Millions of people throughout the world receive deep tissue massage because of its amazing benefits. Deep tissue massage can be deeply relaxing, as well as therapeutic, but we still receive many questions regarding this service. We wanted to take the time to answer some of these frequently asked questions so that way you are well-informed about the nuances of deep tissue massage.
What is a deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage that allows the therapist to enter into the deep layers of the muscular and fascial tissue. Deep tissue massage therapy is a way to restore tight and overworked muscles to the proper length and optimal functionality. It allows the therapist access to muscles that are much deeper in the body as opposed to more superficial muscles. The muscular system of the body is layered, meaning that there are muscles that are superficial, and deeper muscles beneath those. There is also fascial tissue between each layer, muscle group, and surrounding each individual muscle fiber.
Are deep tissue massages supposed to hurt?
The short answer to this question is not necessarily. If you want them to hurt, then they can. There’s a common misconception that deep tissue massage means deep pressure. Although they’re similar, they’re not synonymous. We generally advise you to allow pressure that’s deeper than a Swedish massage, but not so much that you’re tensing up. If you can’t breathe during the session or you find that you’re tensing up your muscles because it’s painful, then that takes away from the overall value of the deep tissue massage and can actually decrease the benefits you receive. It may also be a sign that the therapist entered the muscle tissue too deeply, too soon. Sometimes your muscles need a little more warming up before the therapist can go deeper.
Is it normal to be sore after a deep tissue massage?
Generally speaking, because deep tissue massage does address the deeper layers of muscle and fascial tissue that often don’t get worked, you may be sore. Those muscles and tissues rarely – if ever – get touched, so it can be quite shocking to them to finally receive work. Yes, you may be sore. If you were in pain during the massage session, then yes, you will most likely be sore in those areas after the massage as well. If you are sore for more than two or three days, then that was too much pressure.
Is deep tissue massage safe after an injury?
This is a question that will be specific to your injury and should be discussed with your therapist and prior to booking your appointment. We always advise that you discuss whether massage therapy is a good option for you with your doctor prior to receiving any sort of massage therapy. As massage therapists, we are not allowed to treat or diagnose patients and are only allowed to work with the muscular and fascial tissue. If massage is not allowed in the contraindicated location – but is allowed otherwise – then the therapist will avoid the injured area until we receive a doctor’s note with permission to and direction on how to massage the injured area. However, massage can also be beneficial to injuries, helping to relieve inflammation and swelling with light pressure. But again, it all depends on the injury and the severity.
Can a deep tissue massage make you sick?
Having a deep tissue massage has been known to make people feel sick afterward. Depending on the person, how many massages they’ve had, what their lifestyle is like, and many other factors, massage can make them sick. Drinking at least a liter of water after the session is vital to help reduce the chances of becoming sick. You can see our other post on ‘What to Do If You Get Sick AFTER Your Massage – And How to Prevent It’ here.
Does a deep tissue massage help with lower back pain?
Deep tissue massage can help with lower back pain if that’s what you’re looking to have worked on. Deep tissue massage allows the therapist to access the deeper layers of muscular and fascial tissue, which can help with lower back pain. For lower back pain specifically, you’ll want to have not only your lower back worked on, but also your buttocks, psoas, quadriceps, and hamstring muscle groups. These all play an integral part in low back pain.
As you can see, deep tissue massage can be modified to your liking and it can be a wonderful addition to your self-care routine. We’d love to know what your thoughts are on deep tissue massage. Leave a comment below! We’re also always here to answer your questions should you have any additional thoughts or concerns. Call our office today to schedule your appointment!