system that relaxes the muscles! So the Deep Massage therapist learns how to contact the nervous system through extremely high touch quality. Deep tissue works from outside in and is therefore more temporary in its effect. Deep Massage works from insideout, stimulating the client’s nervous system’s ability to relax. Therefore it results in more thoroughand longer-lasting relaxation as well as deeper postural benefit.
  3. Deep Massage treats the whole person. We recognize that some of our body’s tension is a reflection of stress in our everyday life. So in Deep Massage we look not only at the physical sources of tension but at the “energetic” sources of tension andstress in our anatomy and physiology. Deep Massage teaches a way to contact and benefit energy and structure simultaneously.
  4. Deep Massage also involves the therapist being educated to make optimal pressure and contact.  Students of deep massage learn to recognize specific signs to indicate how deep to go, when it’s too much, how long to hold a certain trigger point, etc.  These involve training in paying closer attention to the client’s breath, eyes, facial expression, and other important indicators.
  5. Deep Massage classes include training on how to be more balanced in one’s body and mind in thetherapy setting. Because deep massage training helps the therapist avoid unnecessarily stressing their body and mind, the therapy not only works betterfor the client, it also greatly enhances the longevity of the therapist!
  6. Deep Massage involves training in customizing the session uniquely for each individual client, rather than being an approach applied similarly to all clients. Students are trained to individually assess the client’s posture, movement, stress sources, expressed health goals and to come up with a unique plan for each individual session.
  7. Deep Massage feels better!  Because it is more individualized, by a therapist educated with respect to body mechanics and self-care, who is trained to observe and refine the touch to be optimal, who addresses tension in nervous system as well as in the muscles, and who knows just how best to contact the actual places of tension – it just feels better!


2 thoughts on “7 Reasons: Deep Massage vs. Deep Tissue

  1. joy bernstein says:

    I want to know your certification and years of experience in this theory because I am bothered that you got to be someone to be considered to give a difference when really sounds like you are justifying an unexperienced idea… seriously deep massage vs deep tissue? hmmmm… I am certified in Deep Tissue been in a full time practice for 18 years…. and I laugh and knowing someone even wrote this …

    and your # two was plagerised off a myfascial release research not off DEEP MASSAGE finding…

    this is why I am leaving the massage industry… too much false information out there that does more harm than good…. wow….

    1. davidl says:

      I certified in “Structural Bodywork” an offshoot of Structural Integration by Rolfer, Daniel Blake in 1082, with advanced studies in 1983. Since then I have studied with a variety of teachers including cranio-sacral work with some early students of John Upledger and Zero Balancing since 1986 with its founder, Dr. Fritz Smith. I taught the Deep Tissue segment at the Chicago School of Massage Therapy 1982-84. I have been teaching Deep Massage per se since 1984 throughout the U.S. and since 1996 in England as well and of course at my school since 1989. So I would say I’m experienced! 🙂
      Congratulations on your years of practice. I encourage you to not leave massage unless you feel it will truly be best for you!
      By the way, there is no plagiarism in my #2, I wrote it 100% – if the knowledge overlaps with what other people have said, so much the better. I have just published a book – The Deep Massage Book. If you are curious, there is more info on me and it at this web address – http://www.redwingbooks.com/sku/DeeMasBoo.
      Good luck and pluck in your work and life! David

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