I looked for a definition of deep tissue massage and I found many descriptions. Some of these follow:
- from The Balanced Body: A Guide to Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular Therapy by Donald W. Scheumann - says about deep tissue therapy… "... applying a combination of slow compressive and lengthening procedures to the involved musculature."
- deeper pressure to release chronic muscle tension with focus on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia
- realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue.
- same strokes as classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain.
- physically breaking down adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. Using direct deep pressure on relaxed muscles.
- Using deep finger pressure and slow, firm strokes.
- focused work on muscle attachment sites to alleviate a problem. focused problem solving work
- work on deeper layers of muscle and soft tissue
- extra attention on a certain area
- deeper work on the belly of a muscle
- trigger point release
- slower work with waiting for tissue release to allow deeper access without pain
So, it all comes back to you who may be someone asking "do you do deep tissue massage?" Think about what you mean by deep tissue massage. Are you looking for firm work that is specific to an area? Are you not sure what you want but have heard that deep tissue massage is what should help relieve pain issues? Or are you just wanting to be sure you get something more than lotion application and actually feel the affect on your muscles? Deep tissue massage can be painful and some clients like that aspect of it. But deep tissue massage does not have to be painful. A skilled therapist can get deep and have a therapeutic affect on the body without the massage being painful. Think about what you really are looking for and ask a therapist if they can meet your expectations.
Back to me: Do I do deep tissue massage? I do bodywork that is effective, intense, specific and gets results quickly, but it's not massage. It's The Rossiter System: powerful stretching workouts for pain relief.
I also do some assessment work, Neurokinetic Therapy® that identifies the muscles that need to be released with massage and also what muscles or movements need to be activated to allow the overworked muscles to stop overworking. This work allows you to let go of patterns of movement that contribute to the pain and dysfunction.
The massage work I do is therapeutic. I do classic swedish massage with moderate and firm pressure. I shift as is needed based on the clients input. I do deep tissue in that I work slowly, waiting for release of muscle to then go deeper, I will work on specific areas. I get deep results with active engagement or movement during the massage which allows access to deeper tissue.
What I will not do, is dig into muscles with all my might (that kind of hurts me!) and aggressively work on "knots" without knowing beforehand why those muscles are in pain and whether they really need massage work or if the problem is from another area of the body. Sometimes it is the painful area that needs to be addressed and sometimes it's not. If you are looking for specific work to reduce and relieve pain issues, I can definitely help you, but I will start the sessions using the tools I have, to know the why of the pain, before doing deep work.
If you have more questions or want to talk about the work I do, I invite you to call me and start a discussion!