Massage for Pain Relief
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas such as stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.
Some of the same strokes are used as "wellness" or "relaxation" massage, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles).
When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions and knots (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage/ neuromuscular therapy works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, I use direct deep pressure usually with my fingertips or elbow and will very slowly slide along the deep layer of muscle. Muscles must be relaxed in order to reach the deeper musculature---in other words, if it hurts, let me know! Even if you can't feel yourself tensing up, your muscles can contract and deep tissue massage could cause more damage than good. I do not operate under the "no pain no gain" theory!
Does Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?
At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort and pain, but is usually described as a "good hurt". It is important to tell me when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range.
There is usually some stiffness or soreness after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so.
Deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, and the following conditions:
Lower back pain
Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injury)
Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Muscle tension in the hamstrings, glutes, IT band, legs, quadriceps, rhomboids, upper back
Muscle tension or spasm
According to Consumer Reports magazine, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage more effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine and over-the-counter drugs.
Deep tissue massage also received a top ranking for fibromyalgia pain. People often notice improved range of motion immediately after a deep tissue massage.
Deep Tissue/ Neuromuscular Therapy
You Should Know...
When you come in for your first appointment, I'll have you fill out a "New Client Intake Form" so I can learn about your health and lifestyle. We'll have a short chat before your massage so I can tailor your session specifically to your needs. I want you to get the most out of your treatment so you can experience the full benefit of receiving therapeutic massage.
During this short consultation, I'll ask you a few questions regarding your pressure preference, where you've been experiencing any pain or soreness and if you need me to focus on any areas (ie: more time on the neck and shoulders, deeper work on the feet, shooting pain in the lower back, etc). Please share any details about your day to day life (ie: frequently carrying a baby, sitting for hours at a time, arduous physical activity, etc) so I can provide the best possible massage treatment for you.
And of course, please let me know if you're uncomfortable during the massage in any way. I'll check in occasionally (more often for new clients) but if the music is too loud/quiet, the room is too warm/cold or the pressure of the massage is too light/deep, or anything else you can think of, let me know. This is your time, and your treatment should be tailored exactly to your preference.