What is Deep Tissue or Connective Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue or connective tissue massage is said to restore the length and flexibility to the fascia (the fibrous tissue that surrounds muscles and organs) by normalizing the tissue and by improving the strength and overall health of the entire fascial system (the connective tissue running throughout the entire body).
Deep tissue massage borrows many of its techniques from traditional Swedish massage. However, the pressure that a massage therapist applies during a deep tissue massage is more intense, and massage oil or lotion typically used in very small amounts. The strokes in this type of massage are slower, and more pressure is applied in order to reach the deeper layers of the muscles. Although having a deep tissue massage shouldn’t cause you any over whelming pain, it can be a little less comfortable then a traditional Swedish massage. Most practitioners ask that clients tell them immediately if the pressure is too intense.
What does a deep tissue massage look like?
A client will be given time to privately undress to their comfort level and rest on a massage table under a sheet or a towel. The therapist will uncover each part of body as needed when massaging. A small amount of oil or lotion is used to allow for some glide that will still put stretch and drag on the tissues. The therapist usually starts out with a medium pressure touch and progressively applies deeper techniques. During a session, the massage therapist will focus on releasing tension from the deeper tissue structures of the muscles and fascia (connective tissue) with respectfully deep and slow strokes. When a therapist encounters chronic knots, also referred to as trigger points, he will often hold constant pressure over the trigger point for a few seconds until the tissue releases. Even though the pressure is deeper, the change and release of tension can really relax the client and take away pain if present. People often comment on how their posture changes for the better and how much easier it feels to be in their body.
Always consult your doctor and your therapist to see if massage or specific massage types are right for you.