“Deep Tissue Massage” is a phrase that can describe hundreds of different techniques. It’s only really useful for distinguishing between techniques within a system, since for many it may mean nothing more than the therapist has lowered his or her table and is pushing harder.
Deep tissue is similar to Swedish massage, but uses a stronger pressure to release chronic muscle tension. The focus is on reaching the deep layers of muscle tissue, tendons and the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints called “fascia.”
As with virtually any form of massage, it has its detractors and critics some of whom may simply be protecting their own turf. For example, a doctor prescribing drugs for high blood pressure may not want to hear how easily deep tissue massage can do the same thing drug free.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study which demonstrated a significant drop in blood pressure after a single 45 - 60 minute deep tissue massage.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that massage methods like deep tissue reduced stress hormones and heart rate by a significant amount while simultaneously triggering the release of oxytocin and serotonin which elevated mood and relaxation... which of course blood pressure medicine cannot do.
If given the choice between a lifetime on drugs with potential side effects, or getting regular deep tissue massage with all its additional benefits, who wouldn't opt for the massage? Of course drugs are a medical necessity for many, and this article is not written by a doctor nor does it constitute medical advice. The point is simply that there is no reason to knock anything that works AND has no adverse side effects besides maybe drooling on the massage table because you fell into a wonderfully peaceful sleep.
Talk with your professional massage therapist to see if a deep tissue massage therapy may be right for you (side effects may include better posture, less pain and walking around with a silly grin on you face).