Deep tissue is a type of massage therapy that is used to treat chronic tension and injuries from overuse, such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome. Whilst some of the strokes are the same as in Swedish massage, the pace tends to be slower and pressure is applied more strongly, concentrated on problem areas. I may use my forearms, elbows, fingertips and knuckles as well as my hands to break-up adhesion’s. These bands of rigid tissue can cause pain and inflammation and restrict movement and circulation in muscle tissue. You might have a stiff neck and upper back, lower back pain, tight legs or sore shoulders. Deep tissue massage works to realign the different layers of tissue, treating the tendons, ligaments and fascia (the protective layer of tissues which surrounds the bones, joints and muscles) as well as the muscles to release tension and provide pain relief.
Deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain and injury rehabilitation. The list of conditions that can be effectively treated is extensive and includes whiplash and repetitive strain, postural problems and sciatica, sports injury and recovery from falls, muscle tension or spasm in the glutes, hamstrings, quads, rhomboids, IT band and upper back. This therapy has been found to be effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain. It’s also recommended for fibromyalgia pain with an improvement in the range of motion.
At certain points in the treatment you may experience some discomfort. That’s to be expected when the pressure is deep and direct on painful or injured areas. Scar tissue is being loosened and muscles lengthened, knots are being undone and sub-layers of muscle moved back into the right place.
There is usually some stiffness or tenderness after a deep tissue massage, but this shouldn’t last more than a day or two. Stretching can help to reduce this.
Massage shouldn’t be done directly over bruised, inflamed or infected skin, rashes or wounds, fragile bones, or areas of recent fractures, tumours or abdominal hernias. If you have recently had surgery, chemo or any other medical procedure, please check with your doctor before having a massage. Massage can be unsafe if you have or at risk of forming blood clots as these can become dislodged.
Deep tissue massage can have incredible effects in increasing mobility and reducing chronic pain.