Deep Tissue Massage Questions Answered and Myths Debunked

Oct 9, 2022 | Explained

Deep tissue massage can be extremely beneficial for a wide range of conditions. However, myths about this form of massage make people wary or even fearful of deep tissue massage. So, we’d like to set the record straight on this beneficial message. In this article, we’re debunking some of the myths about this type of massage.

Before we get started, it’s essential to have an understanding of what deep tissue massage is. So, let’s jump right in!


What is Deep Tissue Massage? 

Deep tissue massage is used to relax and lengthen deep tissues. It works to realign the deeper layers of connective muscle tissue. The goal is to release tension in the body using slow strokes and deep finger pressure on tense areas (such as knots). This method may follow or go against the muscles, tendons, and fascia fibres. Deep tissue massage is an excellent way to manage pain and increase a person’s range of motion.

This form of massage is sometimes used to treat sports injuries or chronic back pain. It’s considered a form of therapeutic massage. The goals of deep tissue massage include:

  • Reduction in pain
  • Improving posture
  • Increase flexibility & perception of looseness
  • Bring healing to the tissues

The movements and techniques used in other forms of massage may also be used in deep tissue massage.


What’s the Difference Between Massage and Deep Tissue Massage? 

The human body has a complex structure of muscles and connective tissues. Some muscles sit close to the surface of the body, with deeper muscles and tissues underneath this upper layer. Deep tissue massage uses specific techniques to access the deeper muscle tissues, releasing tension and improving blood flow.

Massage therapists using deep tissue massage techniques may use their forearms or elbows to apply pressure to certain trigger points. They may also use strokes, and kneading methods also found in Swedish massage.

When it comes to a regular massage, only the more superficial (toward the surface) are worked. The techniques used for this form of massage include long strokes to warm and stretch muscles. It works to improve blood flow and drainage. This form of massage is also very relaxing.


What Can Deep Tissue Massage Help With?  

In general, deep tissue massage works to ease muscle tension. Muscle tension can feel like an ache, pain, or tightness in the affected area. For instance, pain in your back may cause some stiffness, pain, and tension in that specific area.

However, muscle tension in the back may also cause other symptoms, including headaches, tingling sensations (usually in the arms or legs), shooting pains in the arm or legs, and frozen shoulders (shoulders have trouble moving).

The pain in your back may be caused by different issues, including structural problems with the disks and the spine. So, if your back pain lasts longer than a few weeks, it’s imperative to have your back checked by a doctor.


Common Myths About Deep Tissue Massage

In this section, we’ll review some of the most common myths (and debunk them) about deep tissue massage.


1. Pain is Essential

One of the first myths we’d like to cover is that a client needs to feel pain during deep tissue massage or they don’t experience any benefits from the massage. This is a myth.

The truth is that when a client is relaxed on the table, deep tissue massage is the most effective and beneficial. When muscles feel pain, they tense up to protect themselves. Remember, the goal of massage is to help these muscles to relax.

The purpose of deep tissue is not to cause the client even more pain and tensed muscles. So, the “pain is essential” myth has been debunked!


2. Deep Pressure Massage and Deep Tissue Massage are the Same

Another myth is that deep pressure and deep tissue massage are the same! However, that’s not correct. Deep pressure massage involves a therapist applying lots of pressure to the muscles.

On the other hand, deep tissue massage works with the deeper layers of muscle in the body. The amount of pressure used for this form of massage varies based on the needs of each client.

So, another deep tissue myth has been debunked.


3. Deep Tissue Massage is the Only Way to Experience the Benefits of Massage

The next myth on our list is that clients must have deep tissue massage to enjoy the full benefits of massage. Sure, deep tissue massage is great for breaking up knots and scar tissue. It’s also beneficial for relieving chronic pain and aiding recovery from injuries.

However, relaxation massage techniques are also beneficial, but in other ways. For instance, regular Swedish massage has been shown to bring many benefits to your mental and physical well being. This form of massage is beneficial for anyone experiencing stress, tight muscles, or who would like to improve their overall health and wellbeing.


4. Deep Tissue Massage is Not Relaxing

We’re not sure who comes up with these myths, but at least they’re interesting! The next one on our list is that deep tissue massage is not relaxing.

The problem is that a client must be relaxed in order to enjoy the full benefits of this type of massage. Some people are so relaxed that they fall asleep during their deep tissue massages!


5. One Form of Massage is All You Need

The last deep tissue massage myth on our list is that it only takes one massage to help you feel better. The truth is a bit different than this.

You might think of massage as similar to exercise. It’s something that is best done on a regular basis. With exercise, the more you do it, the better you feel. In addition, you see more results over time. Your health also gradually improves as you stay with an exercise routine.

Massage is similar to exercise in this way. When you have a massage routine (one that works best for you), you start to feel better and see results. But that’s not the time to stop. The reason is that over time, with a massage routine, you see and feel yourself feeling better over time.

With a regular massage schedule, you can better manage stress, allow your muscles to experience relief if they’ve been injured or tensed, and more. Your mood and outlook also improve as you feel better physically.

So, you can create a massage routine with your therapist. They can help you determine the frequency of your treatments and what’s best for you. That way, you can look and feel better all the time rather than showing up for a massage when something needs to be fixed.

As you can see, myth #5 has also been debunked!


Summing It Up

Deep tissue massage is a beneficial form of treatment for people that have chronic health issues, muscle tension, and more. And if you ever feel uncomfortable with the techniques used, just let your therapist know. They can change over to a relaxing massage to help you feel better.

You should never feel as if deep tissue massage makes your condition worse. Let us know, and we’ll find a way to help you feel better!

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When you come for a massage at Circle8 we don’t just treat your issue and send you away, we find out exactly which movements and muscles are causing it, explain to you what’s actually happening, give you exercises in the gym and at home that you can do to help alleviate and eventually get rid of your issue.