The goal of a deep tissue massage is to physically break down these adhesions to help relieve pain.
Deep tissue massage is a type of therapy that uses massage to help realign the connective tissue and deep layers of muscle tissues. This type of massage is really helpful for chronic aches and pains in addition to areas with contracted muscle groups such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, sore shoulders, and muscle tightness in the legs.
Deep tissue massage uses many of the same strokes found in traditional massage therapy, but the movements are slower and the pressure is deeper and more focused on specific areas of pain and tension. This is done to reach the sub-layer of the muscles and fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles.
Deep Tissue Techniques
When the body has experienced an injury or chronic muscle tension, there are usually adhesions or bands of painful, rigid tissue in the tendons, ligaments, and muscles. These adhesions can cause pain, block circulation, limit movement, and produce inflammation.
The goal of a deep tissue massage is to physically break down these adhesions to help relieve pain and restore normal movement. The therapist will use direct deep pressure with the assistance of massage oils. In order for the therapist to reach the deeper musculature, muscles must be relaxed.
Is the Deep Tissue Massage Painful?
Most people will find that there is some discomfort and pain at certain points of the massage. It is important to let the therapist know when you experience pain and soreness beyond your comfort range. Following a deep tissue massage, there will usually be some stiffness and pain, but it should lessen in about a day or two. After the massage, the massage therapist will often recommend the application of ice to help reduce area swelling.
Some Benefits of a Deep Tissue Massage
Oftentimes, a deep tissue massage will usually focus on a specific problem, such as injury rehabilitation, chronic muscle pains and many of the following issues:
• Lower back pain
• Chronic pain
• Recovery from injuries
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Osteoarthritis pain
• Postural problems
• Limited mobility
• Muscle tensions
• Muscle spasms
• Tennis elbow
• Piriformis syndrome
• After working out or bodybuilding
What to Expect
The massage therapist may ask you to breathe deeply as the therapist works on certain tense areas. During the massage, the therapist may use their fingertips, knuckles, elbows, hands, and even the forearms.
After Care and Other Tips
• Try not to eat a heavy meal prior to the massage
• Arrive 10 minutes early to rest and relax before the massage
• Avoid strenuous activities after a massage
• Following the massage, drinking lots of water can help to flush out toxins that may have been released by the muscles. Water is also needed to help rehydrate the muscles, which can help to reduce muscle stiffness and aches.
• After the deep tissue massage, stretching can help to prevent muscle aches and pain.