OOFDA! It's not just an old Minnesota saying, it's the name of our Deep Tissue Massage treatment! Are you a deep tissue aficionado? Have you ever experienced one? Would you like to try, but feel a bit wary of the firm pressure? Keep reading to learn more about one of our most popular treatments and see if it's right for you.
The Definition of "Deep Tissue"
Deep tissue massage is like any other massage, such as Swedish massage, as it utilizes the same techniques to eliminate pain and discomfort, BUT unlike Swedish massage, deep tissue goes beyond the superficial layers of muscle to help treat chronic muscle pain, improve stiffness, and treat sports injuries, as opposed to relaxation. Although, one can find relaxing benefits from deep tissue as well.
The overall goal of deep tissue massage is to break away scar tissue and muscle knotting found in the deeper layers of the muscles to release tension and relieve chronic pain. So, the answer to the question, “Why do deep tissue massages hurt?” is due to the amount of pressure applied to the muscles in order to break up said knots and scar tissue - AND some people may even feel muscle soreness hours after the massage has ended.
What I should expect during my deep tissue massage?
When you come in for your massage, your therapist will want to know about your problem areas. A deep tissue massage can involve your entire body or just one area of focus.
Once ready, your therapist will ask you to lie either on your back or stomach, under a sheet and top blanket. Your level of undress is based on your comfort, but the area being worked will need to be exposed. Your therapist will warm up your muscles first with a lighter touch, and then work their way into more intense pressure. At some point, your therapist will check in with you regarding pressure to make sure you are comfortable, or if you desire more or less pressure. Keep in mind, if at any time your pain goes from "hurts so good" to, "THIS JUST HURTS" please let your therapist know immediately so they may adjust pressure. The idea of "No Pain, No Gain" does not apply in deep tissue massage. Pressure beyond your comfort level may make you tense up, which defeats the purpose of relieving the muscles of tension.
Everyone experiences the after affects of massage differently, but we always want to instill drinking plenty of water to all our guests, especially after an intense session. Drinking water helps to flush out waste minerals and lactic acid that was built up in the muscles and also rehydrate. This helps to manage dehydration and delayed onset muscle soreness. Also, plan to have a light snack, kick up your feet, and relax for the rest of the day. Your body just experienced an intense work out - now it's time to rest.
If you do begin to feel sore post massage, we always suggest continuing to drink water, and perhaps take a couple Tylenol. Muscle soreness after a deep tissue massage is normal, peaking anywhere from 12 to 24 hours afterward. If you experience this, do not fear! It is similar to soreness after working out and will fade in a couple days or sooner.
Who should NOT receive a deep tissue massage?
Like all massage modalities, there are some contraindications. Though massage therapy is generally safe, deep tissue uses very firm pressure and may not be safe for everybody including those who:
Have blood clots/ clotting disorders
Are currently taking blood thinners
Have a bleeding disorder
Have cancer or are undergoing cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation
Open wounds or skin infections
How do I find a deep tissue therapist?
At Pebble Spa, each of our massage therapists has their specialty, and finding a deep tissue specialist is easy! Just visit the Team Pebble page and you'll be able to browse through our team of estheticians, cosmetologists, acupuncturists, and massage therapists. If you find someone that seems to be a good fit, you can request said therapist through online booking or over the phone with one of our spa concierge. It's as easy as that!
Are you looking to book a great massage? Click here to start the process!