Deep tissue massage therapy treatments are designed to relieve restrictions, tension, and pain in the deep layers of muscle and fascial connective tissue. This form of manual therapy is particularly effective for individuals who are involved in activities that require heavy physical exertion or careers that create unnatural postural positions…such as computer work. This would include people involved in sporting activities, manual labour occupations, transportation professionals, and office workers.
Deep tissue massage is one of the most misused terms in the manual therapy industry. The general perception of a deep tissue massage treatment is a massage treatment with generalized deep pressure. As you will learn an effective deep tissue massage therapy treatment is far different than a “deep pressure massage”.
What is Deep Tissue Massage Therapy?
Deep Tissue Massage Therapy is often mistaken as a massage therapy treatment with sustained deep pressure. The truth is deep tissue massage work is very specific in it’s approach to musculo-skeletal dysfunction. Treatments employ similar strokes as traditional Swedish Massage Therapy, but the movement is slower with more sustained pressure specific to the layer of tissue being worked. In contrast “deep pressure massage” is generally a full body treatment with strong, occasionally intense, pressure throughout and is not condition specific
During the treatment the therapist will place the affected tissue in a position that provides the best access to the layer needing to be worked. This may require creating access to structures deep in joints or musculature. Deep tissue massage techniques incorporate compressive pressure in addition to shearing movements based on connective tissue health and physiology. Depending on the structures being addressed the therapist may use finger tips, knuckles, elbows, or forearms to help achieve optimum treatment results.
How Does It Work?
To be honest we don’t know the exact mechanisms of why or how it works. There are many theories but no substantive proof and the truth is deep tissue massage doesn’t work for everybody or every situation. This type of treatment needs to used judiciously and with specific patients. One thing we are certain of is that deep tissue massage activates the bodies production of inflammation reducing enzymes in addition to helping with correcting connective tissue adhesions
Will Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?
Some Deep Tissue Massage sessions can be intense as a result of the deliberate, focused work. At certain points during the massage, there is usually various levels of discomfort and depends on the area being worked and the patients level of tolerance to discomfort. It is important to tell your massage therapist when the discomfort or pain you experience is outside your comfort zone…good deep tissue therapy does not have to involve extreme discomfort. At painPRO our therapists are trained to communicate with you to ensure your comfort.
It is not uncommon for you to feel some level of aching over the next 24-36 hours as the body is recovering.
Benefits Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage therapy can be effective in the treatment of the following issues:
- Chronic pain
- Limited mobility
- Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injury)
- Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Postural problems
- Ostearthritis pain
- Muscle tension or spasm