Acupressure Vs Deep Tissue Massage | Differences & Similarities

Two of the most well-known kinds of massage therapies are acupressure and deep tissue massage. By reducing or eliminating muscular spasms, enhancing blood flow, and stimulating endorphins, both treatments aim to bring the body and mind back into harmony.

On the other hand, there are several key variables to keep in mind as you assess your options.

Continue reading to find out what kind of massage therapy is good for you. Additionally, we shared some tips on how you could prepare before a massage session.

Deep Tissue Massage Vs Acupressure Massage

While pressure is used in both types of massage, there are also significant differences. Some include:

1. Technique

1. Technique (acupressure vs deep tissue)

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, working on them with slow, purposeful strokes and kneads of varying intensities. Depending on the severity, it might impact the whole body or just a specific point.

Before beginning the deep tissue massage session, your therapist will want to know about any affected spots. You will be asked to lie on your back or stomach covered with a sheet when you are ready. Before focusing on the affected areas, the therapist will warm up your muscles gently.

While acupressure involves applying pressure to a specific spot on the meridian points or acupoints, that are believed to have corresponding effects elsewhere in the body (for example, there is a point on your hand for your kidney).

Pressure is applied by the practitioner’s fingers, palms, elbows, feet, or other tools. Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine style of massage therapy that focuses on these meridian points. When one of these meridians is blocked, it might cause illness.

An acupressure massage consists of the therapist applying light pressure to certain acupressure spots all over your body. The typical length of a session is one hour.

To have a deep tissue massage, you should undress the area being worked on. During an acupressure session, you lie completely clothed on a comfortable massage table.

2. Intended use

2. Intended use of deep tissue and acupressure

Deep tissue massage has been shown to aid in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions, including chronic low back pain, sports injuries, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, high blood pressure, sciatica, and tennis elbow, by facilitating the reduction of inflammation and scar tissue following an injury, relieving muscle spasm, and speeding recovery.

However, several studies have shown that acupressure can help with nausea and vomiting after surgery, spinal anesthesia, chemotherapy, motion sickness, and even pregnancy. In addition, it has the potential to relieve symptoms of depression and stress, as well as pains such as those in the back, neck, and head.

3. Side effects

3. Side effects of deep tissue and acupressure

Massage techniques like acupressure and deep tissue are typically safe. Some clients may experience post-treatment pain due to the intense pressure they exert. A heating pad or ice pack in a towel might help relieve the pain.

It is important to check with your doctor before trying any therapy that involves moving joints and muscles, such as deep tissue or acupressure massage, if you have a history of blood clotting disorder or bleeding disorder, cancer, or are undergoing cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, a spinal injury, or are pregnant.

Acupressure Or Deep Tissue? Which Massage Type Works Best for You?

Runners and others who put their bodies through intense physical exertion benefit greatly from deep tissue massage, as they have musculoskeletal injuries from playing sports or being in an accident, or experiencing constant pain.

Although acupressure’s goal is to establish a healthy equilibrium between the body’s yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy) energies, it may also be used to treat a wide variety of physical ailments.

Some studies have found that acupressure may treat not just the energy fields and the body but also the mind, emotions, and spirit by doing things like relieving stress and increasing endorphin production.

So, if you have muscle pain go for deep tissue massage, as muscular tension is often reduced, and muscle function is improved after receiving this form of massage.

If you want to clear your mind and balance your energy fields, mind, emotions, and spirit, go for acupressure as it relieves stress and increases endorphin production.

If you want to focus on a specific area of your body, you may try acupressure, while if you want to unwind from head to toe you should go for a deep tissue massage.

Final Thoughts:

Acupressure and deep tissue massage are common types of massage therapy. 

Depending on the circumstances, both can help alleviate discomfort and calm the mind.

While there is some overlap in their techniques, there are also significant distinctions in the pressure used, the area targeted, and the goal pursued.

Knots or chronic tension may be worked out of the deepest layers of muscle and connective tissue during a deep tissue massage. Choose the massage modality that you feel will help you the most.


Acupressure points and massage treatment for pain, nausea, and more (no date) WebMD. WebMD. Available at:  

Cherry, R. (2018) Everything you need to know about acupressure massage, Shape. Shape. Available at:

Wong, C. (2022) Understanding the benefits and uses of Acupressure, Verywell Health. Verywell Health. Available at:

Swedish massage vs. deep tissue massage: What to know (no date) Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. Available at:

Chorney, S. and Matluck, E. (2022) The benefits of deep tissue massage and why it’s not for everyone, Insider. Insider. Available at:

Deep tissue massage: Benefits, risks, and what to expect (no date) Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. Available at:

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