A deep tissue massage is a therapy that involves realigning layers of muscles and tissues deep beneath the surface of the skin. This type of therapy is used most often and is indeed beneficial in cases of stiff, tense muscles. The most common muscles to need a deep tissue massage are neck muscles, lower back muscles, and shoulder muscles. These hard to reach areas require the assistance of a professional massage therapist to loosen the muscles, alleviate tension, and promote greater well-being.
A deep tissue massage is used to treat a wide variety of cases, and its benefits are experienced even on individuals who do not necessarily ‘need’ a massage but want to experience greater levels of relaxation.
When there is an injury to an area of the body, whether it be acquired from an accident, poor posture, or incorrect movement patterns, a deep tissue massage may often free the muscles from the tension and promote prober muscle movements and contractions. This also brings the added benefit of pain relief, greater muscle mobility, and reduced inflammation.
A deep tissue massage at most times is very comfortable and enjoyable; however, when your massage therapist works out trouble areas such as incredibly stiff portions of the neck, shoulders or back, you may experience some discomfort during your massage session. This is exactly why it’s important to tell your therapist prior to the massage if you experience any noticeable levels of soreness or stiffness routinely. The therapist may exercise greater caution when working on these areas, gradually easing into a more thorough massage. Likewise, if you experience any significant pain or soreness during the massage, please tell your therapist. There are expected levels of discomfort, such as pressure, but there are also abnormal levels of discomfort, such as sharpness. It’s better to be cautious while receiving a massage and notify your therapist of any level of discomfort as you learn what is normal to expect during a deep tissue massage.
Following your massage, you may experience stiffness or soreness. Working muscle tension loose is not something a person usually expects, and the day after you might feel a bit of discomfort in the areas your therapist worked on. A majority of the time, this is normal and will go away within a day or two. However, elevated levels of pain or discomfort should be told to your massage therapist.
Deep tissue massages have many benefits! Here is a list of several benefits we use deep tissue massages for:
- Reduced mobility / Reduced muscle movement
- Chronic Muscle Pain
- Injury from repetition (such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS))
- Poor Posture
- Injury Recovery (such as after an accident)
- Increased levels of muscle tension
Certain studies have ranked deep tissue massage as being an effective form of pain relief as compared to over the counter drugs and medication, and acupuncture. After a deep tissue massage it is incredibly important to drink plenty of water to flush metabolic waste from your system. Remember, toxins and other filth is stored in your muscles, and your body wants them expelled! Adequate water consumption ensures that your body is maximizing the benefit of your massage.
There are certain individuals who are advised against having a deep tissue massage, including people who have had surgery, people with infections, people susceptible to blood clotting, people with diseases, people who have skin diseases such as rashes. Please let your massage therapist know before your massage if you have any concerning condition. More than likely, you’ll be able to enjoy your deep tissue massage, but as we have said before, it’s good to be overly cautious for your own safety and well-being.
Mindful Bodywork looks forward to seeing you for your next deep tissue massage!