In simple terms, deep tissue massage is a type of massage intended to affect the deeper layers of muscle. Deep tissue massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage, but the pressure is typically more intense. It is also a more focused type of massage, as the therapist works to release chronic muscle tension or “knots” (also known as “adhesions.”)
Will A Deep Tissue Massage Hurt? Deep tissue massage should not hurt, but it’s likely to be a bit more intense and “sensation-full” than a classic Swedish massage. Your massage therapist should explain how much sensation of pressure you should experience in your body and your therapist will be more vocal about checking in with how the pressure feels. Always feel free to speak up if the sensation is more than your body is willing to accept. If the pressure is more than your body is willing to invite, you might unconsciously tense up, guarding your body from experiencing the benefits, this makes it harder for your body to achieve the most effective results. You are always better off with less pressure — only as much pressure as you can invite while still being relaxed. It takes time and experience to know exactly where that point is. It is often easier to know exactly where that is if you are working with a massage therapist on an ongoing basis. You get to know what to expect from the therapist, and they get to know your body. You also build up trust so that it is easier to give feedback. Therapists use different techniques, including applying pressure with their elbow for example. Some techniques might be more uncomfortable than others,you should always feel free to speak up if there is a particular technique you body does not prefer.
There is a possibility of some soreness after your deep tissue massage. Your body will need a little time to recover from some of the more intense bodywork. The soreness should pass within 24 – 48 hours. If you notice any lasting discomfort it is best to discuss it with your massage therapist so you can plan on altering the pressure for your next session. In the meantime using some ice on the sore areas will help. The soreness is usually the most prominent after your first deep tissue massage or if you have not received bodywork in a while. It is also important to let your massage therapist know if you are taking any pain medications, to include aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These drugs can alter your perception of sensation and could result in your therapist using too much pressure during the treatment.
How Fast Will I Get Results With A Deep Tissue Massage? It’s important to be realistic about what one deep tissue massage can achieve. Many people want to get rid of all the tension they’ve build up in their body over many decades, in just one session. They ask for more pressure, thinking that if the therapist just pushes hard enough, they can get rid of all their knots in an hour. This just won’t happen. In fact, undoing chronic knots and tension built up over a lifetime is best achieved with an integrated program that includes exercise, work on your posture and ways of moving, relaxation techniques and a regular program of massage. Remember that the effects of massage on the human body are cumulative and increase exponentially with frequency. Receiving Massage treatments on a regular basis increases range, ease and quality of motion, hydration of muscle tissue and fascia as well as overall parasympathetic tone. Working with tissues continually within a short period of time creates less chance that habitual distortion patterns will set in between sessions. Feel free to discuss how frequent your appointments should be made with you Simple Wellness Massage Therapist.