Deep Tissue Massage is massage technique that typically uses slower, more-powerful strokes focusing on the deepest layers of the muscle tissues, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints) to treat chronic muscle tension. The therapist uses their thumbs, fingers, knuckles, forearms and even elbows to reach the deeper level of muscles and tissues. The movements can be similar to those in traditional massage or Swedish Massage, but the strokes are much slower, deeper, and usually more concentrated on areas of tension and pain.
Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage:
Deep Tissue Massage can be quite therapeutic and the benefits are numerous. It is designed to alleviate chronic patterns of tension, help with muscle injuries such as back strain, whiplash, falls, sports injuries and more. Deep Tissue Massage also helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue from prior injuries or illnesses. Scar tissue can lead to inflexible tissues which can cause pain, soreness and stiffness.
Did you know that deep tissue massage can even help with better body posture? You may have heard the expression, “Muscle Memory.” In fact, muscles do have a memory of sort and consistent or repetitive habits like sitting hunch-backed can cause muscles to hold or “remember” this pattern. Deep tissue massage aids in unseating these deeply held patterns by elongating the muscle tissue, thus re-aligning that muscle.
The benefits of deep tissue massage are plentiful, no doubt. Here are a few more examples.
Additional Conditions/Symptoms that can Benefit from Deep Tissue Massage:
- High Blood Pressure
- Chronic Pain
- Back Pain
- Tennis Elbow
- Limited/Restricted Mobility
- Repetitive Strain Injuries such as Carpal Tunnel
- Recovery from Workouts, Body Building, and/or Training
Does Deep Tissue Massage Hurt:
One of the firsts things to remember is that deep tissue massage is designed for therapy, pain relief, or rehabilitation, as opposed to relaxation associated with other types of massages. You will most likely experience some discomfort or pain during, and even after, a deep tissue massage. The discomfort can be associated with the depth of the muscle that this massage reaches, the fact that the massage may be focusing on relieving pain from a previous injury, or even the fact that massage uses movements that go against the muscle, as opposed to moving with them.
This is why it is important to communicate with your therapist if the pain reaches a level that is above discomfort or even intense during the massage and discuss your current pain levels prior to your deep tissue massage.
One of the best ways to help get both the most out of your deep tissue massage, and to help reduce some of the possible discomfort during the massage, is to breathe deeply and slowly. This will promote oxygenation of the muscles.
There may be some soreness or stiffness after the deep tissue massage for a day or two. Your therapist may recommend icing the are, or even taking a warm bath filled with epsom salt.
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