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How Much Do You Really Know About Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage is notorious for being painful, but that does not mean it accomplishes less than other forms of massage. How much do you really know about deep tissue massage? Here is the basic rundown on deep tissue massage.

How Much Do You Really Know About Deep Tissue Massage?

What Is Deep Tissue Massage?  

Deep tissue massage is often used to relieve chronic aches and pains. It can also help reduce stress and muscle tension. The muscles are intricately connected with the body tissues and joints, so a physical therapist may use it or a licensed massage therapist might perform it for you. Some patients even prefer it over classic Swedish massage because the pressure is deeper and they feel less discomfort afterward.


The main goal behind this type of treatment is to release chronic knots that have built up in the muscles due to stress, lack of movement, poor posture, etc. Sometimes these knots can form scars in the affected area which reduces the elasticity of the muscles. The therapist will apply the right kind of pressure to help them stretch and contract in order to go back to their original shape.


3 Types of Deep Tissue Massage


  • Deep tissue Swedish massage

  • Deep tissue sports massage

  • Myofascial release massage (MFR)


Swedish massage usually uses long strokes across the muscle, whereas sports or MFR targets only the affected area by loosening up scarred tissues.    


What happens during the massage?

Before your deep tissue massage, your massage therapist will want to know about your problem areas. A deep tissue massage can involve your entire body or just one area.


Once ready, you’ll be asked to lie on your back or stomach, under a sheet. Your level of undress is based on your comfort, but the area being worked on will need to be exposed.


The massage therapist will warm up your muscles using a lighter touch. Once you’re warmed up, they’ll start working on your problem areas. They’ll use deep kneading and stroking with varying amounts of intense pressure.


How Does Deep Tissue Massage Get Rid of Knee Pain? 

This type of massage can relieve tension from all over your body, including your knee pain, which you may experience from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. 


How Long Will It Take to See Results? 

This type of massage does not provide immediate relief but should be performed at least three times per week for several weeks before you see results. 


How Much Does It Cost? 

The cost for this type of massage can vary depending on where you live and which therapist you see.


Are there any side effects?

It’s not unusual to have some lingering soreness for a few days following a deep tissue massage. Using a heating pad or a cold pack wrapped in a towel may help to relieve soreness.


Though massage therapy is generally safe, deep tissue massage uses very firm pressure and may not be safe for everyone.


Speak to your doctor before having a deep tissue massage if you:

  • have a history of blood clots or a clotting disorder

  • are taking blood thinners

  • have a bleeding disorder

  • have cancer or are undergoing cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation


Anyone with osteoporosis or cancer that’s spread to the bones should avoid deep tissue massage as the firm pressure used may cause a fracture. You should also hold off on deep tissue massages if you’re pregnant. Gentler types of massage, such as Swedish massage, maybe a better option.


If you have an open wound or skin infection of any kind, you’ll need to reschedule to avoid developing a new infection or making an existing one worse.


How Can I Find a Good Therapist? 

If you want to try a deep tissue massage, it’s important to work with a qualified massage therapist.


To find a massage therapist:

  • ask your doctor or physical therapist for a referral

  • ask friends and family for a recommendation

  • search the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork’s database 

  • use the America Massage Therapy Association’s database


As you sort through potential massage therapists, keep a few things in mind:


  • Area of focus. Not all massage therapists specialize in deep tissue massage. Some are trained in several types while others focus their practice on one or two. Be sure to ask if they offer deep tissue massage and what conditions they have experience treating.

  • Cost. Ask about the cost per session and whether they offer cost-saving incentives, such as a sliding-scale option. You might also want to check with your health insurance provider, as some cover massage therapy, especially for specific conditions.

  • Credentials. Ask for credentials and make sure that the therapist is licensed to practice massage therapy in your area. In the United States, most states regulate the massage therapy profession.

Massage therapist - The Sanctuary Pleasant Hill LLC 609 Gregory Ln Suite #220 Pleasant Hil

By Danstone360 - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

Are You Searching for a Massage Therapist You Can Trust?

The Sanctuary Pleasant Hill LLC features a full range of services that are done using touch-based therapy. Our skilled therapists use their hands to manipulate the soft tissues of your body in order to relieve pain, improve health conditions, and promote wellness through holistic treatments like massage therapy! Located in the beautiful Contra Costa area, The Sanctuary is a Holistic Healing Center that specializes in exceptional treatments. Our aim is to nurture and relax each of our guests with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. We provide a quiet restful space to help you escape from stress and invigorate your spirit. The choice of how to move forward on your journey is a personal decision, honored without judgment. Start your journey with us today, click here to schedule your appointment!

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