What is it?
Deep tissue massage employs firm pressure and slow strokes to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles). It’s used for chronic aches and pain and contracted areas such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.
How does it work?
Deep tissue massage isn’t the same as having a regular massage with deep pressure.
It’s used to break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle “knots” or adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) that can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation.
At the beginning of the massage, lighter pressure is generally applied to warm up and prep the muscles. Specific techniques are then applied. The most common techniques include:
- Muscle Stripping- deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs
- Pressure Point Frictions- pressure applied across the grain of a muscle to release adhesions and realign tissue fibers.
- Massage therapist may use fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during a deep tissue massage. You may be asked to breathe deeply as the massage therapist works on tense areas.
- After the massage, you may feel some stiffness or soreness, but it should subside within a day or so. Be sure to contact your massage therapist if you have concerns or if you feel pain after having a massage.
- Drinking water after the massage may help to flush the metabolic waste from the tissues.
You will be invited to remove your clothing barring your underwear and to lie face down on the massage table.
Work will begin on the back and progress to the buttock area and upper legs. After this focus will move to the shoulders and neck.
You will then turn over and enjoy a neck face and scalp massage to ensure that tension is relieved in all related areas and that this general relief will ensure the therapy works.
Generally this therapy lasts an hour but may last longer if the therapist decides to spend a longer time on strained areas.