What Is Deep Tissue Massage? Posted by Tiffany Amorosino on March 16, 2015 in

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Deep tissue massage goes beyond touch to reach the muscle layers where tension and tightness live. Ready for a deeper and more intense level of renewal? A professional deep tissue massage could be for you.

What Does Deep Tissue Mean?

When most people think of a professional massage, they think of the long, gentle stroking of a Swedish massage or the pinpoint pressure of Shiatsu techniques. A deep tissue massage incorporates some of these movements, but its main goal is to reach the connective tissues and musculature under the uppermost layers of skin and muscle. Massage therapists use their hands, knuckles and even elbows to work out painful knots and realign underlying tissues.

Manipulating the deepest layers of muscle sometimes means applying a great deal of pressure in specific areas, and this form of massage can be intense. If it's your first time having a deep tissue massage, tell your massage therapist; at times, the intensity of a deep tissue massage can feel like too much for people who are used to softer touch therapies. A deep tissue session should never hurt, though, and an experienced massage technician will follow your feedback and scale the session accordingly. Scheduling regular sessions can help you become used to this potent form of massage.

Who Gets Deep Tissue Massages?

Deep tissue massage therapy is for anyone who feels deep tension and stress, has recently recovered from a muscle injury or feels soreness after a strenuous workout. Professional athletes and hard-charging amateurs often schedule weekly sessions to manage exercise-related muscle pain and ease the discomfort of minor pulls or strains. Massage may also be a part of physical therapy as it helps keep scar tissue from forming after an injury. Because deep tissue massage is intense, it usually takes place after healing to keep muscles supple and healthy, not during the healing process.

What Can I Expect after a Deep Tissue Massage?

Other forms of massage gently ease away stress, but a deep tissue massage physically helps push away tension in the deepest layers of muscle. This intense pressure can leave you feeling drained or even mildly sore after your session, but any residual soreness should disappear within a few hours. After your first massage, your therapist may recommend icing some muscles briefly to ease any lingering aches. Many deep tissue massage aficionados say they feel renewed from the inside out after a thorough session and consider any minor discomfort worth the effort.