Deep Tissue massage has many meanings, depending on the client and the therapist. If you ask me for deep tissue work, I’ll ask you what you mean by that and then we go forward with a continued dialogue to be sure we’re on the same page. Much of the time, Deep Tissue means firm Swedish Massage. Or it means that the client wants the therapist to focus on particular areas by using elbows, forearms, etc. That work goes slow and more focused than Swedish. (It is not used for the entire session, as there are certain muscles/tendons/ligaments that would be harmed with direct deep work.) That said, techniques that utilize deep-tissue/deep-muscle massage are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. The muscles must be relaxed first in order to effectively perform deep-tissue massage, otherwise tight surface muscles prevent the practitioner from reaching deeper musculature. It helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis. It is generally integrated with other massage techniques.
IT IS VITAL TO DRINK PLENTY OF WATER BEFORE AND AFTER A DEEP SESSION! (Massage definitions reference those from the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals Glossary – used with permission.)