Focus on Wellness
Submitted by Janet Schwab- Elements Massage Chandler West- owner
Lighter, Deeper or Stay the Same?
The Difference between Deep Tissue Massage & Deep Pressure Massage
“Deep Tissue” is a very specific massage in which the therapist may use fingertips, knuckles or elbows to “strip out” muscle tissue, physically breaking down adhesions “knots” to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist uses direct deep pressure applied across the grain of the muscles. It is especially helpful for areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, sore shoulders and tight glutes. Classic massage moves are used, but they are slower and the pressure is deeper on areas of tension and pain. Therapists are able to go gentle and still get deep. Deep tissue massage doesn’t have to hurt to be effective!
“Deep Pressure” is any type of massage therapy that is performed with more, or deeper, pressure. For example, a Swedish massage, (that is primarily used to relax the client) and use a heavier hand to take it from a light touch to a “medium” or “firm” touch. This fits most people but since every client is different and every therapist is different, it’s tough to really measure. At Elements, your therapist will manipulate your tissue and adjust their pressure until it is perfectly customized for you.
It is very important to ALWAYS speak up and let your therapist know if you need the pressure to be adjusted. Ask the therapist to show you the next level of pressure if you’re unsure what you require. It is important to communicate to the therapist when the pressure is outside your comfort zone. There may be some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so. The massage therapist may recommend applying ice to the area after the massage. And always remember - it is important to drink plenty of water after the massage to flush metabolic waste from the tissues.