Deep tissue massage is a form of massage that applies sustained pressure to the muscles through slow, deep strokes. It targets the inner layers of muscle and connective tissues called fascia to break down any “knots.” These bands of painful, rigid tissue can disrupt regular circulation, cause pain and inflammation, and limit one’s range of motion.
How Does Deep Tissue Massage Work?
A deep tissue massage usually begins with the application of light pressure to prepare the tissue. Once the muscles are suitably warmed up, we then apply specific deep-tissue techniques. These include stripping, a deep, gliding pressure applied along the length of the muscle fibers, and friction, a pressure applied along the grain of the muscle to realign the tissues and release any adhesions. The person administering the massage uses fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during a deep tissue massage.
It’s different from regular relaxation or Swedish massage in that the pressure is much, much greater. While some of the strokes may feel the same as those used in a relaxation massage, deep tissue massage isn’t simply a stronger form of this. Because of how deep it gets under the skin, deep tissue massage is the preferred choice for treating musculoskeletal issues, such as strains and sports injuries.
What Are The Benefits Of Deep Tissue Massage?
One of the biggest benefits of deep tissue massage is that the pressure helps break up scar tissue that can form after an injury. Many clients turn to it for relief from long-term pain, to help increase mobility, and to remedy postural issues. It may also promote faster healing by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation, and many athletes include it in their rehabilitation routines.
It also lessens tense muscle and tissue. Many clients turn to deep tissue massage as a way to relieve the tension that comes from chronic aches, pain, and contractions in areas like the neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, and legs.
Does Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?
One question a lot of clients have about deep tissue massage is, “does it hurt?” During this type of massage, clients may feel discomfort or some pain as we work on areas of scar tissue accumulation or adhesions. Contrary to what you see on TV or in movies, pain from a deep tissue massage shouldn’t be tolerated or taken as a sign that it’s working. Too much discomfort can prevent the massage from being effective, as it can make the client tense up and stop us from reaching the deeper levels of muscles.
If you feel pain or discomfort during a deep tissue massage, always communicate that to us. We can adjust the technique or take more time warming up tissues if the muscles are tense!
When Deep Tissue Massage Isn’t Appropriate
The pressure can make deep tissue massage off-limits for some people. It may not be safe for clients with thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots, as the massage raises the risk of dislodging them. People with other medical conditions like osteoporosis should avoid this type of massage, too. As well, if you’ve recently had surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, check with your doctor before starting the deep tissue massage.
When you’re setting up an appointment with London Mobile Massage, we’ll talk with you about your past and needs. It could be that, while deep tissue massage isn’t good for your condition, another form could be what you need!