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Deep tissue massage is a treatment that can “put you back on your feet”, even after severe muscles, joints, or spine injuries. It works much stronger and brings faster healing effects than relaxing or classic types of treatment. Although the movements are performed at a slow pace, it’s an intense kind of session. If you’re curious about how all this happens, check out our article on the uniqueness of deep tissue massage therapy.

DELVING INTO THE DEPTHS OF DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE

If you have been diagnosed with posture defects, or you experience chronic pain caused by excessive muscle tension, deep tissue sessions can be a great way to deal with these problems! It’s also great if your movements are not smooth enough due to various types of musculoskeletal dysfunctions.

Although the name itself may cause some anxiety, the treatment is painless, non-invasive, and completely safe. This manual therapy is intended for you if you suffer from chronic muscle pain, or have a limited range of motion. It also works well to correct your body posture, or if you aren’t flexible enough and your muscles are too tense.

HOW DOES DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE WORK ITS MAGIC?

Deep tissue sessions can affect many different types of structures in the body. This method is becoming more and more popular among masseurs, physiotherapists, and osteopaths. Working with tissue layers to loosen them and release tension gives a wide range of applications. The results of deep tissue massage therapy can be visible even after the first treatment!

Deep tissue therapy restores proper tension and mobility of individual tissue layers. It affects overall health, well-being, and your body’s physical abilities. So, how does a deep tissue massage work? It’s time to explore this topic further!

DOES THE MASSAGE HURT?

Deep tissue massage isn’t a relaxing type of treatment. Despite it, it’s generally painless. Each movement is performed very slowly, with great precision, and appropriately, with excessive pressure. Yet, you can experience some inconvenience if your pain tolerance is relatively low.

You may additionally feel temporary tiredness or drowsiness after the procedure. But no worries at all – it’s only temporary! Remember that this is a very individual issue. You may not experience this reaction at all, but it might as well last for a few days. Whatever happens in your case, this is the body’s physiological response to treatment. This is how your body tries to cope with the reconstruction of connective tissue, cleansing, and regeneration. Do not stop the therapy, on the contrary – continue the massage sessions to restore your body’s balance!

TECHNIQUES OF DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE

In deep tissue treatment, each movement and advanced technique should be goal-oriented. There is no sliding on the tissues, as in ordinary stroking. The moves of your therapist strive to influence the structure of the tissue. In addition to open hands and fingertips, deep tissue massage also uses the finger joints, fists, elbows, and forearms.

It’s worth noting that deep tissue massage techniques are ergonomic to help you heal better and decrease potential occupational hazards for the therapist, resulting from overloading. Popular types of basic deep tissue massage techniques used in this type of therapy are:

  • Lengthening techniques
    Lengthen shortened and tight muscles.
  • Transverse techniques
    Performed on muscle bellies. Their task is to break the resulting adhesions and separate the compartments between the muscles.
  • Lifting techniques
    Stretch and break muscle fibers.

EXPLORING THE DEEP TISSUE INFLUENCES ON YOUR BODY

Deep tissue massage is based on layered tissue manipulation. This method leads to the relaxation of persistent and abnormal tensions in your body. It allows for a very effective influence on the muscles and fascial tension. All in all, this kind of treatment has many positive effects, including:

  • Chronic pain reduction
  • Releasing muscle tension
  • Improved blood pressure and lymph flow
  • Faster tissue healing
  • Improvement of tissue elasticity
  • Improving the work of internal organs
  • Restoring correct body posture

These benefits might be very tempting, but there is more to know before getting your deep tissue massage.

TREATMENT FREQUENCY TO SEE THE BENEFITS

How often should you get a deep tissue massage? Keep in mind that the number of sessions is very individual and depends on your health condition. Sometimes one extensive session can bring enough positive results. In cases where tissue changes are more advanced though, you may need to get a few or even more sessions or meet your therapist for regular massage sessions. Discuss the specifics of your sessions, schedule, and expected duration of therapy with your specialist at the very beginning.

TAKE A TOUR OF THE SESSION FROM BEGINNING TO END

This type of massage is performed very slowly, with firm pressure adjusted to your abilities. It’s done without any oils or only with their minimum amounts. You aren’t only a passive recipient but actively participate in the therapy. For practical reasons, wear sports clothes that do not restrict movement.

You’ll usually start your treatment by lying face down on the massage table. The therapist will start with light moves to warm you up and make you relaxed before they move on to deep tissue. Then the specialist will start using their whole hand with the fingers together to get to the deep tissue. After a while, he or she will move through the first gentle strokes, and that’s when your muscles start to warm up.

At this point, a therapist can use the palm of their hand and their body weight to start adding pressure to the strokes. They will move their hands along the muscles down the length of your back, applying pressure in slow, even strokes. When your muscles warm up even more, the therapist will start using his or her fingertips.

While working on your legs, the specialist will apply pressure as they move toward the heart. It helps keep the blood flowing in that direction and decreases your blood pressure.

The duration of the deep tissue procedure is difficult to determine precisely. It depends on the areas of your body that will be treated and the rate of physiological response of the tissue. A deep tissue therapy session is usually a one-hour massage or a 90-minute massage.

CONSIDER THESE WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A PLACE

Where to get a deep tissue massage? A good specialist can restore the body to shape, correct your posture, and relieve pain. The best ones not only know the anatomy very well, but their technique of therapy would be more advanced to work much deeper than on the muscles or skin. Their knowledge and experience can be great tips on how to best take care of your body!

A good therapist must have completed a course with an appropriate certificate. Certainly, in the beginning, it will be good to check his qualifications to make sure that he or she has the appropriate competencies. Only use the services of specialists with some sort of studies in physiotherapy. They should have a professional title of a massage therapist to start with.

A competent specialist must conduct a short interview with you before starting the treatment. Think beforehand about what you want to get and what problem you come up with. The specialist should ask about contraindications, your general health condition, past injuries, and other ailments. X-rays and medical history will definitely help them to plan your sessions.

The therapist should also inform in advance what activities they are going to perform. They must also mention what effects you can expect in what time frame.

TAKING A LOOK AT THE PRICE TAG

How much is a deep tissue massage? An average cost can vary from $90 to $160. Yet, the price may change depending on the location, a SPA center, or a specialist. The cost will also depend on the duration of the treatment. If you choose a 90-minute, full-body deep tissue therapy, the price will increase accordingly.

Many SPA centers offer attractive package deals for deep tissue massage therapy. Within them, you may get additional rejuvenating, refreshing, and relaxing treatments, such as:

  • An essential oil-infused hot towel treatment
  • Infrared sauna session
  • Hands and feet peeling
  • Face mask or nourishing facial

References:

Romanowski M, Romanowska J, Grześkowiak M. A comparison of the effects of deep tissue massage and therapeutic massage on chronic low back pain. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2012;176:411-4. PMID: 22744541.

American Massage Therapy Association. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Body Mechanics for Massage Therapists.

Bingölbali Ö, Taşkaya C, Alkan H, Altındağ Ö. The effectiveness of deep tissue massage on pain, trigger point, disability, range of motion and quality of life in individuals with myofascial pain syndrome. Somatosens Mot Res. 2023 Jan 16:1-7. doi: 10.1080/08990220.2023.2165054.

Koren Y, Kalichman L. Deep tissue massage: What are we talking about? J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2018 Apr;22(2):247-251. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2017.05.006. Epub 2017 May 17. PMID: 29861215.