DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE; WHAT IS IT? IS IT FOR ME? SHOULD IT HURT?
Before giving a definition of Deep Tissue Massage, I first want to paint a picture of how the muscles appear in the body. I have found the easiest way to explain this is to visualize a layered meal (casserole, lasagna). You have multiple layers with different textures, so in the body our first layer is our skin, second layer (just below the skin, superficial) is our outermost muscles, the third layer (intermediate) is another muscle layer, then in some areas you have a fourth layer (deepest), then you come into contact with bone which most muscles attach to via tendons. I hope this allows a better understanding of muscles and how they are layered.
In using our meal example from above, aside from breaking the dish or taking the meal out of the bowl/pot, there is no way to get to the bottom layer without first going through or removing the top. This is similar to Deep Tissue Massage you cannot access the deeper (intrinsic) muscles without first softening the top muscles or as I refer to it as layering. So as you shorten the superficial muscles and get them to relax, it allows easier access to the next layer and then repeat with that muscle shorten and relax to access the deepest layer.
Deep Tissue Massage is not how hard can the Massage Therapist push/compress your muscles and how much you can tolerate. It is a technique used to accurately treat a specific muscle(s). Is there discomfort? Yes. Is there pain? No. If at any point you feel pain, this should be communicated to the Massage Therapist and appropriate action should be taken on their part. The NO PAIN, NO GAIN theory is an old school way of thinking (which I will discuss in my next blog).
Deep Tissue Massage is not for everyone, it is a form of precise treatment. If a complete massage was done with the Deep Tissue technique the client may actually injure further or have pain where pain didn’t exist before. The most common misunderstanding of Deep Tissue Massage is that it is a constant heavy pressure. This type of massage, where pressure is constant and fairly heavy is known as Petrissage, varying in pressure and contact surface from broad to narrow.
If you have any comments or concerns about this blog please don’t hesitate to reply/respond or email us to help better clarify.
Todd Bennett RMT