If all of that stress you’re carrying has created some chronic tension or pain like a stiff neck, achy lower back or knots in your shoulders, deep tissue massage may be the solution for you. This modality, or type, of massage is geared toward reliving such tension in and realigning the deep muscles below the top muscles — as well as their connecting tissue, or fascia. Therefore, the name does not refer to constant deep pressure, but to the muscles that are addressed. Specifically, deep tissue massage seeks to correct areas of stiffened tissue known as adhesions, formed over time due to chronic tension. These adhesions frequently are the cause for pain and discomfort, blocked circulation, inflammation and diminished flexibility.
Compared to Swedish massage, many find deep tissue massage to be more intense; while Swedish massage is meant for relaxation, deep tissue massage is for repairing certain areas of the body. There may be a mild, short term ache or discomfort in the muscles for a day or two following the massage, as the muscles rebuild themselves, but every effort is made to prevent pain. Deep tissue massage often is requested by athletes and those who perform high levels of physical activity, as well as those who have suffered an injury or suffer a chronic condition like osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia. It is considered to be a very distinct category of massage, as massage therapists use a special set of techniques and strokes to be effective.
Many Swedish or classic massage techniques also are used, in a slower, deeper way. The goal of the massage therapist is to break down the adhesions, so they will focus on specific areas using friction and direct pressure, which also creates increased blood flow. There may be moments of discomfort, so it is crucial to tell your massage therapist if you experience any pain beyond what you are comfortable with. Prior to and particularly following the massage, remember to stay well hydrated.
Deep tissue massage usually is geared to these specific areas of the body that are causing trouble, upon request by the patient, rather than an allover “deep pressure” massage; if the latter is what you are seeking, be sure to indicate that when booking the appointment.
Ready for that Deep Tissue massage? Book an appointment today!