Deep Tissue Massage Courses

Deep tissue massage is a kind of massage that reaches deep into the body, beyond the surface muscles and into the connective tissue as well.

The massage therapist uses a range of techniques to penetrate deep into the muscles and the fascia, helping to loosen and relax them.


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This massage technique is reputed to be helpful in addressing deep-seated muscular pains and long-standing problems. It is a highly technical and demanding discipline, requiring many hours of specialized training.

The increasing popularity of deep tissue massages has resulted in an increased demand for therapists who have been specially trained in this field. There are many courses that are offered in the United States for massage therapists who are looking to upgrade their skills and specialize in this technique. Choosing the course most suited to you can be quite a challenging task

Who Can Learn This Technique?

While anyone can train in deep tissue massage, most course providers recommend that students have some knowledge and experience about other massage techniques. In fact, many of the accredited schools insist on this as a prerequisite to learning this technique.

There are other schools that offer comprehensive diploma courses that include training in other techniques as well as deep tissue massage. The contents of the course may include:

  • Swedish massage
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Remedial massage
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Business, ethical and legal issues

In addition to this, some schools offer courses in massage techniques such as Hawaiian Kahuna massage that, while not a deep tissue massage technique includes deep tissue work.

Choosing the Right Deep Tissue Massage School

Choosing the right school can be a tricky affair as licensing requirements in the United States differ from state to state. While not all states and municipalities require a license to practice as a massage therapist, most of them do. You will first need to find out what the specific licensing requirements are in the state and county that you wish to practice in.

Training programs are typically 500 to 1000 hours in length at the end of which you will be awarded a certificate, diploma or degree depending on the particular school. It is important to ensure that your school is accredited to the organization as required by your state and local laws. The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) is one such organization that is associated with several massage schools in the United States.

Several states use the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork’s certification program as a basis for granting a license. An individual who has passed this test receives the designation “Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB)”.  A new certification exam, the MBLEx, has been launched in 2007 by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards and it is rapidly gaining acceptance in many states.

Getting Started

You can start by getting to know about the courses offered in your area. You can sort through the confusion regarding the licensing requirements by visiting any of the massage spas in your area and making a few enquiries there.

Once you have determined the local licensing requirements, you can start reading up on the courses on offer in your vicinity that meet those licensing requirements. Read details about the courses such as:

  • Are there any prerequisites for enrolling in the course?
  • Are the course fees affordable?
  • Can you avail of a student grant?
  • What other financing options are available?
  • Is the institution an accredited one?


Not all schools offer comprehensive massage courses that include deep tissue massage, for beginners. Certain schools require you to have prior knowledge and experience in other massage techniques. Some schools may also require you to have met certain educational criteria. These are all areas that need to be looked into before you can make your decision.

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