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Therapeutic Techniques of Deep Tissue Massage: Part II

28 Hour CE Course

Average rating based on the following evaluation questions:

  1. The presentation of the subject was clear and to the point.
  2. Content was interesting to me.
  3. I gained new knowledge.
  4. The materials held my attention.
  5. I can use this information in my practice.
  6. This program met my personal expectations.
  7. Overall quality of course content and materials were excellent.

Enrollment Options

DVD Materials Shipped and Test Online

Contents: 7 Videos (DVD) shipped to you. online multiple-choice test.


DVD Materials and Test Shipped to You

Contents: 7 Videos (DVD) and workbook with multiple-choice test shipped to you.


Already own the 7-DVD set Deep Tissue Massage and Myofascial Release: A Video Guide to Techniques? Call us at 1-800-364-5722, 9am to 5pm, to discuss your enrollment options.


Based on the popular 7-DVD set by Art Riggs, Certified Advanced Rolfer, CMT, this advanced practice home study (kinesthetic) course clearly demonstrates the principles necessary for deep tissue massage that’s safe, sensitive and efficient.

Learn from one of the most highly respected teachers in the USA. Art Riggs provides instructions and protocols for postural analysis; deep tissue treatment; how to teach strengthening and stretching exercises to clients; how to troubleshoot problems when they arise, and how to protect your body while working.

Many massage training products just show "strokes" without delving into the complex issues of soft tissue restrictions, osseous articulations and strategies for working with the multitude of different issues we face as therapists. This extensive training series not only shows countless strokes and techniques, but more importantly will demonstrate the qualitative art of working with deep tissues to effect profound change.

This course has a user-friendly design and is relevant to any type of massage practice in any environment.

You may examine the test NOW by registering for an account on our website; returning to this Enrollment page, and downloading the FREE Study Guide with the link that will be present.

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Content Outline

Part 1: The Fundamentals (DVDs 1 and 2)

  • Refining Touch, Working Through Superficial Muscles to Deep Layers
  • Biomechanics of Working Tissue Deeply
  • Caveats: Areas of Caution for Deep Work
  • Tools of Deep Tissue Massage: Saving your Thumbs and Fingers
  • Proper Use of Fingers, Knuckles, Fist, Forearm, and Elbow
  • Massage Strokes and Techniques
  • Lengthening Tissue, Freeing Adhesions, and Releasing Holding Patterns
  • Positioning of Clients to Increase Effectiveness of Your Work
  • The Side-Lying Position to Dramatically Improve Your Effectiveness
  • Open-Book Test for Part 1
5 hours

Part 2: Deep Tissue Strategies (DVDs 3, 4 and 5) Hundreds of strategies to integrate into your practice, including:

The Legs and Pelvis
  • Balancing the Ankle and Foot and Increasing Mobility
  • The Anterior and Posterior Lower Leg
  • Working with the Knee for Mobility and to Free Restrictions
  • The Upper Leg: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Adductors, Abductors
  • The Pelvis: Rotators, Hips, Sacrum, and Coccyx
The Abdomen and Back
  • Quadratus Lumborum, Psoas, Iliacus, External Abdomen, Diaphragm and the Breath
  • Spinal Mechanics and Mobilization of Vertebrae and Ribs
  • Major Back Muscles: Erector Spinae, Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, and Others
  • Side-lying Work on the Back
The Upper Body
  • Working with the Shoulder Girdle, Chest, Arms, and Neck
  • Shoulder Girdle: Freeing the Scapula, Rotator Cuff, Chest, and First Rib
  • The Arms: Hand/Wrist, Forearm, Elbow, and Upper Arm
  • The Neck and Head: in Prone and Supine Position
  • Anterior and Posterior Neck and Vertebral Mobilization
  • Superficial Muscles of the Skull and Jaw
  • Open-Book Test for Part 2
14 hours

Part 3: Advanced Techniques for Troubleshooting and Treatment of Injuries, including Stretching and Strengthening Suggestions (DVDs 6 and 7)

  • Foot and Ankle Injuries: Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendinitis, Ankle Sprains
  • Knee Pain and Dysfunction
  • Sciatica
  • Minor Back Pain
  • Rotator Cuff
  • Tennis Elbow, Wrist Complaints, and Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Thoracic Outlet Problems

Many additional strategies are also covered, such as:

  • Working off-table in seated and standing postures
  • Suggestions for rehabilitative home programs of strengthening and stretching exercises for your clients.
  • Open-Book test for Part 3
9 hours
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I found Mr. Art Riggs very informative and knowlegable in this wonderful course. It certainly will improve me as a professional massage therapist and will definitly enhance my massage practice.

Claire M. Balint, LMT

Better understanding of the body tissues and how to work deeply without hurting the client, is what I enjoyed the most.

C. Bracamonte, LMT, NCTMB

Same excellence as Part I of this course! Great reference material.

E. Nazario, LMT, NCTMB

This was a very well presented course on deep tissue techniques.

C. Vojtasek, LMT, NCTMB

Art Riggs is a fantastic educator and rolfer. I would recommend this to anyone who does massage as essential!

L. Star, CMT

Excellent DVDs! So much great material! I watched some of them 3 or 4 times. Printing out the test and answering the questions as I watched helped to hold my attention.

S. Bouton, LMT, NCTMB

Many of the techniques are brand new material for me to grasp. These techniques, once studied in more depth, practiced, and applied, will increase my understanding of how to apply them on various types of client issues. This course will bring many more clients to my business. I have already gotten rave reviews from clients by using these techniques.

Marian Hebert, LMT

Art Riggs is an excellent teacher.

Justine Jacobs, LMT, NCTMB

I have been a massage practitioner for 15 years and thought there wasn't much more to learn that would change the way I practice which has been very successful for me. However I have burnt out of my career, left with chronic pain in my wrists and thumbs, forced to take a 2 year hiatus. Art Riggs has completely revitalized my practice and the way I think about massage. He is so thorough and provides so many techniques in a way to incorporate it creatively into my own way. He was very easy and relaxing to listen to, which is important to me for learning and spending lengthy time on this type of material. The only thing I would have changed is the ability to back up the dvd to specific spot, instead of having to review a 15 min. segment to find my answer. Regardless, it is a course I will review again and again for my own enrichment as there is so much information and possibilities covered in this amazing course.

Joanne Jerkovich, CMT


Jennifer Monro, NCTMB

This course includes a lot of great information. I enjoyed Art Riggs as an instructor. He is both knowledgeable and clear in how to use the techniques he presents. He encourages good self care with respect to proper use of demonstrated course material. Art also reminds us that it is okay and important to give our clients some nurturing too. I appreciated that he encouraged using the material he presents as an opportunity to grow as a therapist, expanding not only our abilities, but the belief in our ability to help clients. I enjoyed and would recommend this course.

Brian Dolgovin

Great course & Art Riggs is AWESOME! I highly recommend this course to anyone that wants to take their basic massage skills to a higher level! Though I think it should offer more CEU hours. Even with that said it was a real pleasure learning a new way of working with my clients

Jeremy Weber, NCTMB

Very interesting material.

Wee Woon Phua

The program: Deep tissue:Part 2 Will make you think; especially in area's of weakness.I realized how much I don't know. The video's are sometimes hard to follow. but at least you can go back and review. Thank you!

Christine Coleman, LMT

This was an amazing course. I learned more than I could imagine from one course. Art Riggs is thorough as he can possibly be on a DVD course. I am very pleased with the Institute and look forward to taking more classes from the Institute in the future. Thank you for a wonderful course.

Michael Sullivan, CMT

Art Riggs is a master therapist and can convey and demonstrate theory and technique marvelously. Thank you for offering his course.

Nathaniel Schleimer, LMP

I really enjoyed this course and gained a lot of knowledge from it. I just purchased his next video about deep tissue massage. As a busy stay at home mom this was a great format to earn the CE credits I needed without having to travel and take time away from my family. I am looking forward to studying these dvds more in depth and practicing what I learned.

Elizabeth Girard, LMT

Course is thorough, instructor is very good and the presentation is clear.

Steven F. Kramer, CMT, LMBT

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Learning Objectives

  1. Define Deep Tissue Massage, identify its main principles and benefits, and recognize at least 5 areas of caution
  2. Differentiate between compressing tissue and stretching it; identify principles of correct biomechanics, and recognize the key element of “melting” muscle tissue
  3. Identify each of these stroke strategies, with examples of when their use is appropriate: lengthening, anchor and stretch, cross-fiber, separating muscle compartments, freeing entrapments and allowing muscles to shorten
  4. Identify why it’s important to place muscles in a stretched position and how to use side-lying positions
  5. Identify at least 3 specific therapeutic strategies for each of these areas: foot & lower leg, upper leg, pelvis, pelvis & low back, abdomen
  6. Identify at least 3 specific therapeutic strategies for each of these areas: breath, upper & mid-back, shoulder girdle & chest, arms, hands & neck, skull & jaw
  7. Identify at least 3 ways to instruct your clients about how to prevent back pain, neck pain and headaches, and at least 1 way to recognize malignant melanoma
  8. Identify at least 1 therapeutic strategy for common complaints in each of the following body parts, and how to correctly apply it to practice situations: the ankle, plantar fasciaitis, the knee, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow
  9. Identify at least 1 therapeutic strategy for common complaints in each of the following body parts, and how to correctly apply it to practice situations: carpal tunnel syndrome, the low back, sciatica and the shoulder
  10. Identify the key elements in assessing clients and choosing appropriate deep tissue approaches for them
  11. Identify how to establish and maintain a thriving practice that includes Deep Tissue Massage and expresses who you are
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Sample Text

"Strengthening Strategies

Pain in a joint will usually have the effect of sending inhibitory nerve responses to the muscles, which results in atrophy and weakness.  This weakness is one reason why a minor acute injury will sometimes turn into a chronic inflammation.  Simple exercises that take only five or ten minutes a day can have profound effects on alleviating knee pain.

Pain in the knee may come from lack of stability and imbalances in strength between different muscles associated with stabilizing the knee joint and patella.  Ninety percent of the clients I see for knee pain have had dramatic improvement doing strengthening and flexibility exercises, while soft tissue work by itself, although very helpful, has not been as effective.

In the early stages of strengthening, an inflamed joint may not tolerate movement until the inflammation has decreased.  The safest strategy is to progress from isometric strengthening exercises that keep the knee joint immobile, to more complex exercises involving flexion and extension of the joint."  (Deep Tissue Massage: A Visual Guide to Techniques by Art Riggs, 2007)

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Sample Test Question

Ninety percent of the author’s clients who have knee pain get dramatic improvement from

  1. stretching exercises
  2. strengthening and flexibility exercises
  3. deep tissue massage
  4. effleurage and ice
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