Usually, we are talking about getting a deep tissue massage, but, when is it NOT a good idea to get this type of bodywork? First, let’s look at what it is.
What is deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage is used to get to the connective tissues and deeper layers of muscles. This is not always an easy task. Many people hold a lot of inflammation in their bodies, as well as tension and pain. Therapists will use their hands, knuckles, elbows, body weight to get deeper into tight muscles. But, you have to be patient with going deep into the muscles as there are layers that need to be worked out, like peeling back an onion.
Benefits of deep tissue massage
It can be beneficial for:
- people who are post-op and need to break down scar tissue
- increases blood and oxygen circulation
- lessens stiff joints
- as part of a vigorous training routine
- for tension and stress
- back pain
- sciatica pain
- neck pain
- tennis elbow
- golfer’s hip
- repetitive injuries such as carpal tunnel
Are you a good candidate for this type of bodywork?
Yes, if you are in relatively good shape, have a regular exercise routine, eat well, and get good rest. Then, you are a great candidate for this type of massage.
You are not a good candidate for deep tissue massage if you have any of these signs or symptoms:
- have a lot of inflammation in your body overall (This will make you sorer after a deep tissue massage.)
- do not drink regular water on a daily basis (It’s important to flush out toxins after bodywork so it doesn’t settle back into the tissues.)
- have a hard time relaxing and breathing at regular rates (This massage needs your effort to relax with the deeper strokes rather than causing more tension in the muscles which will create more tender points afterward.)
- do not receive regular massages, at least 1-2x/month (Deep tissue massage is done best in stages and not as a once in a while service. Occasional deep work can create more inflammation and trauma to your tissues instead of working as a healing therapy.)
- you have chronic pain or fibromyalgia( This can definitely feel very uncomfortable and you will do much better with a lighter to moderately pressure massage or healing touch or cranial sacral work.)
- you aren’t sure if you need it or not (This is a specific healing therapy that is not the right fit for everyone. Have a free consultation first and educate yourself to prevent receiving the wrong therapy.)
How to decide which therapies are best for you.
When we are in pain, sometimes we read or hear about a therapy that someone else had success with. The challenge with receiving some types of work without evaluation or consultation is that it may not be a good fit for you. Meaning, you may experience more pain and soreness because you essentially added more trauma to the tissues with deep pressure. Sometimes this is appropriate. But, it’s best to discuss this with a skilled massage therapist who will get to know you, your physical challenges or pains, and, they can recommend a treatment plan.
There are many different styles of massage, and, deep tissue can be loosely described as deep pressure applied to muscles and deeper muscles in the body. There are a number of ways to get this effect. We recommend that you ask us, or, read more about the different massage types before signing up for a deep tissue massage. Also, it’s a great idea to learn more about your massage therapist to make sure they are a good fit for what you are looking for. They can make recommendations to you for before, during, and after massage care, such as stretching and drinking plenty of water.
The best way to learn more about what is appropriate for you as far as bodywork and massage is to have a consultation. We offer free health consultations with our clinical director, Gina Terinoni, MA, MTCM, LAc. Call today to schedule your free initial consultation at the Dova Center: 303-955-7226.