Deep Tissue Massage is a massage technique that focuses on all layers of muscle. The goal of a Deep Tissue Massage is not just to relax, but to release the tension that we hold within the body.
Whether you are an athlete, or sedentary, a Deep Tissue Massage can benefit you. Contrary to popular belief, Deep Tissue Massage is not just for athletes. People who exercise regularly AND stretch daily, need less massage than those who are sedentary. Why? because their muscles are used to being stretched and relaxed, which promotes good circulation and movement of the fluids surrounding the muscle, keeping them fresh, oxygenated and supplied with the nutrients needed for good function.
In comparison, those who spend hours sitting or standing in the same position, have poor posture, are sedentary, wear high heels, or just carry lots of stress always have muscles groups in a permanently contracted state which causes pain, and predisposes them to injury.
Deep Tissue Massage is an oil massage, using slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fiber’s of the muscles, tendons and fascia. Correct use of deep tissue techniques ensures that muscles are ready to receive deeper work, preventing unnecessary pain, and even bruising or injury that can occur when strong techniques are used without adequate training and knowledge.
Although a Deep Tissue Massage covers the whole body, it usually focuses on specific areas that you require to be released. The deeper techniques may cause some soreness during or right after the massage. However the level of stimulation the muscles receive stimulates them to relax and heal, leaving you feeling better than ever within a day or two.
How is a Deep Tissue Massage different from other massages?
Most massages focus on just relaxation, relying on the calming touch of a therapist to calm the body, and relax the mind. In order to complete the experience spa’s focus on aesthetic touches to aid relaxation – the smells, sounds, textures and ambience of the massage room and center. Although very pleasant, mostly these massages do not focus on encouraging locked muscles to relax.
A Deep Tissue Massage is a completely different experience.
The goal is not to have the client fall asleep. The goal of a Deep Tissue Massage is to work with the client to identify the patterns of tension within the body, and to begin releasing them. This involves communication throughout the massage, gaining feedback, exploring causes, and advising on preventive and corrective strategies to help muscle release continue after the session.
The best client for Deep Tissue Massage is one who wants to understand their body. A good therapist with extensive bodywork or physiotherapy knowledge behind them can feel and understand the causes of muscular tension. To be able to share that information with a client who wants to learn to care for themself is extremely rewarding.
To release a muscle needs more than massaging the skin, or pushing an elbow into a cold, contracted muscle. Muscles work in groups, with some assisting the action of a muscle, and others opposing those actions. The coordinated effort of all muscles in a group allow us to move. When injury or strain occurs, many muscles may be recruited to protect the body from further injury, and if allowed to persist, all of the muscles may become contracted and painful. The slow, methodical unwinding of these conditions takes patience, and a thorough knowledge of the underlying muscular and myofascial anatomy.
Deep Tissue Massages can be painful at times. There is an art to massaging that recognises that some discomfort is necessary to move the muscle beyond what it experiences daily, in order that it can then release.
Finally, education is a key part of a Deep Tissue Massage. Teaching the client to care for themselves, instructing them on how to stretch to continue to release muscles, and prevent the recurrence of pain is important. The therapist can always repeat massages for you, but for the best benefit, self care is essential , and allows your therapist to work on deeper and deeper levels each visit rather than just releasing the same tensions every week. Just like yourself, your massage therapist loves results and to see progress.