Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage involves applying 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.
At the beginning of a deep tissue massage, lighter pressure is generally applied to warm up and prepare the muscles then specific techniques are applied. Massage therapists often 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.
At certain times during the massage, you may feel some discomfort or even some pain as the massage therapist works on areas where there are adhesions or scar tissue. Pain isn't necessarily good, and it's not a sign that the massage will be effective. In fact, your body may tense up in response to pain, making it harder for the therapist to reach deeper muscles. You should always tell your massage therapist if you feel pain during the massage. The therapist can adjust the technique or further prep the tissues if the superficial muscles are tense.
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.
REASONS TO AVOID A DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE
If you have blood clots or are at risk of forming blood clots, it's essential that you consult your doctor before getting a deep tissue massage.
Some people with osteoporosis should avoid the deeper pressure of this type of massage.
If you have any condition, it's important to consult your primary care provider first to find out what type they recommend. For example, people with certain conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis, may not be able to tolerate the pain of a deep tissue massage.