What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Over the years I’ve heard from many clients that they had Deep Tissue Massage but it hurt so much that they wouldn’t to do it again. This week I’m going to clear the name for Deep Tissue Massage by explaining what it is and what it is not.

So what is Deep Tissue Massage? It’s a very muscle specific way to release the tightness. Here I will demonstrate it on my arm. It’s always a good idea to warm up the area first rather than digging in right away. Then you’re going to go very slow on a specific muscle as you feel the tightness releases. Since you need to have a good traction there is very little lubricant involved if at all. Here I’m not using any lubricant. Because if you use too much it will become very slippery and you cannot feel the muscle.

You can use thumbs, I usually overlap my thumbs, fingertips, knuckles, forearm, or elbow as appropriate for the location and shape of the body. So elbow is one of the tools for Deep Tissue Massage but blindly using the elbow to dig in is not really Deep Tissue.

Deep Tissue should be done at the rate the muscle releases so it shouldn’t hurt. I mean it will hurt little bit but it should hurt good, not bad. If your body is tightening to protect yourself from getting hurt that’s too much digging too fast and your therapist should know to back off. And if you feel that your therapist is digging too much too fast you need to speak up. After the session you may feel sore for a couple days but you should not be left with lingering bruises or injuries.

Often people think Deep Tissue is just a deeper version of Swedish relaxation massage. And that’s fine. I know some places even advertise Deep Tissue as a deeper version of relaxation massage. But as I demonstrated it’s a very slow process like watch-the-grass-grow slow so technically you cannot do a full body Deep Tissue in a session which is typically 50 to 90 minutes. My teacher said he tried to give a full body Deep Tissue massage to his friend and he gave up after 8 hours.

So when someone wants a full body Deep Tissue massage what I would do is to use the Deep Tissue techniques on the areas of concern, usually neck and shoulders, and do a deeper Swedish on the rest of the body and my clients are happy which is very important to me.

Massage Monday #315 – 11-7-16 What is Deep Tissue Massage? http://bit.ly/mm-110716