I’ve been blogging recently about animal massage – even snake massage (my stomach still clenches when I think about that one!) and both entries touched briefly on “deep massage”. I think it’s important to understand what deep tissue massage actually is and where it fits in within the massage world.
With my animal massage postings, I didn’t really delve into deep tissue massage that deeply. I only wrote that heavier snakes are used for deep tissue “massages” (so creeepy!) and that animals who receive massage generally don’t have a tolerance for deep tissue massage – even when it can be helpful for them – as they can’t understand that the momentary pain is for a greater good, and they will likely yelp (or worse, try to bite and scratch). Deep tissue massage can be mildly discomforting as the pressure is sometimes intense on tight muscles and there can often be a dull pain a couple days after the massage, a pain similar to one that lingers after a strenuous workout.
Humans, fortunately, are able to recognize that this momentary pain of deep tissue work can lead to fantastic results. One of the main benefits is the release of tension, which is stroked out with the slower, stronger rubbing of deep tissue massage.
This is especially useful for athletes whose workout regimen requires loose muscles and increased mobility, both things that deep tissue massage provides. People who are recovering from a physical injury, are involved in very heavy, physical activity, or who have problems with chronic pain can also benefit from the focused attention deep tissue massage supplies.
Deep tissue massage differs from regular massage as therapists use fingertips, thumbs AS WELL AS knuckles, forearms and elbows to get down to the deeper muscles and connective tissues that underlie the top muscles on which regular, more superficial, massages focus.