deep tissue massage therapy

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

By RMT Katie Kavanagh

In the massage world, the term ‘deep tissue’ has arguably become overused or, at times, used incorrectly.

Massage therapy clients who request a deep tissue massage may feel the need for deeper pressure. Others may believe that to experience any kind of results, their massage has to hurt a little—or even a lot.

But from a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)’s perspective, what the client prefers is what they will receive, assuming the risks don’t outweigh the benefits.

What does a deep tissue massage offer?

Used to treat musculoskeletal conditions, deep tissue massage involves applying sustained pressure—usually slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of your muscles and connective tissues. It’s an ideal treatment for tight and contracted muscles, stiff necks, low back pain and achy shoulders.

Deep tissue has the potential to break up scar tissue and centres on realigning the deeper layers of connective and muscle tissue. In other words, it is so much more than just a “hard massage.” If you compare a deep tissue massage to a more relaxing treatment, deep tissue lengthens fascia, muscles and tendons and offers an increase in joint movement, speedy recoveries, improved posture as well as an overall feeling of well-being.

Deep tissue massage can regularly treat the following conditions:

  • chronic pain
  • muscle tension and or spasm
  • sports injury
  • sciatica
  • plantar fasciitis (which, combined with cupping, can be a very effective treatment)
  • limited mobility
  • carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries
  • decreased range of motion (ROM)

This kind of treatment can also encourage faster healing by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation.

Deep tissue massage techniques

When you book a deep tissue massage treatment with Massago, our therapists will use many of the same movements and techniques as a Swedish massage. Remember, RMT will each have their own unique touch!

Generally, the therapist will use a more intense and concentrated pressure on areas of tension and pain as opposed to a relaxing Swedish massage. Talk to your RMT ahead of time so you don’t run the risk of being bruised or uncomfortable during your treatment. It is always a good idea to communicate with your therapist at any time during the massage (and vice versa!) in case any issues arise.

People often find there is a degree of discomfort during and following a deep tissue massage; however, it is best to listen to yourself when it comes to your comfort level. Occasionally, there is a chance you will feel soreness post-treatment. This should subside in a day or two, but If problems persist, you can apply ice to the area after the massage.

Long-term goals of a deep tissue treatment

We’ve already discussed the specifics of how a deep tissue massage can help in your daily life. But it’s what’s going on, on the inside, that may matter most over the course of time.

When muscles are severely or even minimally tense, they block nutrients and oxygen, which can lead to inflammation and a build-up of toxins in the body. A deep tissue massage can help release these toxins, bringing them to the surface and out of the body—which is why it’s so important for clients to drink as much water as possible following this kind of session.

In short, a deep tissue massage can:

  • offer pain relief or reduction
  • improve circulation
  • correct posture
  • increase range of motion
  • re-align muscle fibres

Regardless of whether you book a Swedish massage or a deep tissue massage, always stick with a treatment that you’re comfortable with, and don’t forget to talk to your therapist about any questions or concerns you may have before, during or after your massage.

How to book a deep tissue massage near you

If you’re interested in a deep tissue massage, we make it easy to book an appointment with one of our RMTs. Simply enter your address into our booking platform and your massage will come to you! If you have questions, one of our team members is happy to help.

Massago is always a go!