If you suffer from muscle pain or stiffness, chances are you could benefit from working with a deep tissue massage specialist who practices deep tissue massage.
The standard definition of deep tissue massage is manipulation to trigger the release and realignment of the body and reduce muscular tension.
Some names also used are trigger point therapy, deep tissue therapy, deep tissue techniques and deep pressure, which is associated with Swedish massage.
Benefits typically include:
- Improved performance in activities. Short and tight muscles limit mobility and cause pain or discomfort. Deep tissue massage places more emphasis on stretching short muscles and fascia that hinder performance—relaxing them and easing discomfort.
- Improved posture. This particular facet of deep tissue massage, sometimes called Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy, focuses on careful analysis and a systematic and structured plan that helps people stand or sit erect and move more freely.
- Emotional and psychological freedom. Many people tighten, or armor, their muscles when stressed. Deep tissue massage helps relieve this stress.
Deep Tissue Massage: Trigger Point Therapy for the Muscles
As a deep tissue specialist, I use techniques designed to release, realign and balance the entire body. Releasing these stiff, tight complex muscle groups can ease, pain, compensation and discomfort.
When you align the whole body using deep tissue massage, it takes a very slow approach, feeling what is happening underneath. Reaching the deeper stuck areas using body weight (rather than strength) gets to the 4th layer fibrotic muscles without mowing over the barriers and skipping the results.
The deep tissue stroke, along with myoskeletal alignment therapy, which is designed to have clients move body parts against my resistance, make a powerful productive combination. I use muscle stripping, supported thumbs, curved fingertips, and elbow points to get to key muscle junctions.
I pin and stretch muscle or cross-friction deep tissue to help posture right itself and bring a center of gravity back to my clients’ health. In a balanced body, my clients have noticed their movements are much freer, especially in the hips, shoulders and necks.
Most of my trigger point therapy sessions focus on no more than two issues, so I can attend to a client’s major reason for seeking treatment. With more time to concentrate on key areas, I am able to get clients up and moving faster.
What to Expect from Connective Tissue Massage
The first thing you may notice in a deep tissue massage session is we use much less lubrication. This is the biggest difference between regular massage and deep tissue massage. Minimal lubrication requires less pressure to grip tissue.
Deep tissue massage does, indeed, work with deeper layers of the body by sinking through superficial layers. But, this does not mean that substantially more pressure is needed. The deep tissue specialist sinks in vertically until sensing the layer where the tension is and then moves obliquely to lengthen short muscles and fascia at this layer.
During connective tissue massage, strokes will be considerably slower and possibly shorter as the therapist waits for a slow release of tension. He may move quickly or even skip some areas so more time can be spent on specific areas of need.
We often engage clients actively in the process by moving them to positions that stretch muscles and joints to effect a release. A session may not cover the entire body because doing spot work allows for meticulous and careful attention to problem areas rather than spreading the work too thin.
However, a deep tissue massage, whether full body or for spot work, should not attempt to coerce the body into submission.
Many people feel they get more benefits by scheduling a longer deep tissue massage of 90 minutes. This allows for a more relaxed and enjoyable pace and attention to specific areas of holding.