Your Guide to Deep Tissue Massage
If you’re looking for a deep tissue massage therapist for treatment or want to find out some more information about massage therapy, look no further than SoCo Therapies.
We can advise you on whether a deep tissue massage is the best form of treatment for your condition and arrange a one-off session or regular appointments.
Here at SoCo Therapies, we offer a range of massage therapies and can help you find the cause of your pain, or manage the symptoms. Deep tissue massage is one of the many treatments we offer, and we’re more than happy to discuss our process with you in more detail.
To book a free 15-minute consultation give us a call on 01202 422 000 or book online.
Deep Tissue Massage Benefits
There are many deep tissue massage benefits compared to other forms of massage therapy. These include:
Pain reduction, especially for conditions such as plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, and lower back and neck pain.
Lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
Breaking up scar tissue and easing movement associated with injury.
Improving lymphatic circulation and drainage.
Rehabilitating injury sites.
Stress relief and relaxation.
What is a Deep Tissue Massage?
A deep tissue massage uses greater pressure and slower strokes than a standard massage. Its aim is to get deep into your muscles - and the surrounding fascia - to target sources of pain and discomfort. Deep muscle tissue is prone to knotting and tightness, whether through sport, injury, or everyday activity.
By using more pressure and different massage techniques, a deep tissue massage can relieve inflammation or soreness caused by injury or a medical condition. It typically focuses on areas of primary discomfort, such as the back, neck, shoulders and legs.
However, deep tissue massage can also be effective in treating areas of referred pain; when the pain you feel in one part of your body is actually caused by pain or injury in another part of your body.
Numerous studies have been conducted into the benefits of deep tissue massage therapy. One in 2014 found that patients reported significant pain reduction after a deep tissue massage treatment cycle. Researchers concluded that deep tissue massage treatment could be as effective as a course of anti-inflammatory medication.
Similarly, a 2018 study found that the actual massaging process (lengthening muscles and relaxing deep tissue) had noticeable positive effects on a patient’s sense of pain and mental well-being.
Dangers of Deep Tissue Massage
Generally, massage therapy is a low-risk process. There are some potential dangers of deep tissue massage depending on your current state of health and reason for seeing a massage therapist.
One danger you should be aware of is the potential to aggravate an old injury. While massage therapy can help with recovery, it can cause old issues to flare up. The easiest way to avoid this is to advise your massage therapist of any pre-existing injuries you have. Doing so minimises the risk, although any good therapist will have this conversation with you before your session.
Some of the side effects of deep tissue massage can include:
Headaches, often due to pressure or release of tension
Fatigue or sleepiness
Muscle ache or lingering pain
Most of these side effects of deep tissue massage are perfectly normal and aren’t anything you should be concerned about. Of course, your therapist will speak with you in more detail about any specific side effects that could be linked to your need for therapy.
Another potential danger (or side effect) is the risk of bruising after deep tissue massage. Ideally, it won’t happen, although even the best massage therapists cannot prevent this. If you are someone that bruises easily, please let your therapist know, but also try not to worry as this is common.
Who Should Avoid Deep Tissue Massage?
As mentioned, deep tissue massage generally isn’t a risky treatment. However, it’s not suitable for everyone.
You should avoid deep tissue massage if any of the following health conditions apply:
You have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder
You have cancer or are undergoing treatment
You’re on blood thinners
You have osteoporosis
You have an open wound or skin infection
Unsurprisingly, you should also avoid deep tissue massage if you’re pregnant. The stronger pressure isn’t ideal, and you likely won’t be able to get into a comfortable position.
Whilst deep tissue massage won’t be suitable for the conditions mentioned above, we do provide a range of other massage treatments that may be more suitable and less intense.
If you are unsure whether deep tissue massage is right for you, we recommend you speak with one of our therapists who can provide you with a free 15-minute consultation.
What to Expect Before and During Your Treatment
Before your deep tissue massage, you’ll have an initial consultation with our qualified massage therapist. This is when we’ll discuss your areas of discomfort and any causes or conditions you may have. Your initial consultation will allow us to determine whether you’ll need a full-body deep-tissue massage or focus on a particular area.
This is also the time when you should mention any old injuries or health conditions that you think might be relevant. If you’re unsure, make sure you tell your therapist just to be on the safe side.
When it comes to the actual massage, you’ll either be asked to lie face-down or face-up on the massage table, depending on which area is being treated. Your level of undress depends on how comfortable you are, but the area you need treatment on will obviously have to be exposed.
Your therapist will begin with soft tissue massage techniques, this is known as effleurage. This is done to ensure your muscles are fully primed and warmed up before the more intense deep tissue work begins.
Other massage techniques commonly used are:
Cross Fiber Friction
Active Release Technique
Trigger Point Therapy
It’s likely your massage therapist will use a small amount of oil as they begin the massage.
There might also be some relaxing music and lighting, although this will depend on the therapist and their treatment room.
What to Do After a Deep Tissue Massage
After your massage, you’ll get dressed and go home. Make sure you stay hydrated and relax so your body can recover. Ideally, have a nap or at least a lie-down.
The most important thing is to avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours after your massage. This gives your body a chance to recover and for you to actually feel the deep tissue massage after effects.
You might experience some short-term side effects of deep tissue massage such as soreness, redness and mild bruising. These are all very common so there is no need to worry.
You may be able to reduce these side effects by staying hydrated, taking a bath, and getting plenty of rest.
Other Treatments Available
Deep tissue massage isn’t suitable for everyone or for every condition. If this is the case, one of the following treatments might be more suitable:
The treatment you choose ultimately depends on your goals and the condition you’re looking to manage. For example, a Swedish massage is gentler than a deep tissue massage, whereas acupuncture and cupping use completely different techniques.
Then there’s sports therapy. Our sports therapists at SoCo Therapies are qualified and experienced in treating a wide range of both sports-related and everyday injuries. So if you’re suffering from an injury that’s keeping you from playing your beloved sport or activity, please let us know and we may recommend you partake in some sports therapy treatment.
We also offer osteopathy which is one of our most popular services. In fact, our resident osteopath here at SoCo Therapies is also our founder and owner, Jayde Fowler, M.Ost. Jayde has years of experience working as an osteopath and worked with premier league football club AFC Bournemouth from 2015-2017.
Deep Tissue vs Swedish Massage
The most common comparison to a deep tissue massage is a Swedish massage. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, they’re quite different.
For example, a Swedish massage is:
Primarily for relaxation and to reduce tension related to everyday activities, rather than chronic pain and injury
Much gentler than a deep-tissue massage
Based on palm and finger work, whereas a deep tissue massage can also involve elbows and forearms for greater pressure
Focused on the superficial layers of muscle and skin, while a deep tissue massage targets deeper muscles and fascia
Targeted at areas of common everyday tension, such as shoulders, neck and back
A Swedish massage is essentially an “everyday” technique, while a deep tissue massage is a stronger, deeper form of massage. Both have their clear benefits, but the deep tissue massage benefits are mainly for those with chronic pain and injury.
How Much is a Deep Tissue Massage?
Our deep tissue massage treatments are £55 for an initial assessment and a 1-hour massage. Alternatively, you can book shorter sessions or bulk orders for the following prices:
30-minute massage: £35
45-minute massage: £45
5 x 45-minute massages: £180
5 x 1-hour massages: £225
We also offer a 10% discount for under-16s.
Speak to a Massage Therapist
If you think a deep tissue massage will help with your pain management or injury recovery, get in touch with SoCo Therapies. We offer a free 15-minute consultation so you can get to know our therapists. They can also help you decide whether a deep tissue massage will be the best kind of treatment.
You can reach us using the contact form above or the online booking system to arrange your free 15-minute consultation. Alternatively, call us on 01202 422 000.
What does a deep tissue massage do?
A deep tissue massage is manual therapy that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue with the goal of breaking up scar tissue and muscle adhesions. By applying this intense pressure over a period of time, this can result in pain reduction and an increased range of motion, as well as many other benefits.
Does deep tissue massage work?
Yes! There are numerous studies that prove deep tissue massage can be an effective way to treat a number of sport related and everyday conditions and injuries.
Is a deep tissue massage better than a regular massage?
Deep tissue mssage isn’t better than a regular massage, it’s just different. This depends on your injury, condition and what your therapist advises. If you need treatment that’s more gentle, less intense and offers relaxation, then Swedish massage is your best option.
However, if you are suffering from an existing injury or your body is particulary tight and knotted, then a deep tissue massage can be very beneficial.
When should I get a deep tissue massage?
You should get a deep tissue massage when your muscles are tight or you have a build-up of scar tissue from an old injury. Additionally, it can be good to get a massage after exercise as your body will be warmed up, although your therapist will actively warm up your body with specific techniques anyway.
Does a deep tissue massage get knots out?
Yes! Deep tissue massage can be very effective in getting knots out of your body.
How often should I have a deep tissue massage?
The frequency in which you get a deep tissue massage depends on a number of factors, which your therapist will go through with you. However, 1-2 times a week is sufficient and what we would usually recommend.
Does deep tissue massage hurt?
Depending on the pain threshold of the patient, in most cases deep tissue massage does hurt and can cause some discomfort, and this is perfectly normal. Most patients would agree that the pain experienced during a massage is somewhat satisifying.