Deep Tissue Massage – What’s the difference?

Massage is massage isn’t it? I know the difference between a good one and a bad one, but that just depends on the therapist doesn’t it? Well, yes, and no. There are different therapists that have different techniques, but deep tissue therapy is another level of massage – it’s deep!

The muscles of the human body are made up of layers. Superficial, middle and deep. At different levels there is fascia, blood vessels, veins, arteries, lymph nodes, lymph fluid, tendons, ligaments, bones and organs. And that’s not everything! But the topic of the day is deep tissue massage. How is it different to other massage therapies and how does it benefit me?

Deep tissue therapy is just that, deep massage. You may not feel it until the last part of the treatment. There is usually a build-up of pressure during the first few stages of the massage, then the therapist will put more pressure on your body and muscles to get into the deep layers of muscles, when the superficial layers of muscles have relaxed. This will help your body flush out toxins, pump blood through the muscles and ease tension.

Your massage therapist may use this technique on one area of your body. This could be due to injury or scar tissue. Deep tissue massage can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful to the patient. The feeling after a deep tissue massage is worth it. Especially if you have chronic pain or keep injuring the same muscles. Deep tissue massage helps push out lactic acid from the deep muscle fibres in your body.

For this reason it is important to drink more water after your massage and do this for a couple of days to rehydrate your body. You may go to the toilet more often after a deep tissue massage because your body is getting rid of toxins, and you have been drinking more water and maybe eating lighter! It’s important to keep communication open with your massage therapist during any treatment.

If you feel bad pain as opposed to good pain, you should tell your therapist, they can adjust their pressure and communicate to you what they are doing and why.

Deep tissue massage isn’t for everyone though. There are some circumstances where it should be avoided. If you are pregnant. Please inform your massage therapist and ask your doctor if it’s ok for you to participate in a pregnancy massage. A pregnancy massage should be done by a therapist who has had training in pregnancy massage therapy. Another reason to avoid deep tissue therapy is if you have a terminal illness. Deep tissue massage could spread the disease to other areas and possibly other organs in your body. You will not benefit from this type of massage while your body is fighting and processing drugs and treatments already. Other, gentler, massage therapies may help you relax through this time in your life. Seek medical advice first.

Deep tissue massage therapy is great for detoxing, from a health point of view and recovering from an injury point of view. Deep tissue massage is good to try at least once and see how it effects you. Have a session with your registered Myotherapist soon!