The Truth about Deep Tissue Massage

TherapeuticA“Hi, can I book an appointment with your deepest therapist? I’m not coming in to relax.”

BSRMT Reception:

“All our massage therapists are trained in deep tissue techniques. Everyone experiences pressure differently, so it’s important that you listen to your body and communicate with your RMT.”

 

We hear it all the time. People believe that a massage therapy treatment must be painful in order to be effective. There’s that age-old expression, “no-pain, no-gain.” But, does it apply in this case? Multidisciplinary clinics and spas don’t help the situation by making a pricing distinction between relaxation and deep tissue massage.

Let’s talk facts. Deep tissue massage is a type of therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues. Muscular injury and chronic tension can lead to the formation of painful bands of rigid tissue known as adhesions in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These adhesions can cause pain, limit movement and block circulation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down adhesions.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that deep tissue is simply a forceful and painful massage. It incorporates many of the same techniques as relaxation massage. A seasoned massage therapist will focus on relaxing the upper layers of muscle before slowly moving to reach deeper muscular layers. Your muscles naturally tighten up in resistance to pain or too much pressure. This is the exact opposite of what your RMT is striving to achieve. Keep in mind that a subjective concept like “deep tissue” means different things to different people, so your feedback prior to and during a massage therapy treatment is very important.

Chronic muscle tension is often built over time and is best treated with an integrated program of exercise, stretching, relaxation techniques and regular massage therapy. Simply increasing the pressure and pain level of your treatment will not necessarily eliminate muscular tension in one visit.

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