Deep tissue massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscle and tissue. It uses many of the same strokes as Swedish massage but the movement is slower, the pressure is deeper, and the work is usually concentrated on a smaller area of the body. Deep tissue work generally focuses on a specific problem. It useful for relieving chronic muscle tension or knots in areas such as the neck, lower back and shoulders. Massage therapists use fingertips, elbows, hands, knuckles and forearms when performing this type of work.
Many people ask if deep tissue will hurt. It shouldn’t hurt, but it is likely to be a bit more uncomfortable than a Swedish Massage. It is important to communicate with the therapist if the pressure is too much for you.
Often people request more pressure thinking that if the therapist presses hard enough it will dissolve all of the knots in an hour. Unfortunately, that just isn’t going to happen. Those knots likely developed over years and years. “Undoing” the knots is best achieved with an integrated program that includes regular exercise and stretching, increased awareness of movement patterns and body mechanics, stress reduction, and of course regular massage.