Deep Tissue massage is a common request from clients and can be a significant relief from muscular tension, among other benefits. It is a variant of Swedish massage and is very commonly performed in the Western world at spas and independent locations alike. Deep tissue uses the same gliding strokes as Swedish, but with different “tools” (hand and arm positions for the therapist) and more pressure. Deep tissue massage should only be performed by trained professionals, and communication between client and practitioner throughout the session is key.
A common misconception is that deep tissue massage hurts. It is the belief at Hands On Call Massage that deep tissue should never cause true pain. The goal of deep tissue is to stay at the line between pain and pleasure. It is often described as “hurts so good,” and as every person is slightly different, this level needs to be found and adjusted on an individual basis. If at any time during your massage you need more or less pressure, communicate this to your practitioner immediately.
Pain is the body’s messenger, telling you something is not right. This is why it is important also not to take any analgesics (Advil, Tylenol, etc.) prior to your session. Your body will tell you where your limits are, but if those senses are dulled, those limits will be surpassed and damage will occur. A little soreness the day after is common, however, as there could be a lack of hydration, resettling of toxins, and a few other reactions to the massage.
Like Swedish, Deep tissue massage uses oils. Because of this, the sessions are generally performed with the client undressed but fully covered by sheets. The practitioner uncovers only the body part being worked on at the time. For example, if the practitioner is massaging the arm, only the arm will be uncovered, while the entire rest of the body is covered and secure. When finished with a specific area, it will be recovered before moving on to a new part
Deep tissue has a physical, tangible effect on the body. It mainly affects the circulatory system, with a near equal impact on the nervous system. As such, certain medical conditions require medical release for booking of a deep tissue session, including but not limited to high blood pressure, heart disease, pregnancy, history of stroke or embolism, bone injuries, bruises, open wounds, contagious disease, etc. Please consult a physician if you are unsure if massage is right for you.