Experiencing pain? Explore the benefits of deep tissue massage

Experiencing pain? Explore the benefits of deep tissue massage

All the questions you had about Deep Tissue Massage, answered!

What is deep tissue massage?

Focused on releasing the deepest layers of muscle, connective tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints). Not as ‘single area’ focused as neuromuscular massage but a deeper pressure across broader areas. Deep tissue is performed using fingertips, thumbs, knuckles, soft fists, forearms, elbows and active movement with the client.

What’s the difference?

Sharing similarities with Swedish massage in many ways, a deep tissue therapeutic treatment differs in that deep pressure is applied when trigger points or dense tissue areas are felt. Swedish is an overall relaxation therapy whereas deep tissue is best described as a massage treatment with focused treatment areas.

Does Deep Tissue Hurt?

The misconception of massage is that it must be painful or it isn’t beneficial. Realistically there can be some tenderness in painful areas, each client needs to work to their level of comfort. You will need to take deep breaths and relax while an area is being massaged, something I work on for each individual client.

If I work deeply on a trigger point for example, it can cause redness which brings blood to the surface of the skin and can aid in allowing better circulation and more oxygen into the muscle tissue.

The following day after your deep tissue massage, in the area you’ve had work, you may experience some tenderness – or a similar feeling to having worked out in that area, might be slightly sore but should only last a day. You should feel relief and if pain persists, please let your therapist know.

An Epsom salt bath, post-treatment is a great way to assist in relieving pain if there are higher levels of discomfort. This continues to soften and relax the areas that were massaged with deep tissue massage techniques.

A medically recommended treatment

The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine found that after a single 45-60 minute deep tissue massage, blood pressure could be reduced. In addition, a 2010 study by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry learned that deep tissue massage reduced stress hormone levels and heart rate while enhancing mood and relaxation by triggering the release of oxytocin and serotonin.


What do we use deep tissue massage to treat?

Chronic pain in the lower back, hip and shoulder area is relieved with a good deep tissue massage treatment. These issues are common among my clients and I often hear how much improvement they felt after the session.

Other benefits you may not be aware of include (but of course not limited to!).

  • Stress Relief – if you have ever experienced a tension headache from overworking or trying to meet deadlines then deep tissue massage is a must to help with stress relief.
  • Breaking Down Scar Tissue – many times we have places where scar tissue has developed due to an injury or trauma. The tissue in the area of the scar is thick and raised… deep tissue massage is an excellent way to help reduce scar tissue thickness and aid in creating greater mobility in the injured area.
  • Chronic Pain and Injuries – “Pain is a request for change.” – Perry Nickelston, DC.,NKT, SFMA. Living with pain on a daily basis can cause depression, exhaustion and isolation. Deep tissue massage can aid in the fight against chronic pain and injuries by pinpointing the cause of pain rather than focusing on the symptoms solely.

  • Sitting at a desk for a living?

    We do a great deal of sitting in our lives! The excessive ‘sit’ culture can cause hips and glutes to become tight and restricted. We sit at work, we sit at home, and all of that sitting causes repetitive flexion in the hips which creates tightness, restriction, and pain.

    Where your job requires repetitive movement or sitting, injuries and chronic pain can develop, deep tissue massage can help to relieve your pain.

    5 benefits of Deep Tissue Massage:

  • Treats chronic back and neck pain
  • Helps to Lower High Blood Pressure
  • Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Muscle Tension
  • Breaks up Scar Tissue
  • Improves Athletic Recovery and Performance

  • Alternative suggestions in addition to deep tissue massage

    Along with regular deep tissue massage a foam roller is a good tool to get the most from your sessions. Use a foam roller between massage visits. After treatments I provide many clients with foam roller exercises, reach out if you would like to discuss these stretches with me in detail.

    I’m here to help.

    Please don’t hesitate to call to discuss your chronic pain or injuries.

    Schedule a Deep Tissue Massage
    Book your treatment today online or call to schedule an appointment. I look forward to working with you!

    Enter for your chance to win a one-hour deep tissue massage treatment – it’s Christmas and we’re giving one lucky reader a free massage. Winners announced December 23, 2016.


    Rebecca Rice-Wilson

    Rebecca Rice-Wilson