Deep Tissue Massage – FAQ

What is Deep Tissue/Sports Massage?

Deep Tissue/Sports Massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fibres of the muscles, tendons and fascia.

Deep tissue/Sports massage is used to release chronic muscle tension through slower strokes and more direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles not with the grain. Deep tissue massage helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue. Deep tissue massage usually focuses on more specific areas and may cause some soreness during or right after the massage. However, if the massage is done correctly you should feel better than ever within a day or two.

The purpose of the massage is to “unstick” the fibres of a muscle while releasing deeply-held patterns of tension, removing toxins, while relaxing and soothing the muscle. It is both corrective and therapeutic.

Why get a Deep Tissue/Sports Massage?

It feels good and it is beneficial to your health. When muscles are stressed, they block oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that builds up toxins in the muscle tissue. A deep-tissue massage helps loosen muscle tissues, release toxins from muscles and get blood and oxygen circulating properly. Because many toxins are released, it’s important to drink plenty of water after a deep-tissue session to help eliminate these toxins from the body.

How does Deep Tissue/Sports Massage work?

When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause limited movement, and inflammation.

Deep tissue/Sports massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist often uses direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles.

Massage therapists may use fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during the deep tissue massage. You may be asked to breathe deeply as the massage therapist works on certain tense areas.

It is important to drink plenty of water as you can after the massage to flush metabolic waste from the tissues.

Will Deep Tissue/Sports Massage hurt?

At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort and pain. It is important to tell the massage therapist when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range. There is usually some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so. The massage therapist may recommend applying ice to the area after the massage. However, people often notice improved range of motion immediately after a deep tissue massage.

What conditions is deep tissue/sports massage used for?

Unlike classic massage therapy, which is used for relaxation, deep tissue massage usually focuses on specific problem areas, limited mobility, recovery from injuries (e.g. falls, sports injury), repetitive strains, postural problems, muscle tension or spasm.

According to the August 2005 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage more effective in relieving osteoarthritis than exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine and over-the-counter drugs.