woman getting relaxing massageIf you’ve been feeling sore and achy, you may book a massage to address chronic tension. Deep tissue massage goes above and beyond a traditional Swedish treatment to break up muscle knots and other tightened areas. Techniques apply more targeted pressure that ultimately leaves you feeling looser, more relaxed and flexible.

If you’re thinking about getting a deep tissue massage, keep the following factors in mind.

What Is a Deep Tissue Massage?

Slow, continuous pressure is applied to target deeper layers of muscles, connective tissue and the fascia, as well as break up scar tissue. Deep tissue massage is ideal for addressing strains, sports injuries and musculoskeletal issues, as the approach helps lengthen tissues, reduce tension, improve range of motion and lessen muscle adhesions. Treatment is considered therapeutic, as it also improves blood flow and can help reduce inflammation.

Yet those expecting the relaxing and soothing experience of a Swedish massage may be surprised. Although deep tissue helps relieve soreness and tension, some pain tolerance is required to handle the additional pressure applied. However, a deep tissue massage itself should not be extremely painful.

What to Expect During Treatment

A massage therapist will warm up your muscles with a few lighter strokes over a larger area. From here, your problem areas will be the primary focus of the kneading motion. As more pressure is used, you will be asked if it’s too much or not enough.

While some discomfort is expected for those new to deep tissue massage, make sure you can still breathe naturally and that you’re not tensing up as your muscle knots are worked. Following treatment, you’re advised to drink more water to aid the body’s recovery.

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage

In terms of pain management and muscle recovery, deep tissue massages offer the following benefits:

  • Improved pain, including for chronic conditions
  • Reduced stiffness
  • Greater range of motion
  • Improved muscle and injury recovery
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved circulation and reduced fluid buildup
  • Less pain from plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia and sciatica.

Who Should Have a Deep Tissue Massage?

Despite the benefits, not everyone is a candidate for deep tissue massage. Treatment is ideal for people:

  • With a highly active lifestyle
  • With a chronic injury or pain
  • Recovering from a muscle injury

Deep tissue massages are not recommended for individuals:

  • With a blood clotting disorder or who use a blood thinner
  • With a bleeding disorder
  • Undergoing radiation or another cancer treatment
  • Living with osteoporosis
  • With an open wound or skin infection

Considering a deep tissue massage to relieve chronic pain? Schedule an appointment for up to 90 minutes at Catherine & Company today!