Deep tissues massages are the kind that makes use of slow and firm strokes to impose pressure on the muscles in order to relieve it of tension. This is why it’s called “deep tissue” massage - it digs deeper into the inner layers of a person’s muscles.
It’s somewhat similar to a Swedish massage in a sense that it also uses a technique that are firmer and slower than other types of massage treatments. Deep tissue massages make use of finger pressure and take focus on certain areas of the body, specifically where most of the muscle fibers are as well as the tendons.
But what most people don’t get is that deep tissue massage actually refers to a variety of massage treatments that are used by physiotherapists, chiropractors, and many other experts.
Here are just some of the different forms of massages that are also part of deep tissue massage:
- Swedish massage
- Sports/muscular massage
- Thai massage
- Lymphatic drainage
Deep tissue massage is specifically intended for people who have experienced muscle pains. Here are some of the more uncommon deep tissue treatments that even the more experienced massage enthusiasts have never heard of:
Cupping: This is an old traditional Chinese technique that uses red cup-like wheals on the person’s skin. Leaving the heated cups raised on the skin creates a vacuum that sucks out the body’s excess fluids and toxins. Moreover, it also stimulates the nervous system and encourages better blood flow. At first, people might feel weird with the treatment, but they’ll soon find the treatment to be incredibly relaxing.
Cross-Fibre Friction: This one is meant for people with chronic muscle tension which happens across all the muscle fibres.
Trigger Point Therapy: This approach applies pressure on specific trigger points in order to stop blood flow towards a certain part of the body. Upon releasing, that part of the body is then flooded with fresh blood. Like the cupping method, trigger point therapy will also feel strange at first, but the feeling that you get when new blood surges back to your arteries will ultimately make your limbs feel strong. This is because the technique refreshes your blood circulation by pumping fresh blood and oxygen to the body. People who like Thai massages might have experienced something similar to this.
Balinese and Indonesian Massage: This one is a combination of massage techniques, including acupressure, aromatherapy, and more. It’s intended especially for treating sports-related injuries. This type of massage is used to work on the fascia, which is a tough tissue that surrounds your body’s bones, organs, muscles, blood vessels, and more. The technique, called myofascial release, involves some stretching, which will release any tension and pain that’s deep within the body.
When is a Deep Tissue Massage Recommended?
A deep tissue massage is definitely good for anyone who wants to relieve tension from their muscles as well as refresh the blood and oxygen flow within their system. It’s also ideal for anyone looking to get rid of the toxins in their body which may cause soreness and discomfort.
However, deep tissue massage is intended for people who are recovering from physical injuries due to sports or accidents. The increased blood circulation relieves pain and helps improve the recovery process. Deep tissue massages can also break down any scar tissue and knots that might be present in the muscles.
On the Go? No Problem
Unlike other massage treatments where the goal is to leave you utterly relaxed, deep tissue massages focus more on relieving you of any muscle tension, pain, or injury. This means that you’ll be able to get on with your day immediately after the treatment without feeling too groggy or feeling like you’ve missed out on relaxing.
Before getting a deep tissue massage, make sure you tell your therapist if:
- You are pregnant
- Have a medical history of respiratory or heart problems
- Have joint problems
- Have allergies or skin conditions
- You recently had surgery
- You have any other medical condition
This is important since the therapist may have to make certain adjustments to the treatment so as to address your special needs.
You’re also going to want to avoid having heavy meals or drinking alcohol prior to getting a deep tissue massage. Instead, drink lots of water before and after the massage.
What to Expect
If you’ve never tried a deep tissue massage before, then you’re either curious about the treatment or a medical professional recommended that you get one because of your condition. If you’ve been referred by a doctor, then you’ve probably been oriented and already know what to expect. Otherwise, it’s important to know more about it.
Conversely, it’s important to tell your therapist as much information as you can to help maximize the treatment. In any case, the therapist is expected to ask you questions pertaining to any conditions or problems you may have. The therapist might also ask you about your diet or any exercise routine you might be following. All this is intended to help you get the best treatment possible.
What to Wear
Spas and treatment centers have different policies on what you have to wear during the massage. Some of them will provide you with loose-fitting clothing while others will have you wear just a towel. It’s important to discuss this with them as well.
A deep tissue massage will usually last for about an hour per session. If you’re having this for treatment, you might have to come back for about six sessions over a span of a few weeks or a month in order to fully recover from any injuries. Of course, this will vary from patient to patient.
Tip: You might want to take a warm bath or go to the sauna before the massage. This will help loosen up those muscles to help improve the effect of the treatment.
Note: It’s normal to feel a bit sore after the massage. If you do, take it easy and relax afterwards. You can also take a hot shower after. The discomfort would be gone in a couple of hours. If not, visit your doctor.