What is deep tissue massage?


In this blog series, we continue to look in closer details at the types of treatment primarily used at Fitlife Sports Massage. Every few weeks, we will cover a different modality.

Up this week is Deep Tissue Massage…

Deep tissue massage focuses on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (which is the protective and connective layer that surrounds muscles, joints and bones).

Unlike other types of massage (such as Swedish massage) it is less about relaxation and more focused on releasing chronic muscle tension and promoting positive change within the body that has come about as a cause of injury or tension.

Again, unlike other massage techniques, deep tissue massage uses very little lubricant (sometimes none) so the therapist can really “hook” into the muscles and be able to stretch and lengthen them.

It sounds painful, and it’s no relaxation massage, but it’s truly not enough to make you run from the treatment room and never come back! In fact many people report that the relaxation comes from the feeling of ‘pain release’. The purpose is to relieve tension stored in the body. Massage strokes used in deep tissue massage are slower to give your body time to adapt and release tension - it’s not forced out; more coaxed out.

There are three main benefits of deep tissue massage:

  1. It reduces stress and increases relaxation by triggering the release of oxytocin and serotonin (and can lower heart rate and blood pressure!)

  2. It eases pain by releasing tight bands of hyperirritable tissue within the body

  3. It increases ease of movement by breaking down scar tissue within the muscles

At Fitlife Sports Massage, we most often use deep tissue massage for treating those suffering from chronic or acute pain or limited mobility that we feel needs focus rather than general massage.

It’s also GREAT if you’ve taken part in an athletic event and need to pay attention to a specific muscle group (e.g. your calves after a running a marathon)

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