Most people believe deep tissue massage should be this painful, non-relaxing experience in order to be beneficial. But this is not true. In fact, many people fall into a deeper state of relaxation when they receive a deep tissue massage.
So, what is a deep tissue massage?
A deep tissue massage involves the manipulation of the deeper layers of muscles and soft tissues in the body. It requires the therapist to somewhat “melt” into the tissue before reaching deeper layers, this is done by warming up the superficial muscles, or the muscles closest to the outside of the body.
Reaching the deep layers of muscle and soft tissue may not always be accomplished in the first session. Depending on the situation, a session may be modified to keep the client comfortable, so they do not subconsciously resist the work. You may think you want that painful work done, but what you don’t realize is that your body may be resisting the work even if you don’t realize it.
Not everyone should receive a deep tissue massage. Some people simply enjoy the sensation of deeper pressure to their muscles, but this is not necessarily a “deep tissue” massage. Others prefer a more gentle touch. Deep tissue massage is designed to treat chronic pain from issues in the deeper layer of muscles. It is also used to treat injuries and other ailments of the deeper muscles. Someone who has never experienced a massage before may not want to request a deep tissue massage to start with. It is the responsibility of the therapist to determine if a deep tissue massage is necessary by way of a thorough consultation. Massage is only effective when the person on the table is comfortable and relaxed.