The name Deep Tissue Massage generally refers to any massage that addresses the deeper muscles and soft tissues of the body. Other massage modalities usually concentrate on the muscling that you can easily palpate and feel just under the skin. A deep Tissue Massage will address the soft tissues that are under those more prominent muscles and the tissues that are generally more structural in nature. If done correctly, the muscles that are addressed with a Deep Tissue Massage are harder to reach, taking more time and effort from the therapist.
A Deep Tissue Massage does not mean that the therapist just uses ‘deeper pressure’ during the massage session. A good therapist will take the time to warm and loosen up the more superficial muscling and then work in between and under those, to get to the deeper muscles that are problematic for the client. There are times when the client will experience soreness for a day or two after a Deep Tissue Massage, this can be a normal occurrence especially if the muscles have been tight for a long time, (chronic), or if the muscles are extremely tight, (acute).
Deep Tissue Massage is not a modality that is taught in all massage schools. It is also not a technique that is generally used by the Spa/hairdresser settings or locations. To find out whether your massage therapist has had Deep Tissue Massage training, you can ask about their certification and training history. A nationally certified therapist will have had training in Deep Tissue Massage as well as many other useful modalities.