Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage is one of my favorite massages’ to give or receive. Many different techniques fall under the heading of deep tissue from Rolfing, nuromuscular therapy, tragger, trigger point therapy, structural integration and more. The common ground with each of these treatments is they are deep and create separation in the muscle fibers. Rolfing and structural integration focus on evaluating the clients posture and using heavy strokes with elbows and fist to bring about lengthening of tissues to balance the body and bring healing. NMT approaches deep work with what I call sculpting the muscles, feeling the tissue and addressing trigger points for release. And tragger combines rhythmic pulsing to bring relaxation and letting go, combined with deep pressure to bring release. These are the modalities I use in my deep tissue massages’.

Deep tissue is about getting very specific and moving only as the body relaxes, this takes time. I know you can get a full body deep tissue massage in an hour at places like Burke Williams, I feel this is not good technique. I have received massages like this and think they tend to move to fast, rushing through areas that need to be sat on to release. An hour and a half with me is only going to cover the back, neck and shoulders or the legs, psoas and neck. It takes me three hours to give a full body deep tissue massage and have found that only my most die hard deep tissue clients enjoy this length of massage. Most of my clients can only take an hour and a half to two hours of deep tissue before they start to be unable to relax fully. If you want a full body deep massage in an hour I suggest Russian Sports Massage.

I have two deep tissue massages

The first (The Pulveriser) is a combination of all the techniques I have mentioned and I consider it to be an extension of Russian Sports Massage. With lots of rocking and pulsing to bring movement to joints and break up congestion.

The second is similar to Rolfing and structural integration, with deep, long strokes to lengthen the muscles.

While both of these deep tissue massages’ are effective, I have found the Pulveriser is more effective for anyone who doesn’t like those long intense strokes in a Rolfing style massage. Both of these massages’ are intense, however, the pressure should be, on a scale of 1-10 (one being a feather light touch and ten being where you are screaming), about a seven. Intense but where you can breath through it and not tense up. Breathing is very important, long deep breathes all the way into your abdomen, focus on relaxing into the exhale. Making an ah sound as you release can be very helpful in letting go. Telling yourself to relax with a chant like “I am relaxing, I am letting go” has been very effective for me.

Deep tissue can leave you sore for a few days after a treatment, receiving deep tissue often reduces the soreness you will feel. Drinking lots of water and icing any areas that where particularly sore during the massage can help to reduce day after soreness. However, if the massage is done correctly you should feel better than ever within a day or two.

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage:

  • Breaks up and eliminates scar tissue
  • Helps change bad poster habits
  • Increased circulation
  • Increases range of motion
  • Helps flushing out toxins
  • Reduces chances of injury
  • Helps with chronic pain
  • Helps recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injury)
  • Helps repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Helps osteoarthritis pain
  • Helps fibromyalgia