Deep tissue massage is one of the massage modalities used to manipulate the inner parts of connective tissues, fascia, and muscles. This modality can be used to massage the entire body or some specific target areas.
Especially, Individuals suffering from chronic back pain, those having sports injury and chronic muscle knots and adhesions are beneficiaries of deep tissue massage.
It has several benefits, like releasing muscle pains, unleashing muscle knots and adhesions as well as reducing mental stress. It also helps to attain bodily relaxation and blissfulness.
Do You want to know more about this Article? Keep reading.
What is deep-tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage is a rubbing technique used to manipulate the inner layers of our muscles and tissues. In fact, deep tissue massage is subjectively considered as to how much individuals feel and respond when they get stroked. It is a figure of utterance to how much individuals react while they are pressed.
Indeed, someone could get good relaxing and pleasurable results with a light Swedish massage while others may urge deeper than Swedish rub to get a good feeling and respond well.
So, deep tissue massage refers to the rubbing of the deeper tissues of the body like the fascia, iliopsoas, heart, and craniosacral, and other deeper body parts. But again, while, rubbing these tissues and organs, the pressure we apply is not always deep pressure.
Ruther, we can manipulate these areas by applying from light to medium pressures. And in some cases, it could be stroked even with extremely light pressure. But, occasionally, vigorous pressure may also be used.
That is why we are saying it as it is more of a subjective matter. Swedish massage and deep tissue massage have the same theories, but, deep tissue massage goes deeper than Swedish massage. It is mainly used to soothe when someone suffers repetitive chronic pains, tight muscles, and deeper muscle injuries in different parts of his body.
to read more on Swedish massage, click here.
When should you seek a deep tissue massage?
The basis for deep tissue massage is the Swedish massage. And We have clarified that a deep tissue massage is a massage approach used to rub somewhat deeper than the Swedish massage.
Anatomically, our body has different layers of muscles and tissues. Some are superficial and the others are deeper. The deeper parts include muscles, connective tissues, fascia, joints, and ligaments.
When individuals feel any pains deep within these areas, they should claim to get deep tissue massage, which is used to massage deeper layers of the skin.
Most of the time, deep tissue massage is used to treat chronic back pain, deep muscle knots, deep muscle scars, sports injuries, chronic muscle adhesions, fibromyalgia, and others.
These all are the main indications for individuals seeking deep massage therapies.
How does deep tissue massage work?
While massage therapists are doing deep tissue massage, they began stroking by warming the superficial layers of your skin intended to initiate relaxation and responsiveness. They start rubbing it by applying oils or gels with soft and gentle strokes. But, as they go deeper and deeper, the intensity of the pressure applied increases.
As our muscles and tissues are interconnected with the musculoskeletal system, during these manual manipulations, our nerves and hormones get activated. It should be clear that the whole body is interconnected by thin nerves which detect, receives, transmits, and communicates any changes in impulses, feelings, and movements in our entire body system with the brain.
In our body, we have a central nervous system which consists of the brain and the spinal cord, This serves as a key medium of communication between the brain and the other parts of the body.
When the peripheral part of your skin gets massaged, an impulse is transmitted to the brain via the neurotransmitters which in turn stimulate, the hormones and chemical substances found in the brain.
Hormones like cortisol, decrease when you get a massage, And the other hormones like, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins increase as a result of massage stimulation.
When your cortisol level decreases, your stress, anxiety, and mood level decreases, and when the level of serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins increases, your relaxation level peaks up.
In general, due to the effect of massage on these chemicals and hormones, your pain, stress, and anxiety decrease and you get a much more relaxed body, which in turn results, in enhanced health and well-being.
to read more on how deep tissue massage works, click here.
Don’ts or contraindications for deep tissue massage
though individuals request to get a massage therapy, all massage therapy techniques are not given to all individuals without evaluation. Because massage therapy can cause potential harm to the individual or it may cause a life-threatening condition.
The same is to deep tissue massage. Before we start deep tissue massage, there are some preconditions that should be identified to exclude from massage therapy.
If individuals or patients have any one of the following ailments, the massage therapist should partially or completely skip the procedure. These contraindications include
- High blood pressure
- Any fracture
- Blood clots or deep venous thrombosis
- Contagious disease and herpes zoster or simplex
- Fever and skin diseases like impetigo
- Skin Cancers, hernia
- Inflammations like rheumatoid arthritis
- Recent burn or surgery
If you have any one of the above signs and symptoms of ailments, your massage therapist will not rub you. instead, you should consult your medical therapist for further medical intervention and treatments.
How to prepare for deep tissue massage
After checking out that, individuals are free of the above-mentioned contraindications, and confirming that, they are fit for massage therapy, your massage therapist will proceed to do your request. But, before that, there are some preparations to be done by both the massage provider and the receiver.
It is known that any massage therapy can be performed in massage centers or at home. As well, it can be either self-administered traditionally or done by another trained massage therapist.
As with any massage type, deep tissue rub can also be done either at home or in specific massage centers. In order to get optimal results, it is better if clients get massaged by licensed and certified massage therapists at massage centers.
Accessing this all, to add a relaxing and soothing mood, the ambient of massage centers should be rejuvenated with different colors and textures. the rooms should be well decorated with different and attractive scents, images, soft music, dim light, and air.
Having such an environment helps to achieve effective soothing treatments.
Actually, as a client, if you don’t have any prior knowledge on the types of massage and kinds of service given, on any massage center / if you have any prior massage experience, you can skip this/, before you directly dive into any massage procedure, you should consult your massage therapist, on the type of massage options you want.
After confirming your choice of massage style with its intensity, prior to your bodywork, adjusted based on your own case, you should come the next day well prepared physically, psychologically, and emotionally.
So then, you will get the optimal benefits of massage therapy as intended. Because all the confusion, blockages, and frightening has gone before your massage contact.
Agents and items needed
To have effective deep tissue massage, accessing only clean rooms and massage therapists is not enough. In addition to these, there are some materials and agents that should be available in the massage center. These include comfortable tables or beds, sheets, oils, gels, lotions, and other supportive materials.
How to do deep tissue massage
In order to do deep tissue massage, the therapist, at first must use warm oils and rub directly the upper layers of the muscles gently. Here, relatively, the oils we use are small in amount and are applied on the focus of bodywork points. This can be done either manually or with the help of a machine.
The first step in doing deep tissue massage is draping the client. Most individuals need privacy and want to cover their bodies. Even though there may be a few individuals who opt in to rub on bare skin, most massage users don’t agree to be naked.
Nevertheless, massage therapists also work in favor of their client’s interests and requests. While doing their massage therapy, the areas where they are not manipulating drapes with towels or other sheets and the areas where they are working actively uncovers.
Massage therapists are obedient towards the need and requests of their clients. So, you should feel free to inform your massage therapists which may give you much comfort and privacy.
After draping, the next step is to apply oils or gels on the skin of clients. These oils help massage therapists to have a smooth, soft and effective massage. The oils should be warm which aids your skin to initiate and respond swiftly.
The oils or gels are applied to the areas where your massage therapists and you intend to manipulate. If you request to have a full body massage, the entire body will be lubricated. But, if your request is specific and focused, only that part should be painted.
Here, massage therapists should ask their clients, if their skin is sensitive or allergic to these massage oils and gels. If so, massage therapists should follow using other options of massage agents.
The third step is to start massaging the target areas. At the beginning of the procedure, your massage therapist will begin with a light warming-up massage. The purpose of this slow and light pressure is, to initiate your skin’s responsiveness.
A slow, soft, and light pressure with a gliding technique will be applied. This procedure paves an initiation way to go deep into internal muscles and tissues.
Deep tissue rub
The last, technique is to go deeper and deeper with firm and forceful pressure. The focus areas intended to be rubbed should be well addressed. In all steps, while doing the procedure, massage therapists use their thumb, finger, and palms.
To increase the pressure, and to have effective massage therapy, therapists may even use their forearm, elbow, and feet. to read more on how to do deep tissue massage, click here.
Time it takes
Deep tissue massage may take from 60-90 minutes.
Side effects of deep tissue massage
After performing deep tissue massage, several side effects can be encountered. Which some of these side effects are common and some of them are rare. The following are some of them
- Pain after massage
- Skin bruising
- Migraine headaches
- Inflammation- this probably occurs following aggravation of an existing injury. And to soothe this, a good home remedy to relieve tissue inflammation is implementing the RICE method. i.e, rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Nausea occurs rarely
- Redness of the skin
Fatal side effects
this is one of the fatal consequences of deep tissue massage. Especially, when we are rubbing around the neck, we should pay serious attention, b/c, we may block the passages of the blood supply. as it is highly vascularized with many arteries and veins which supply nutrients to the brain.
Do’s After deep tissue massage
Following intense deep tissue massage, there are some activities recommended taking in order to relieve some bodily harm. These include
- Take water- this will bring fresh blood supply and remove wastes like lactic acidosis
- Rest-to facilitate healing
- Exercise Deep breathing – to deliver oxygen
- If you experience any discomfort, Use ice for the first 48 hours
- If ice doesn’t work in the first 48hours, use heat and ice alternatively on the affected area.
Benefits of deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage has physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. It focuses on several parts of our body system. Some of the importance’s include
- relieves chronic back pain
- Improves blood and lymphatic circulation
- Boosts function of tissues and cells
- Increase mobility
- Cleans toxins and wastes
- Release scars and adhesions
- Improves overall soreness
As deep tissue massage is done with somewhat a firm and deeper rub, it makes individuals float and drift peacefully, which is best in releasing stress on the mind. The benefits include
- Decrease anxiety
- Decrease stress
- Improve depression
- Improves insomnia
- Improve tension
- Boosts overall mood
- Being or feeling true self
- Consciousness/awakening state
- Presence/experiencing now
- Spiritual enlightenment
In a nutshell, deep tissue massage is the best massage option for those who have chronic muscle pain, chronic muscle knots, adhesions, and fibromyalgia. It helps to release these ailments and diseases and attain a heightened quality of life.
Now, I hope, you understand what deep tissue massage is. If you have any suggestions and questions, leave a comment.