Like its name suggests, Deep-Tissue Massage targets your body’s deepest layers of muscle and releases tension in overstressed areas. When your muscles are severely knotted, this therapeutic treatment is designed to break it up.
Deep-tissue massage is a mix of slow, short, strokes and penetrating finger pressure focused on tight, contracted areas. The therapist employs her thumbs, forearms, and even elbows to work muscle tissue and relieve tension.
Deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, and the following conditions:2
While some of the strokes may feel the same as those used in Swedish massage therapy, deep tissue massage isn't a stronger version of a Swedish massage.
Deep tissue massage techniques are used to break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle "knots" or adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) that can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation.
At the beginning of a deep tissue massage, lighter pressure is generally applied to warm up and prepare the muscles. Specific techniques are then applied. Common techniques include: