Deep tissue massage isn't most people's idea of a relaxing spa treatment. However, it can be very helpful in treating musculoskeletal issues by reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and breaking up scar tissue. While you may not say "aah" during the process, you'll likely feel amazing with much less tension afterward. If you're trying to recover from an injury or feeling stressed, a deep tissue massage may be just what you need!
A deep tissue massage involves consistent pressure in long, slow strokes. These movements target the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. This technique helps break up scar tissue resulting from an injury, reduce inflammation, boost circulation, and decrease muscle tension. Deep tissue massage is an excellent choice for those healing from a sports injury like a sprain or strain or feeling very tight.
The strokes used are very similar to Swedish massage, one of the most common types of massages. However, deep tissue massage involves much more pressure, sometimes requiring the therapist to use their elbows or forearms. While Swedish massage focuses almost exclusively on relaxation, deep tissue massage is intended to reduce chronic pain and help with muscle-related injuries.
Deep tissue massage is designed to help treat inflammation, stiffness, muscle tension, and sports-related injuries. However, it can help you mentally relax and unwind, especially if it reduces chronic pain.
The benefits of deep tissue massage can include:
Deep tissue massage may be used to treat:
Some individuals experience lingering soreness that can last for a day or two. However, the side effects are typically short-lived, and many consider them worth the benefits.
As is typical with other forms of massage, discussing your problem areas and any health concerns is an important step before the massage begins. In most cases, you'll be asked to complete a few short forms regarding your basic information and any issues you hope to have treated with your deep tissue massage.
Next, you'll be shown to the massage room. Here, you can undress as much as you feel comfortable. In most cases, it's best to try and expose the area being treated as much as possible. When you're ready, the massage therapist will usually have you lie down on the massage table under a sheet.
To begin the session, a gentler touch will be used to warm up your muscles. Next, they can start thoroughly massaging any areas of concern. You can expect varying but intense deep pressure applied in long strokes and some kneading.
After your massage, be sure to drink lots of water and try to take it easy. Residual soreness isn't uncommon and can generally be treated at home with an ice pack or heating pad as needed.