Deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Sweedish (relaxing) massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).
A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that people’s blood pressure fell after a single 45 to 60 minute deep tissue massage. Additionally, a 2010 meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that massage modalities like deep tissue reduce stress hormone levels and heart rate while boosting mood and relaxation by triggering the release of oxytocin and serotonin.
The benefits of deep tissue massage come mainly in the form of pain relief for suffers of chronic conditions. This is the primary area of benefit for deep tissue massage, though it has shown other benefits throughout the body thanks to its function of improving blood circulation and stimulating muscle fibers.