Deep Tissue massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It utilizes slow strokes with direct pressure or friction on the contracted areas of muscle and fascia. This type of massage is the manipulation of the deeper tissue structures of the muscle and fascia, also called connective tissue. It is also a more focused type of massage that works to release chronic muscle tension or knots (also known as “adhesions.”) Working across the grain or length of the muscle tissue with the fingers, elbows, forearms or fists helps break up and eliminate scar tissue. Deep tissue should always be done to the client’s tolerance. A client should never experience intolerable pain or discomfort. The saying “No pain, no gain” does not apply in my practice. The communication between the client and therapist is important. As a client, you should report any feeling of pain, referred pain, numbness or tingling. You should also report when the pressure is too much for you. Different people and different parts of the body have different pain tolerance. Your body is your best guide. If it’s painful, then the muscles contract even more which contradicts the healing process.
The purpose of deep tissue massage is to reach the fascia beneath the surface, working to release chronic aches, pain, inflammation and injury. It helps reduce chronic tension, stress, and sore, aching muscles. When there is chronic muscle tension or deep tissue injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and press on the nerves, causing pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage therapy works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement.
I found that most of my clients love deep pressure. In fact, most of my massage sessions fall under the definition of Deep Tissue massage. When deep tissue massage is done correctly, the client should experience more range of motion, better posture and overall well-being since the muscle tissue has been cleaned out.