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Deep Tissue Massage Certification at Atlanta School of Massage

Recently, we had been discussing the massage school program curriculum at the Atlanta School of Massage. As part of the program, we grant four certifications of specializations, which showcase the massage therapy modalities that our graduates are trained in:

  • Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage Therapy
  • Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)
  • Reflexology
  • Seated Massage

We have begun to explore these massage modalities in greater detail and discussed our Swedish Massage certification in the previous article. In this article, we will explore Deep Tissue Massage.

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep Tissue Massage is a massage modality that targets the sublayers of muscle tissue and fascia. It is applied by utilizing concentrated pressure through a “combination of lengthening and cross-fiber strokes, anchor and stretch,” which relaxes and frees muscles from entrapment.


This makes deep tissue massage an effective modality for treating chronic muscular pain, and for improving the body’s range of motion. However, because it does utilize firm(er) pressure, it is better suited for patients who are comfortable handling an elevated level of discomfort.

Deep Tissue vs Swedish Massage

Deep tissue massage often gets compared to Swedish massage. This is maybe because its techniques, especially the Friction strokes, appear similar to the five classical techniques of Swedish Massage. And while there is certainly an overlap in techniques, the two kinds of massage vary in regard to intensity and purpose of application.


Swedish Massage utilizes light to medium manual pressure on the superficial or top layers of the muscles and fascia, which improves blood circulation and promotes relaxation throughout the body. This makes it a promising modality for treating high blood pressure, stress, and anxiety.

Meanwhile, deep tissue massage utilizes medium to intense manual pressure on the sublayers of the muscles and fascia to alleviate muscular tension, soreness, and stiffness. This makes it a good modality for treating and recovering from muscular injuries.

Clinical Studies of Deep Tissue Massage

There is clinical evidence that suggests that deep tissue massage is effective for treating or helping to treat a variety of musculoskeletal disorders, such as chronic pain, and facilitating injury recovery.

For example, research from 2012 suggests that Deep Tissue massage is effective for treating chronic lower back pain. The study compared the effects of Deep Tissue Massage and Swedish Massage on patients with chronic lower back pain. The patients who received Deep Tissue Massage Therapy reported a statistically significant difference in pain reduction than those who received Swedish massage.


Because both groups received some type of bodywork, it can be assumed that the placebo effect was accounted for, thereby giving more weight to the effectiveness of Deep Tissue Massage. Furthermore, another study from 2017 suggested that Deep Tissue Massage contributed to improvement in shoulder mobility, making it an effective modality for those recovering from injuries.

Why Being Certified in Deep Tissue Massage is Important

Deep Tissue Massage has a wide range of uses, making it a highly-useful modality for any massage therapist to be proficient in. But as noted, Deep Tissue therapy targets the sublayer of muscles, meaning that the risk of causing serious injury to patients is very real. As such, it is important to learn Deep Tissue massage from a reputable massage therapy school.


That’s why the Atlanta School of Massage teaches Deep Tissue as part of its massage therapy training program, and grants a certification of specialization in Deep Tissue Massage to graduates. This reassures potential employers that our graduates have the right knowledge and hands-on clinical experience in treating patients with Deep Tissue massage.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Atlanta School of Massage, download our free course catalog to learn all the ins and outs of our massage therapy program!


You can also contact us by calling 770-454-7167 or by sending an email to If you’re local to the area, feel free to schedule a campus visit! We’re located at 2 Dunwoody Park South, Atlanta, GA 30338.

Classes Starting Soon!
Day Program: January 8, 2024 Weeknight Program: March 4, 2024
Day Program: January 8, 2024
Weeknight Program: March 4, 2024
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