What is a Deep Tissue Massage? All your Questions Answered

People are often intimidated by the phrase 'deep tissue'. But what exactly happens during a session?
During a deep tissue massage, your therapist will use hands, forearms, and fingertips to locate and loosen adhesions, which are points of tension or “knots” in your muscles.  Deep tissue work is usually administered to those with chronic muscle pain or tension, to aid in injury recovery, reduce scar tissue in muscles, or improve postural conditions. This sounds a lot like Swedish massage, and there are similarities in technique but deep tissue massage is more focused and the pressure can address deeper tissues and structures. Some people perceive deeper work as more intense, and so it's important to feel comfortable vocalizing how you feel about the  pressure feels  during a deep tissue session. If your therapist warms you up properly, you shouldn't feel any soreness or discomfort after your session.
Deep tissue massage can be very rewarding in terms of relief from chronic pain and injury. Here's what you can do to prepare for your session:

  • Drink plenty of water before and after your massage to flush any waste products from your muscles.
  • It's best not to be too full or hungry during a session - don't go in on an empty stomach, and maybe eat something healthy but not too heavy before a session.
  • Arrive ten minutes before your scheduled appointment,  so you can time relax and discuss with your therapist any goals you have for the session (for example, greater flexibility, less tension, headache relief) and specify areas you'd like to focus on.
  • Please let your therapist know about any medical conditions, or anything you feel is important to the session, and feel free to ask questions.

If you are not sure that deep tissue massage is right for you, don't be afraid to talk to your therapist before your session.