Before a deep tissue massage session begins, the client will typically be led to the treatment room and asked to remove clothes and lie down under a sheet or blanket on the massage table. In most cases, and based on comfort level, it is up to the client to determine whether to leave undergarments on. Clients will generally be covered with a sheet for the majority of the session, but for those who have privacy concerns, it is best to discuss these with the massage therapist before the session begins.
A session of deep tissue massage typically starts with relaxation methods borrowed from Swedish or traditional massage. The massage therapist might focus the first several minutes on warming and loosening the muscles at the surface of the area being worked on, as making these muscles more pliable will make it easier for the therapist to reach the deeper muscles and tendons later on. A single session can focus on a particular region of the body or encompass the entire body. The massage therapist and client usually have a conversation prior to the session to determine the client’s specific treatment goals.