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Difference between Therapeutic Massage and Deep Tissue Massage

Therapeutic Massage is a massage that uses techniques for a desired outcome. Clients can come in with a very specific condition ie: inversion ankle sprain. In this condition the therapist will do an assessment on the structures involved. The assessment will show that the lateral ligaments are overstretched or torn depending on the range of motion, swelling and strength in the movement. This depends on the grade of injury to the tissue. Techniques considered are considered with the grade of injury. Techniques include myofascial, lymphatic drainage, hydrotherapy, effleurage, palmar kneading, stripping, Trigger points, graston, and joint play. After the treatment the therapist will send home a stretching program.


Deep Tissue is a massage that is more focused on breaking up the adhesions within the tissue and providing more fluid flow within the tissue. These adhesions (knots) are deeper in the tissue beyond the superficial tissue. Understanding muscle fiber direction and the origin/insertion of the muscles is very important. To access these tissues the therapist must warm into the layers of tissue and move slow. The amount of pressure applied is not fully correct. You will feel pain after the massage. The therapist is working with the deeper layers and releasing the muscle tension built up from years of chronic pain. Techniques used are knuckles, elbows and graston tools. A flushing is always done on the tissue with effleurage.

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