As the name suggests, deep tissue massage works at a deeper muscular level than Swedish Massage. It is suited to clients that like the relief that deeper pressure can bring to areas of tension in the body.
Deep tissue massage will specifically target problematic areas of bodily stress and strain. These can arise for many reasons such as sitting at a computer, exercising or carrying a small child.
The higher level of pressure reaches soft tissues deep in the body that are not usually touched by regular massage.
Deep Tissue Massage uses long, flowing strokes and involves the use of the therapist’s forearms, the elbows and fists, as well as the palms and thumbs to focus on specific areas of the body to release and loosen the tissue.
For those who have never tried a Deep Tissue Massage before, possibly imagining that it might be painful, fear not!
The pace of this massage is slow, the pressure is introduced slowly and deeply with care and respect for the body.
Muscles are warmed up and only areas that need it are given deep pressure.
It is the quickest way to deal with areas of muscular tension and the relief is instant.
A body that is not relaxed will not allow a therapist to work deeply so when I work that is my intention, total relaxation!
When the body is relaxed the mind will follow. As a multi-disciplinary practitioner that works on a holistic level.
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I will usually include some classic massage techniques to other areas of the body to aid the relaxation process. I may also address other areas of aches and pain such as the neck and feet.
This is a type of massage therapy used to treat persistent musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, sore shoulders, muscle tension, joint pain and arthritis, among others.
The technique entails applying deep pressure, coupled with slow strokes on the problem-areas to alleviate pain and provide relief.
Health experts recommend this massage technique for treating strains, sports injuries and other issues affecting the muscles and connective tissues.
The techniques used in a Deep Tissue Massage will usually involve the therapist using their forearms and knuckles more than their fingers. The size or gender of the therapist does not determine the level of pressure.
The massage table is low, allowing the therapist to use their body weight to apply deeper pressure. The warmth created from the initial massage techniques allows the muscles to loosen and receive deeper pressure which is gently introduced.
A Deep Tissue Massage will involve using organic massage oil which nourishes the skin.
Most people often confuse deep tissue massage for Swedish massage due to their striking similarities. However, these two massage techniques are very different! The main differences revolve around the number of strokes applied and the pressure used. Here’s how to distinguish between deep tissue massage and Swedish massage:
Deep tissue massage uses slower, forceful strokes to reach the deeper layers of muscle tissue. Conversely, Swedish massage uses long, gentle strokes to help relax the muscle. The pressure applied during deep massage is more forceful, and it may involve the use of elbows and forearms to achieve the desired effect.
The deep tissue massage aims at treating strains, chronic pain and sports injuries, while Swedish massage is a gentle form of massage ideal for relaxation and reducing muscle soreness caused by day-to-day activities.
Deep tissue massage seeks to treat musculoskeletal problems by targeting the inner layers of the muscles.
On the other hand, Swedish massage focuses on the superficial parts that tend to attract tension, including the neck, back and shoulders.
Deep Tissue Massage is excellent for relaxing and loosening tight muscles, tissues and stiff joints where a deeper massage is required. The benefits of Deep Tissue Massage include improved circulation, body functioning and flexibility.
It can help ease stress, muscle fatigue and release “knots” in tissues. A Deep Tissue Massage can aid total relaxation which will, in turn, help the client to get a better night’s sleep outside of the treatment.
It helps address postural issues and musculoskeletal imbalances and helps to integrate the mind and body.
Deep tissue massage has several therapeutic and psychological benefits.
A 2014 report by Harvard titled Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation reveals that all forms of massage techniques, including deep tissue massage, can help relieve muscle soreness and lower back pain.
The study also suggests that deep massage can help one heal faster from injuries that affect major muscle groups.
Here are more benefits of deep tissue massage:
Helps relieve arthritis symptoms
Breaks down scar tissue
Increases joint mobility
Reduces chronic pain
Controls high blood pressure
Deep tissue massage also helps with tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis and sciatica.
Preparing early is crucial if you are to make the most of deep tissue massage. Here are some tips on how to prepare for this therapeutic process:
You should relax your mind and muscles
Avoid eating minutes to the massage
Provide accurate health information to avoid any complications during or after the procedure.
Inform the massager in case you are allergic to any oils or lotions. This helps in choosing the most suitable materials for your skin type.
A Deep Tissue Massage lasts for an hour or 90 minutes. The massage is performed on a massage couch and the therapist uses massage oil or wax. Less massage oil is used than in a Swedish
Massage as the therapist requires more grip to slowly work with the muscles that are tense. The massage is slower than a Swedish Massage and more specifically targeted to problem areas. More time will be spent on areas that need it, such as the back, neck and shoulders. The relief is often instant.
The therapist will review your medical history, and ask appropriate questions moments before the massage.
You should provide accurate information about your health and indicate your problem areas before the massage commences. This will help prevent any complications during the procedure.
In a typical massage session, the masseur will ask you to undress until the point you are comfortable. Essentially, you should only expose the parts that require massaging.
As the process commences, the masseur will warm and prepare your muscles. The massage will then begin in earnest using two techniques:
The first technique is stripping, which essentially involves applying light pressure along the length of the muscles using the forearms, elbows, or knuckles.
The second technique is friction, which entails applying deep pressure across the grain of the muscles to realign the fibres and release tension. However, the degree and the amount of time taken depends on the desired results.
Deep tissue massage is for treatment and rehabilitation purposes rather than relaxation. For this reason, you might feel slight pain or discomfort, particularly in problem areas. However, the massage will work to relieve the pain in due course.
Importantly, you should notify the therapist if the pain does not subside during the massage. The therapist may use a different, more comfortable technique to relieve pain and tension.
Deep tissue massage does not have any noticeable or worrying side effects. However, it is normal for some patients to feel some stiffness or soreness following the massage.
That notwithstanding, stiffness or discomfort should subside within a couple of days. Using a heat pad or cold pack may also help hasten the healing process.
You should also drink a lot of water after the massage as this might help dispel metabolic waste and toxins from body tissues. Sounds good, right?
Even though deep tissue massage is generally safe, the process might not be ideal for everyone. In essence, you should avoid the massage if you are under blood-thinning medication, have a fresh fracture, healing wounds or bleeding disorders.
People with a history of blood clots and anyone undergoing cancer treatment (i.e surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation) should also avoid it. This is mainly because the massage technique involves applying firm pressure, which might cause more harm than good.
Always check with your healthcare provider before having a deep tissue massage even if you feel you are in good health.
Finding a massage therapist is not as easy as it might seem. In essence, not all masseurs are capable of providing this type of massage. Considering this, you should search broadly until you find a competent massage therapist.
You may start by asking your doctor for leads, or inquire from your family and friends for recommendations. You may also go through therapeutic massage databases such as the NCBTMB and AMTA. Importantly, do not hesitate to ask whether the massage therapist is licensed or not. Moreover, ask about their level of training and experience before enlisting their services.
Liverpool Street is the nearest station, however, I’m about half a mile away from Shoreditch High St, Moorgate, Fenchurch and Cannon Street Stations.
A few minutes walk from Liverpool Street Station, Bishopsgate Exit, cross the road at the traffic lights, you’ll see a Tesco’s on the other side of the road, turn left, past Boots and the next right, Middlesex Street, I’m on the right, opposite Nando’s.
15 minutes walk. Come out of the station, take a left on Bishopsgate, walk down until you see the Wooden Shades pub, lake a left, crossing the road onto Middlesex Street, I’m opposite Nando’s.
12 minutes walk, come out of the station, take a left onto Moorfields, then a right on to South Place, turning Eldon Street until you see Itsu, the road bends to the right, take a left on to Liverpool Street.
12 minutes walk, come out of the station, take a left on to Fenchurch Street, then at the junction take a right on to Bishopsgate, walk along on the right-hand side until you see Dirty Dicks pub and take another right onto Middlesex Street, I’m opposite Nando’s.
17 minutes walk, come out of the station, take a right on to Walbrook, walk past Bank tube station, carry on until Threadneedle Street, then on to Bishopgate, cross over to the right-hand side, past Dirty Dicks pub, next right on to Middlesex Street. I’m opposite Nando’s.