What are the different styles of massage? Pt 2 - Deep tissue massage
Our second short feature on different massage styles. This article will cover Deep Tissue massage.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue is a highly sought after form of massage featuring high pressure techniques. Using a lighter lubrication such as lotion as opposed to the abundant use of lubrication in swedish. Less focused on the gliding effleurage strokes of swedish, Deep tissue techniques use just enough to reduce skin friction. Deep tissue is ultimately a vague term, as practitioners of massage use a mixture of swedish and deep tissue in most sessions. A swedish massage can be practiced at a firm and deep level too.
Some specific techniques under the deep tissue umbrella are Myofascial release (MFR) and Trigger point therapy. A myofascial release stroke involves deep and wide pressure over an anatomical region, carried out and sustained in order to stretch open the myofascial webbing that surrounds muscles. Trigger point therapy is a localized pressure onto a small point, as if pushing the button in a muscle or on a nerve that causes a network change in surrounding tissues. A trigger point may be a myofascial adhesion or "knot" in the fascia of a muscle, or an area that of an effect between several knots. The technique is similar in application to acupressure, but directed at anatomical structures as opposed to points on an energy meridian.
Whatever the reason for the effect, the relaxation from the experience of heavy pressure is comforting, and it tends to reduce muscle pain and assist in recovery from functional injury. It is one of the most requested forms of massage therapy.
You might wonder whether a deep tissue massage will hurt. There may be an image from a movie or television show where the character getting massaged screams and yells in discomfort while receiving a massage. A good massage therapist will be able to work at your boundary of comfort, getting to the deepest level that is right for you. A well done deep tissue massage should not cause any great pain. It is for this reason that Deep tissue is usually combined with softer strokes, getting a client used to the practitioners touch and preparing the body to receive heavy pressure.