Deep Tissue Massage

I often get the question about what the deep tissue massage is, whether it really hurts and what it really does. Well, deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage but focuses on deeper layers of muscles and structures like fascia and ligaments. It does not necessarily mean that the therapist will dig deep into the tissue and the client will scream out in pain.

Alton Massage Reduced 2

Deep tissue is a bit more assertive but the therapist will warm up the superficial layers of skin and muscles first. This is essential and will prevent any damage to superficial muscles. Deep tissue is more like a focused treatment on a problematic area and the therapist will apply a bit more pressure using cross grain strokes (strokes that go across the grain of a muscle). The strokes will be slower and you’ll be encouraged to breathe deeply allowing the therapist to address the deeper structures. Some therapists might use ceramic, wooden or glass tools besides fingers and elbow for optimal effect.   If some work is performed on a troubled joint, the therapist will pin the tissue and move the joint slightly to lengthen the structure and break the adhesions.

With repetitive motions or poor posture some muscles get tensed up and block the oxygen and nutrients from getting where they are supposed to get. This creates a vicious circle, the tenser the muscles become, the less nutrient they get and as a result residual material builds up causing pain. In terms of what deep tissue massage does, it breaks up this pain circle along with the scar tissue from previous injuries, realigns the tissue and releases the built up toxins from stressed muscles.

As healthcare providers we define pain as how our clients can describe it to us. Pain, besides being unpleasant, horrible and excruciating in some cases, is actually a blessing. This does not mean at all that one should suffer and wait for the pain to miraculously go away. It is a blessing because through pain your body can talk to you, can draw your attention to something not right. Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net For example, often we get that burning pain in between the shoulder blades, this is a way your body tells you to do something about it to either take a break, keep an eye on your posture, adjust your seat and reduce the time in front of your computer or just have a massage, which is most fun of all. Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net But, of course, life gets busy – mortgage, chores and bills and a lot of other things get in the way. Personally, I find that the most difficult thing is to pick up the phone and make the appointment, once that is done you are mentally committed and look forward to a nice soothing massage. Be it half hour or one hour treatment, it will be your time, the escape where you’ll find peace and tranquility. As you know, the body heals at night or in a state of deep relaxation, so once you reach that homeostasis, your mind will focus on fixing those sore and overworked muscles. Massage will help flush the lactic acid and repair debris from the injured site and leave you in a nice, fresh and rejuvenated state of mind. So, listen to your body and give us a call, don’t let the pain ruin your day. Image courtesy of artur84/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some people experience some soreness the day after a deep tissue massage, but this should feel more like a work out soreness and should go away within a day or two. It is a good idea to be well hydrated and have an Epsom salts bath after a deep tissue massage as it draws the toxins out. Also, avoid any strenuous activities, as your muscles will need some rest.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net