We do deep tissue massage, but we want you to understand our approach. Deep tissue massage does not mean that we push hard throughout the entire massage. To us, deep tissue massage means that we “arrive” at problem muscles that may be two, three, or four layers deep versus pushing hard and causing muscle guarding (increased tightness), which can make it difficult or impossible to treat the problem area.
Often, muscles that are layered on top of each other are responsible for different movements, are different shapes and attach to different bones. They may need to be treated differently to help relieve your discomfort. Pushing too hard could mean that the different muscle layers don’t get treated adequately.
Deep tissue work can actually involve using light pressure so we can work superficially – or in an area not over the problem area. It depends on what we are trying to achieve so we can get deeper into the muscles.
Our Approach to Deep Tissue Massage
Here is how we work with you. We listen to what you tell us about why you are getting massage. We ask specific questions that help us understand what kind of discomfort you are experiencing, what you think causes, aggravates, and eases your discomfort. We want to know about previous injuries, surgeries, and what you do all day (i.e., stand on a concrete floor, work at a computer for 8 hours a day, do heavy lifting, bending or twisting activities, drive long distances).
From this, we determine what we think is the best approach for you – and we revise that throughout the massage, depending on what we find while working with you. How deep we work depends upon your current health, presence or absence of injuries, medications you are taking, condition of your soft tissues (skin, connective tissue, muscles), whether you have had massage before and what kind of massage you have experienced in the past.
Typically, we warm up the problem area by using specific massage strokes. In some instances, we may use a hotpack. After we have worked on the various layers on top of the problem area, we check the involved muscles and may then work deeply or lightly, depending on what we find, how tender the area is and how you are tolerating what we are doing.
We will communicate with you during the massage to make sure that what we are doing is helpful and whether the pressure is comfortable. We do not believe in “no pain, no gain.” We want to work effectively. Often, one massage is enough to address your issue or to understand if massage is going to help you. If your problem is chronic or you come to us with an injury, more sessions may be necessary. If you are not improving with massage, we may recommend other health care professionals, including evaluation or re-evaluation by your physician.
Make Sure Deep Tissue Massage is Right for You
Please don’t make the mistake of listening to other people who have had deep tissue massage and told you “deep tissue massage is THE ONLY kind of massage you should have.” First of all, you are not that person. Everybody is different in what they need and in their response to massage. Second, you don’t know exactly what they meant by deep tissue massage. Third, you don’t know what combination of techniques the therapist(s) use to achieve deep tissue – as mentioned above, deep tissue doesn’t always mean pushing hard. Fourth, deep tissue may be contraindicated in your particular situation. If there is injury, chronic illness, you live a sedentary lifestyle or have other health or lifestyle considerations, a massage in which the therapist pushes hard may leave you uncomfortable and may not achieve your goal to feel better.
More Questions about Deep Tissue Massage?
We have covered many of the issues concerning deep tissue massage. Even so, your situation is unique. We want to hear from you if you have additional questions. Please call us at 219-879-5722.