What is Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage (DTM) is aimed at the deeper structures of the muscle and fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles). Although deep tissue massage shares some similarities with Swedish massage deep tissue tends to use deeper pressures and slower strokes. DTM usually focuses on specific areas of muscle tension and local parts of the body. It’s particularly useful for chronic muscle tension, scar tissue break up (from old injury) and adhesions between muscle layers (bands of rigid muscle tissue). These soft tissue conditions can cause restrict movement and cause pain because they affect flexibility and circulation in the muscle. Practitioners tend to use their forearms, knuckles, fists, elbows and finger tips in order to break up these adhesions and promote more blood flow to an area.
Is it for me?
DTM can be beneficial for PT’s experiencing postural problems, repetitive strain, sports injury, recovery from falls, chronic tightness/tension, muscle sprains/strains and arthritis. Most commonly neck and upper back tension, headaches, sciatica, calf strains, hamstring tears, low back pain and shoulder discomfort or some of the most common conditions addressed with massage.
DTM may not be suitable during certain stage of pregnancy, osteoporosis, PT’s on certain medications like warfarin, highly inflamed tissues, deep vein thrombosis, recent surgery, cancer, autoimmune conditions.
What to expect
At certain points in the treatment there may be a bit of discomfort and occasionally pain (if there is chronic scar tissue). However any discomfort should feel tolerable. Extensive pain is not the aim of the treatment and if you feel this communicate with your therapist to ensure pressures are more tolerable to you. There is usually some stiffness or tenderness after treatment but this shouldn’t last longer than a day or two. It is wise to re-hydrate straight after treatment with water and not to perform any strenuous exercise