Sports Massage Therapy

When Should You Get a Deep Tissue Massage?

Breeze Academy September 17, 2023
Back massage

Most people are likely aware of the array of benefits that can be gained from massage, but how much do you know about specific massage treatments such as a deep tissue massage? In this article, we talk through the benefits of deep tissue massage and how long these benefits last. But first, when should individuals get a deep tissue massage?

There is no strict guidance on when to get a deep tissue massage, but it is highly recommended for individuals experiencing pain, high blood pressure and reduced mobility. Regular appointments are also great for highly athletic people to help improve performance and reduce downtime due to pain or injury. 

Read on to learn more about the benefits of deep tissue massage and when you should get one. 

When to Get a Deep Tissue Massage

Typically, deep tissue massage is recommended when individuals suffer from deep or chronic muscle pain in a specific area of the body. It is also often recommended for highly athletic individuals and those that partake in intense activities to help with muscle recovery. Additionally, deep tissue massage may be used as part of a physiotherapy or rehabilitation program to aid healing. 

There is no hard and fast rule as to when, specifically, an individual should have a deep tissue massage. The focus is more on circumstances, health conditions and lifestyle, as highlighted above. 

Below, we go into more detail about a range of conditions in which individuals would greatly benefit from a deep tissue massage. Later in the article we discuss how long the benefits last and how many sessions are needed to achieve these benefits.

What is Deep Tissue Massage Good For?

Deep tissue massage is used for a wide variety of reasons and has far-ranging benefits. Below we discuss some of the most common conditions that deep tissue massage is used for. This list is by no means exhaustive, but may help individuals to determine when they should get a deep tissue massage. 

Pain Relief

Deep tissue massage is great for relieving pain - whether chronic, acute or just the result of a long session in the gym. It is thought that this works by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area, which reduces tension and pain.


Like the above, improved circulation can help to promote recovery and healing - both from injury and from surgery. In fact, many people that have recently had surgery are encouraged to have deep tissue massage to minimise scar tissue.

Lowers Blood Pressure

It is thought that deep tissue massage may help to lower blood pressure. Studies show that the pressure applied during deep tissue massage has a positive effect on systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure.

Learn more about this in our blog, Can Massage Help Lower Blood Pressure?

Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion

Certain techniques used during deep tissue massage may help to improve flexibility and/or range of motion. These techniques include “anchor” and “stretch”. They are used to loosen, stretch and lengthen muscle fibres in order to improve range of motion. This may be useful for both those with limited mobility and for athletic individuals trying to improve their performance.

Improves Athletic Performance

We’ve mentioned the use of deep tissue massage for athletes a few times thus far, but to sum up - this type of massage is great for athletic performance as it reduces soreness after training and promotes a faster recovery. Likewise, massage is thought to help prevent injury.

Mental Benefits

Deep tissue massage may also have mental benefits, helping to reduce stress, promote relaxation and aid sleep.

What to Expect from a Deep Tissue Massage

If individuals don’t quite know when they should get a deep tissue massage, they may also not know what to expect from one. Below we answer a couple of common questions.

How Long Do the Benefits Last?

On average, most people feel the benefits of massage for around one week. However, this varies from person to person. Some may feel the benefits for as little as one day. Others may experience more long-term benefits, up to a month. This inconsistency is one of the reasons why it is recommended to have regular massage appointments - to maintain the benefits. 

How Many Appointments are Needed?

Typically, individuals require one massage per week for 6 weeks, then one massage every 2-4 weeks. However, this can vary depending on their condition, schedule and budget. People often don’t feel the benefits of massage right away, therefore continued appointments are recommended to maximise the outcome. 

Final Thoughts

There are no hard and fast rules on when, specifically, to get a deep tissue massage. However, there are a number of conditions that greatly benefit from it, including pain, reduced range of motion, mental health conditions, DOMS, high blood pressure, injury and more. 

Most people would benefit from an initial massage schedule of weekly appointments, reducing to fortnightly or monthly after a month or so of treatment. This gives the individual time to  see noticeable benefits. They can then maintain the benefits with less frequent appointments.

Learn more about massage therapy in our Sports Massage Training courses. Curated and delivered by expert clinicians, our courses provide you with everything you need to safely and effectively provide massage to clients. If you’re completely new to massage, take a look at our level 3 course. For those more experienced, our level 4 course may be more suitable.


Is Deep Tissue Massage the Same as Sports Massage?

A deep tissue massage and a sports massage may appear very similar but they are two different types of massage. They use similar techniques to treat similar conditions, however deep tissue massage is typically isolated to just one area, whereas a sports massage is more general. 

Learn more about this in our detailed blog, What is the Difference Between Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage?

Does Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?

Deep tissue massage can hurt, but it depends on the person, their individual pain threshold, and whether or not they are used to their muscles being manipulated in such ways. 

Think of a deep tissue massage like a workout. If the muscles are being manipulated in ways they aren’t used to, this may result in a pain similar to DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), just like after strenuous exercise. 

Learn more about this phenomenon in our blog, Why Does Sports Massage Hurt So Much? The two techniques may not quite be the same, however they are both known to hurt a little.

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