D is for Deep Tissue Massage : tools and techniques


Deep tissue massage is a vital part of the recovery phase of training and can be a fantastic tool for both athletes and non-athletes. Because every body part is different and each patient will have a slightly different complaint, masseuses and physical therapists need a wide range of deep tissue massage tools and skills in their arsenal.  

In this post, we’ll be taking a look at some fantastic deep tissue massage equipment.  

Deep tissue massage 101 

A quick reminder here if you’re not yet trained in deep tissue massage but are considering practicing it or want to go for a massage yourself.  

Deep tissue massage is a type that applies sustained pressure in slow strokes to access tissue at a deeper level than superficial. This includes connective tissues and deeper muscles. This type of massage doesn’t always have to by dynamic – continuous movement – and stationary cupping is a good example of a deep tissue massage that applies (negative) pressure to a specific place.  

Massage balls 

Massage tools such as balls are fantastic bits of equipment for deep tissue massage because they do much of the work for you. Manual deep tissue massaging can be extremely tiring for the masseuse, so using a tool like a ball makes your job a lot easier.  

Massage balls allow you to put very specific pressure on tight spots and gently move the ball around to release tension. You can also teach your patients to use massage balls themselves which allows them to ease any discomfort regardless of their next appointment date.  

Balls come in different shapes, surfaces – smooth or spikey, and in different levels of hardness. Our three-piece set is a good place to start whilst our peanut ball is the ideal shape to slot over the spine to massage either side.  

Massage tools 

There are plenty of oddly-shaped massage tools out there that allows you to more easily manipulate deep tissue without exhausting yourself. Our full body massage tool has multiple wide legs, perfect for targeting trigger points and access deep muscles. They can often look pretty wacky and are fun to test out. 


A little more involved but still very much straightforward, cupping can be a fantastic form of deep tissue massage. Cupping works by placing cups, often made of silicone or glass, over the skin and creating a vacuum inside which pulls skin and deeper tissue up into the cup. The suction is usually created in one of three ways: heat, suction pump and squeezing a flexible cup before placing it on the skin.  

If you’re already a trained physiotherapist or masseuse, it could take you only a day or two to become qualified in cupping. With a cupping set of around 10-17 cups, you’ll be prepared to offer this type of deep tissue massage in no time at all. You can expect interest in this to boom over the next few weeks as the Olympic athletes often have cupping circles on their backs from recent treatments: cupping bursts capillaries at surface level, creating circular red marks. 

Get stuck in to deep tissue massage 

There are many great tools for doing deep tissue massage and each has a slightly different application. By having a full range of tools and skills under your belt you can adapt each style to the client you’re working on.  


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