While many massage techniques induce relaxation with soothing and gentle kneading, deep tissue massage involves more intense muscle manipulation, while also offering proven healing methods that can restore mobility and relieve chronic pain.
Unlike most traditional massages that promote whole-body relaxation, deep tissue massage is often used to target specific trouble spots after accidents or injuries have led to stiffness and soreness, as in instances of whiplash or falls. Patients with repetitive- strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as conditions like fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, (which can cause achiness, inflammation and limited ease of movement) can benefit from deep tissue massage therapy, . Chronic pain, muscle spasms and tenderness (particularly during recovery after an accident) can all be effectively treated with therapeutic deep tissue massage as well.
Before patients receive a deep tissue massage, a trained and certified massage therapist will discuss their accident, injury or complaints of generalized stiffness to acquire an understanding of how the pain or injury is impacting their daily living—and also learn what he or she is hoping to gain from the massage therapy. The massage itself will be customized to the specific needs of the client, focusing on the stiff, sore and achy areas that are most concerning.
Deep tissue massage typically works by breaking down muscle adhesions, which often build up after accidents (or are the result of a chronic illness). By applying intense, controlled pressure and friction to afflicted areas across the grain of muscles, deep tissue massage relaxes rigid tissue and relieves the pain associated with stiff muscles, ligaments and tendons.
It is important to remember that deep tissue massage may cause some discomfort. With this in mind, therapists encourage their clients to keep them informed about their comfort levels and pain tolerances during their deep tissue therapy. In addition, clients may also be encouraged to apply ice to tender spots following their deep tissue massages. Some soreness, especially the day after a deep tissue massage occurs, can be expected, though the discomfort should end within a day.