This is one of the most common questions massage therapists are asked. And there’s a reason why so many first-time patients ask this question – more than any other massage technique, deep tissue massage targets the body’s deeper muscles and tissues, and this can require the application of very firm pressure.
To relieve built-up tension and knots in these deeper layers, firmer pressure needs to be applied and this can sometimes cause discomfort, especially in those parts of the body that demand targeted treatment. But while deep tissue massage can cause some discomfort, it is important to note that it should not cause actual pain.
When you attend your first deep tissue massage session, communicating with your therapist is an important part of ensuring that you get the treatment you need without experiencing an uncomfortable level of pain. Simply put, if your therapist is causing you too much discomfort, just let them know, so they can adjust their approach.
Should There Be Pain After a Deep Tissue Massage?
Because of the concentrated application of pressure used in this type of massage, it is common to feel some soreness in the affected area after your session, but it shouldn’t be overly painful. Applying a cold compress or a heating pad to the area will help relieve some of the soreness.
After your massage, your body needs time to heal and getting enough rest and staying hydrated are important parts of that. Drinking plenty of water after your massage will help your body rid itself of the toxins that were released from your muscles during the massage, and this will help speed up your recovery time.
You should also eat a light, healthy meal after your massage. You will want to avoid eating anything too heavy, instead focus on getting quality nutrition into your body. Your blood flow will be improved and your muscles will be needy after your massage, so you want to ensure that you are providing them with all the nutrients they’ll need to recover.
Depending on your unique case, your lifestyle, and your treatment needs, it is important to note that one session may not be enough to provide you with the long-lasting pain relief you’re looking for. For instance, if you have an occupation that regularly causes you to have stiff and knotted muscles, then you will most likely need ongoing treatments to help maintain your tension relief and rid your body of the toxins that keep building up in your muscles.
How To Prepare For a Deep Tissue Massage
Staying hydrated is not only important after your massage, but it is just as important before your session. This is because well-hydrated muscles are more pliable. This makes it easier for your therapist to manipulate your tissues, so knots can be broken up. Plus, the easier the therapist’s job is, the less discomfort you will feel during your massage.
You will also want to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes to your appointment. This type of clothing is easier to remove and put back on once your session is complete. Plus, the more comfortable your clothing is, the better you will feel after your massage, especially if you have some general soreness.
If possible, it is also recommended to take a shower before your massage appointment. The warm water will naturally help your muscles start to relax, and this will also make it easier for your therapist to do their job.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Deep Tissue Massage?
Unlike other, gentler forms of massage, the goal of deep tissue massage isn’t to help the patient relax, but instead to provide pain relief and reduce stiffness. For this reason it is a popular choice for treating a wide range of painful conditions, such as:
- Sports injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Chronic lung disease
- Chronic low back pain
- Chronic constipation
- Tennis elbow
Because deep tissue massage helps alleviate pain and tension in the body so effectively, it has also been shown to help patients lower their blood pressure and improve their mental state by reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Who Should Avoid Deep Tissue Massage?
While deep tissue massage is safe for most people, there are some with certain health conditions who should speak with their doctors before scheduling a session. These can include:
- People with clotting disorders or a history of blood clots
- People who are prescribed blood thinners
- People with nerve injuries
- People with hernias
- People with bleeding disorders
- People with osteoporosis
- People diagnosed with cancer or undergoing cancer treatment
Women who are pregnant should also talk with their doctors before scheduling a deep tissue massage. This type of massage has been shown to help reduce low back pain in pregnant women, and in some cases even help reduce the pain experienced during childbirth, however not every pregnant woman may be an ideal candidate for it.
If you have an open wound or a skin infection of any kind, then you should hold off on having your deep tissue massage until the problem has been resolved.
Schedule a Deep Tissue Massage Session Today
If you have painful knots, stiff muscles, or another health condition that is causing you pain, then scheduling a deep tissue massage is your first step toward a life with less pain. Deep tissue massage therapists are specially trained to provide this type of massage, so they know the best ways to help you reach your goals.
To learn more about the deep tissue massage treatments available at Birmingham Massage Couple or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, just give us a call today at 205-529-1516 or 205-381-1645, or book your deep tissue massage session online.