Deep Tissue Massage: Hands-on Guide for Therapists

Deep Tissue Massage: Hands-on Guide for Therapists

by Jane C. Johnson, Jane Johnson


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Many clients enjoy the sensation of deep tissue massage. Yet some therapists shy away from incorporating this form of massage into their treatments, believing it to require the application of force greater than what they can deliver. Or they are anxious about how to apply pressure safely.

Deep Tissue Massage describes how to use 83 compressive and stretching techniques in ways that are safe and effective for you and your clients. The reference contains step-by-step guidelines and over 165 color photos, which will help you deliver comfortable and satisfying massages to your clients. The techniques are organized by the part of the body being massaged (trunk, lower limbs, and upper limbs) and by the positioning of the client (three-quarter lying, supine, prone, and seated). Once you have learned about the techniques, you will then learn about incorporating them into effective routines by moving the client from one position to the next. Discover those techniques and treatment positions that appeal to you, and discard those that you find less helpful. You will find many of these techniques easy to apply and will quickly be able to include them as part of your practice.

Deep Tissue Massage explains techniques for avoiding overuse of your hands by incorporating the forearms, fists, and elbows. Throughout the book Client Talk boxes present tips for effective dialogue between therapist and client to ensure expectations are met and the client’s limits for handling deep pressure are not exceeded. A photo gallery index provides a quick reference for treatment ideas or for checking technique.

Whether you are new to massage or a therapist with many years of experience, Deep Tissue Massage will be a great companion resource. Novices will love the easily accessible language and organization of this book, while veteran therapists will check technique and add variety to existing treatment routines. If used in a classroom setting, this book can stimulate debate and discussion about the proper use of deep tissue massage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780736084703
Publisher: Human Kinetics, Inc.
Publication date: 09/10/2010
Series: Hands-On Guides for Therapists Series
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jane Johnson, MSc, is director of the London Massage Company in London, England. As a chartered physiotherapist and sports massage therapist, she has been using and teaching deep tissue massage (DTM) for many years and has a thorough grounding in anatomy, which she uses to explain DTM in straightforward terms. She has worked with numerous client groups, including athletes, recreational exercisers, office workers and older adults. This experience has enabled her to adapt DTM for various types of clients and provide tips for readers. Johnson has taught advanced massage skills for many years and has worked as a fitness instructor, massage therapist and physiotherapist. She frequently presents at conferences and exhibitions for therapists.

Johnson is a full member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists and is registered with the Health Professions Council. She is a consultant and examiner in sports massage for the Association of Physical and Natural Therapists and is a member of the Institute of Anatomical Sciences. In her leisure time, she enjoys writing articles and newsletters for therapists, taking her dog for long walks and visiting museums and exhibitions relating to human sciences.

Table of Contents

Part I Getting Started With Deep Tissue Massage Techniques

Chapter 1 Introduction to Deep Tissue Massage

What Are the Methods of Application?

How Do You Increase the Depth of Your Massage?

How Is Deep Tissue Massage Different From Sports Massage?

What Are the Effects of Deep Tissue Massage?

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage

Where and When Should Deep Tissue Massage Be Done?

Closing Remarks

Quick Questions

Chapter 2 Preparing for Deep Tissue Massage

What Type of Massage Therapist Are You?

Establishing Your Intention

Using Your Body

Choosing Where to Use Forearms, Elbows, Fists and Squeezing

Using Your Equipment

Understanding Cautions and Safety Issues

Commonly Asked Questions and Concerns

Top Tips for Treating Clients

Tips for Working Safely With Deep Tissue Massage

Closing Remarks

Quick Questions

Part 2 Deep Tissue Massage Techniques

Chapter 3 Compressive Techniques

Introduction to Compressive Techniques






Closing Remarks

Quick Questions

Chapter 4 Stretching Techniques

Introduction to Stretching Techniques

Without Oil (Dry Stretching)

Dry Stretch


Dry Stretching for the Piriformis Muscle

‘With Oil’ Stretching

Stretching With Oil Plus a Passive Joint Movement

Stretching With Oil Plus an Active Joint Movement

Closing Remarks

Quick Questions

Part 3 Applying Deep Tissue Massage

Chapter 5 Deep Tissue Massage for the Trunk

Three-Quarter Lying




Quick Questions

Chapter 6 Deep Tissue Massage for the Lower Limbs

Three-Quarter Lying



Quick Questions

Chapter 7 Deep Tissue Massage for the Upper Limbs

Three-Quarter Lying



Quick Questions

Part 4 Deep Tissue Massage Routines and Programmes

Chapter 8 Creating Deep Tissue Massage Routines

Initial Questions


Notes Concerning Timing

Practice Routines

Case Studies

Closing Remarks


A reference for a variety of professionals, including massage therapists, physiotherapists, athletic trainers, and others (e.g., coaches, athletes) who wish to learn the skills.

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