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Deep tissue is different than swedish in so many
ways. Deep tissue is extremely focused work. We work
on one small area at a time, usually a knot within
the muscle. Deep tissue is intended to work
trough superficial tissues to get to the deeper
tissues. The deeper tissues are usually the
problematic ones causing the pain. Deep tissue
is different than Deep pressure. You can provide
deep pressure to superficial muscles and not usually
deeper tissues, that is when in transitions to Deep
Deep tissue breaks up adhesions (muscles fibers
stuck together), and realigns fibers. This helps
reduce pain and increase blood flow and movement.
Deep tissue is done with a firm, constant, slow deep
pressure. Communication between patient and massage
therapist (LMT) is huge. You, the patient, is in
control of the depth, to some degree, as you are
telling the LMT when it is
uncomfortable/painful. At Stress Waived we
were taught that massage should never be painful.
Pain makes the muscles tighten up, which is counter
productive to what we are trying to accomplish, and
of course it hurts.
A good analogy is: Take a balloon, blow it up. Now
hold your hands on opposite sides of the balloon.
Take a finger from each hand and point it into the
center of the balloon. Now push each finger, from
the opposite side towards the center until they
touch. This is very possible, you have just have to
go slow enough, at the pace of the balloon. The
balloon has to stretch around your fingers
pressure.If you go to fast-you pop the balloon. This
is the way the muscles have to respond during Deep
Tissue pressure. The speed the LMT can go depends on
how quickly the muscle lets go and allows the
pressure to occur. The LMT follows the release of
the muscle by providing constant pressure as the
muscle relaxes. If the LMT goes to quickly the
muscle will tighten to protect itself (so it doesn't
"break" like the balloon).
To make progress with pain reduction, Deep tissue
treatment usually takes several appointments. This
allows the muscle to react to the pressure it got
and learn that this newer position (of release) is
ok and good. The muscle is used to being tight so we
basically have to "retrain" the muscle.
Deep tissue can be used on almost any muscle. It
works well with certain conditions such as:
Fibromyalgia, Tennis Elbow, Lower back pain, and so
After a Deep tissue treatment you MUST drink lots of
water. You need to flush the toxins(created from the
muscle contractions), and hydrate the cells (having
been "squished" by the tight muscle.