At Pain Relief massage, I specialize in deep tissue massage. Since the beginning of my massage career, that's pretty much all I've done. The hundreds of continuing education hours I've taken has only complimented the deep tissue work of my massage. So what is deep tissue massage?
Depending on who you ask about deep tissue massage, you'll get different answers. Many of my new clients will come in saying "make it hurt!" or "use as much pressure as you can, you wont hurt me!" Some people will never try deep tissue massage because they believe it's supposed to hurt. Others had bad experiences from bad therapists and are reluctant to try it again. Well let me tell you something; deep tissue massage performed by an experienced massage therapist isn't supposed to be painful. If you're seeing a therapist that consistently uses too much painful pressure, chances are they are doing more harm than good.
So what is deep tissue massage supposed to be? When receiving deep tissue, the pressure should always be at your tolerance. If there is any pain associated with the deep tissue massage it should have a "hurts so good sensation". That is your body's way of telling you that it's an area of dysfunction. I like using the "pain scale" which tells me on a scale of 1 to 10 how much pain/intensity my client subjectively feels. 1-3 is very little to no pain. 4-7 is generally where I like to be when treating areas of muscle pain. Anything higher than an 8 is too much pain to be effective. When the body perceives too much pressure/pain the person tends to "brace". That means if the body is bracing, the muscles cannot relax effectively to treat muscle pain. Bracing happens at the subconscious level, it's one of our survival instincts (danger from environment).
Why would you want a deep tissue massage? One of the major reasons that it assists in the relief of chronic pain. It has also shown to increase range of movement, break down scar tissue & adhesions in the body, relieves muscle tension, injury prevention, and so much more. Deep tissue massage is great for athletes or anyone suffering from pain.
When I'm looking for a deep tissue therapist in my area, I will not go to one that up-charges for the price of a deep tissue massage. That just tells me that it's not their area of speciality. More than likely, they're charging you more for using extra pressure in their normal massage routine. A mentor of mine once asked a receptionist at a high-end spa what the difference was between a deep tissue massage & a normal Swedish massage. The answer? Their therapists add forearms & elbows if the client wants extra pressure. Deep pressure just for the sake of deep pressure does not make a good deep tissue massage session. It's when pressure is focused to specific areas of the body that makes the difference.
Deep tissue massage can feel extremely relaxing. Especially when it relieves chronic pain you've had for days/months/even years! When going in for a deep tissue massage, it is important to communicate with your therapist. Everyone has different sensitivities to pressure. To achieve the pressure that feels deep but relaxing, it's important to make sure you're on the same page as your therapist. After all, you don't want to leave disappointed. For me, nothing's worse after receiving a massage and saying to yourself "that's it?". In that regard, I work hard to make sure every client that walks into my office leaves happy. Hopefully leaving in much better condition than when they walked in.
So have I convinced you that deep tissue massage is worth a try? For those who have experienced deep tissue massage, was it a good or bad experience for you? Let me know in the comments! Are you ready to schedule a deep tissue massage today? Schedule online here. I'm waiting to give you a great deep tissue massage experience!