3 Deep Tissue Massage Techniques

Whether you are an athlete who is in training or have just been experiencing a high level of pain or stiffness, you will benefit from deep tissue massage techniques. A regular Swedish massage will assist your body in stress relief and relaxation, but a deep tissue massage will focus on a deeper level in your muscle, or connective tissues. This allows for a level of healing to occur deep within the body.

Technique 1: Deeper Pressure and Longer Strokes

The first technique used by massage therapists practicing deep tissue massage is using deeper pressure and longer strokes. Using deeper pressure allows the massage therapist to reach deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. It’s important that the therapist use a gradual process of pressure so healing can occur without excessive pain. The long, slow strokes are usually performed with the massage therapists thumbs, fingers or elbows. This helps loosen the tension and toxicity located beneath the surface.

Technique 2: Utilizing Massage Therapy Tools

There are various tools that can be utilized during a deep tissue massage to enhance the pressure and promote the release of chronic pain or tension. Deep tissue massage therapy tools are typically found in various types of materials such as wood, rubber or plastic. These tools are knob-like and are used for more intense pressure in focused areas.

For instance, if there has been an injury that resulted in severe lower back pain, a deep tissue massage therapy tool may be used to reach deeper layers. This action will allow the release of any scar tissue that has formed or chronic deep muscle tension.

Technique 3: Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage

Another deep tissue massage technique is the barefoot massage. The barefoot massage technique has been utilized and practiced for a long time in some cultures and is even a specialty in some places. Often a ceiling bar is used for the massage therapist to keep balance and to change pressure. Various parts of the foot are used depending on the health issues of the client and preference of the therapist. The barefoot deep tissue massage is often performed using large compression movements on the large muscles of the body, such as the thigh.

It is important to keep in mind that deep tissue massage techniques work best when they are performed consistently over time. Because deep tissue massage techniques utilize deeper pressure and reach deeper layers of muscle tissue, there is often a level of soreness that will occur. Any soreness that occurs will be noticed for a day or two after the deep tissue massage, but then a general sense of healing and well-being will be apparent.

Communication with the massage therapist is vital in order to avoid excessive pain during a deep tissue massage. A good massage therapist will adjust the level of pressure during a deep tissue massage to accommodate the healing of the client. Although various techniques may be used during a deep tissue massage, the result should be the healing of injury, the lessening of chronic pain and the maintenance of strong and vital muscles.


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