Here’s What You Need to Know About Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage involves the application of slow strokes and firm pressure to get to the deepest layers of your muscles and the connective surrounding tissue (fascia). Cases in which deep tissue massage is useful include chronic pain and aches, and contracted areas such as sore shoulders, leg muscle tightness, low back pain, and stiff neck.
In most cases, deep tissue massage is used to address a specific problem, such as injury rehabilitation, chronic muscle pain and various other conditions including limited mobility, repetitive strain injury (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome), problems with posture and osteoarthritis pain, among others. Many people attest to achieving more pain relief through deep tissue massage than they have through prescription medications, exercise, physical therapy and over-the-counter drugs.
What to expect during the session
A lot of the strokes used in deep tissue massage may feel identical to those used in Swedish massage. Still, it is important to note that deep tissue massage is not a variation of Swedish massage. Its aim is to break up scar tissue and physically remove adhesions or “knots” (bands of rigid tissue that cause pain) which interfere with circulation and lead to pain, inflammation and limited range of motion.
When the session begins, your muscles will be prepared and warmed up using lighter pressure. Thereafter, your therapist will begin to apply specific techniques, including friction and stripping. The massagetherapist may use knuckles, fingertips, elbows, hands, and forearms during the process. They may ask you to take deep breaths as they handle especially tense areas.
When the session is complete, you may experience some soreness or stiffness, but it should subside in one or two days. Make sure you get in touch with your massage therapist in case the pain persists longer than expected. Drinking enough water after the massage can help to get rid of the metabolic waste coming from the tissues.
Should a deep tissue massage hurt?
You may experience some discomfort or some pain during certain times of the deep tissue massage as the therapist handles areas with scar tissue or adhesions. However, pain is not necessarily a requirement nor is it an indication that the massage will be effective. In fact, if the pain causes you to respond by tensing up, it would make it even more difficult for the therapist to reach deep areas of your muscles. Whenever you feel pain during the session, be sure to let the massage therapist know so that they can adjust their technique accordingly.
If you’re thinking about hiring a massage therapist to carry out a deep tissue massage, make sure you learn about the technique and know what to expect because it’s not just about applying deep pressure on your muscles. It’s also more useful for certain conditions than it is for others. Always keep in mind that a deep tissue massage doesn’t need to hurt or cause soreness for it to work. To get the maximum benefits from the procedure, communicate well with your massage therapist before the session.