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Have you ever felt confused about what exactly “deep tissue massage” really means?

If you have, you’re not alone.

We often hear misunderstandings about what “deep tissue” work really is, and the reality is that with different backgrounds and training histories, each of our bodyworkers does have a slightly different take on “deep tissue” work.

Some think of deep tissue work as massage in which pressure is applied deeply.

Others think of it as massage applied to the deeper musculoskeletal structures of the body.

And still others may simply say “if it feels deep to the client, then it’s deep tissue massage.”

Each of these definitions can be true in certain cases, but we’ll leave it up to the experts at Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) to explain that deep tissue massage consists of: “techniques that utilize deep-tissue/deep-muscle massage are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia.”

Does Deep Tissue Massage Have to Be Painful?

You may have a negative mental image of a deep tissue massage session, envisioning someone pounding against your back with their elbows until you cry “uncle.” Rest assured, that is nothing like a true deep tissue massage.

In fact, if you’re experiencing pain in the muscle being worked during a massage stroke, your muscle will actually contract and the desired release of tension will not actually be achieved. So it’s always important to follow the client’s lead regarding the depth of the strokes in a deep tissue massage.

Now, what are the benefits of deep tissue massage? The benefits are many, and we think a few of them might even surprise you!

1 | Deep Tissue Massage Reduces Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

You might have already decided you deserve a deep tissue massage to help you relax, but did you know that deep tissue bodywork could also improve your blood pressure?

Research is beginning to show that with as little as a 45 to 60 minute massage, study participants experience reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

2 | Deep Tissue Massage Decreases Muscle Tension

We all experience aches and pains in our bodies from time to time, but when that intense home-maintenance project or recent half-marathon leave you limping around, a deep tissue massage is a great choice for easing the muscle tension.

Studies show that deep tissue massage is much more effective than simply doing stretches at home for treating acute muscle pain.

3 | Deep Tissue Massage Alleviates Chronic Pain Conditions

For those with painful chronic conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis, finding relief for the pain can feel like a constantly moving target.

Fortunately, studies have shown that deep tissue massage is particularly helpful in alleviating many painful conditions, including pain associated with osteoarthritis, neck and low back pain.

4 | Deep Tissue Massage Speeds Up Injury Recovery

We know that deep tissue massage makes us feel better when we’re sore after a hard workout, but it can actually speed up the recovery time for our muscles, as well.

Studies of athletes receiving regular massage post-event show a significantly faster healing time and reduced delayed onset muscle soreness in those athletes who received massage than those who did not.

Try a Deep Tissue Massage at Bodywork Bistro

Try out Deep Tissue massage for yourself! When you book your next massage at Bodywork Bistro, you can ask which therapists available are trained in Deep Tissue work. Or, you can look through our staff profiles yourself to see who offers this deeply relaxing massage modality.