Deep Tissue Massage is a type of massage therapy that seeks to access structural layers of muscles and fascia (the connective tissue surrounding the muscles). The slow, concentrated strokes focus on releasing chronic muscle tension and adhesions (knots) in these layers that lie far below the surface of the body. The term ‘deep tissue’ encompasses different styles of massage and manual therapy, and should not be equated with the term ‘deep pressure’. After warming up the muscles on the surface, a massage therapist may use their thumbs, fingers and even elbows to apply the required pressure, which may be modified to keep the client comfortable, so they do not subconsciously resist the work. Reaching these deep layers of muscle and soft tissue may take more than one session.
the benefits of deep tissue massage include:
- release of tension and stiffness from muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and fascia.
- pain relief.
- pain management.
- increased flexibility and suppleness.
- breaks down old scar tissue and adhesions.
- improved mobility, posture and physical performance.
While Deep Tissue Massage is not for everyone, those suffering from certain conditions may also find it to be quite therapeutic. If you have chronic pain, fibromyalgia, edema, muscle cramping, or carpal tunnel syndrome talk to your massage therapist to see which modalities of body work would be most beneficial. While deep pressure techniques can, when correctly applied, be both pleasurable and therapeutic, it’s important to keep in mind that there are several very powerful and healing Deep Tissue modalities that instead require light pressure. These might include Myofacial Release, Lymphatic Drainage, Reiki, and Craniosacral Therapy to name but a very few.
no pain no gain?
Those who equate Deep Tissue Massage with deep pressure may believe Deep Tissue Massage is supposed to be painful in order to be beneficial. Not true! In fact, many people fall into a deeper state of relaxation when they receive a Deep Tissue Massage. The key is to breathe. There can be mild to moderate discomfort during the massage as tight muscles are worked. There can be a day or two of soreness following the deep tissue massage – similar to after you complete a particularly rigorous workout. A good way to recover from a Deep Tissue Massage is to soak in a warm bath with Epsom salt. Your muscles need some rest after one of these massages, even if you feel no soreness. So do not plan any activities within a day this kind of massage work, and remember to stay hydrated before and after a massage.
Many of the therapists on our skilled massage therapist team specialize in Deep Tissue Massage. If you’d like to learn more, consider meeting with one of them for a complimentary initial consultation – to see how this therapeutic practice can be incorporated into your wellness regime.