The human body has layers of muscles – muscles on top of muscles. Deep tissue massage is an advanced technique focused on manipulating deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue.
Deep Tissue Massage Purpose
Deep tissue massage centers on realigning the deeper layers of connective and muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the tense areas, either following or going across the fiber’s of the muscles, tendons and fascia. It is particularly helpful for continually tight and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders.
Deep tissue massage is much more than just a “hard massage.” In contrast to only relaxing muscles, the specific lengthening of fascia, muscles and tendons offers many benefits such as increased joint movement, quicker injury recovery, better posture, as well as feelings of well-being.
Deep tissue massage is often used to treat:
- Chronic Pain
- Limited Mobility
- Recovery from Injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, and sports injury)
- Repetitive Strain Injury (carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Postural Problems
- Osteoarthritis Pain
- Muscle Tension or Spasm.
Deep Tissue Massage Goals
Deep tissue has been found to improve muscle function and range of motion, break up scar tissue and adhesions, and decrease pain. It is thought that when muscles are tensed, they block oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that builds up toxins in the muscle tissue. A deep tissue massage may help loosen muscle tissues, release toxins from muscles and get blood and oxygen circulating properly. Because many toxins are released, it is recommended to drink plenty of water after a deep tissue session to help eliminate these toxins from the body.
Goals of Deep Tissue Massage:
- Reduce pain.
- Improve posture.
- Increase flexibility and perception of looseness.
- Improve fluidity of movement.
- Restore metabolic status of tissue.
Deep Tissue Massage Treatment
Deep tissue massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as a more classic superficial massage. The difference is that the pressure will generally be more intense, and concentrated on areas of tension and pain. The strokes are the same, but the movement is slower and deeper. At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort and pain. It is important to tell the therapist when they hit a tender spot and if any discomfort you experience is outside your comfort range. Due to the focused nature of the session, the treatment can become intense at times.
Occasionally there is some stiffness or tenderness after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so. The massage therapist may suggets applying ice to the area after the deep tissue massage.