Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage uses many of the same strokes as Swedish Massage. The main difference is that with DT the strokes are slowed down enough for the pressure to be increased. By going very slow the therapist is able to access the deeper fibers and muscles that often are the cause of tension and pain.
To begin this type of massage, the tissue is always warmed up first by using vigorous effleurage strokes or thumb sweeps. Once the muscles are warm enough the therapist can then sink in and search out fibrous areas and/or adhesions. These areas are then slowly worked with deep friction in such a way that untangles the fibers and returns them to a more normal and healthy condition.
Deep Tissue Massage can be intense for some people, where as for others it is the only pressure that feels right. As the recipient of the massage it is your responsibility to make sure the pressure is appropriate. A well-trained therapist should monitor your response at all times. If they don't or they constantly use more pressure than what is acceptable STOP THE SESSION. It is essential that you don't let anyone override your good sense. Many recipients of DT have been unfortunately bruised and had aching pain after an over enthusiastic session. However, if applied correctly a DT session can relieve a host of problems.
What is the right amount of pressure? There are two things to consider here. One is pressure and the on is pain. For some people a lot of pressure produces very little pain. For others very little pressure is excruciating. To remedy this problem the following pain scale has been developed.
The Pain Scale
When considering how much pressure is appropriate for a given client the therapist should use the following scale as a guideline.
On a scale of 1 - 10 where 1 = no pain and 10 = excruciating pain, 5 should equal firm pressure, 6 should equal discomfort, and 7 should equal real discomfort - the type that you wouldn't want to go beyond. NEVER let the pain level go over a 6 or 7 on this scale.
Though you may experience a certain intensity to achieve the results that you are seeking from this type of massage, it should never be so painful that you cringe, hold your breath or squirm away from the pressure. Once you are at that level the possibility of tissue damage out weight the potential of benefit.
Generally, a Deep Tissue session should leave you feeling thoroughly worked, almost rung out, but not exhausted or hurting. It is always good if you can do some gentle movement and/or stretching after the session. A nice walk is also a good idea. If you think you might be a little sore try the following detox bath:
Finished with Deep Tissue Massage, return to Massage Therapy