Hey everyone! Tasha here. It's been a minute since we've written any content! I'll write about what has been going on for us and our business in the next blog, but today I want to go over a topic that often gets confused in the massage industry, by both the clients and the therapists.
Often when trying to schedule a massage, a client will search online for 'deep tissue massage' or tell their therapist they like 'deep pressure', but what does that really mean? And are those the same thing or different? I'm going to share my thoughts and maybe it will help your chances to have the massage therapy experience that you expect when you schedule your next session!
The answer to these questions of deep tissue vs. deep pressure in a massage require the consideration of the variables involved. As a massage therapist of about 12 years now, I have noticed there are two main factors that determine whether the client or therapist would label the session as deep or not, anatomical location and sensation.
As you can see in the image above, the body is made up of many different shapes and sizes of muscles that have varying positions on the body. When I am working on a client and I am sinking in through the muscle layers to work specifically on the deepest muscle areas located furthest to the center of your body or closer to the skeleton, (such as the muscles pictured on the left), that is what I consider to be a Deep Tissue Massage. In that scenario I am working on a muscle with an anatomical location that is deeper than other tissues for a specific purpose to help with Pain Relief.
For many clients, massage therapy can feel deep even though the therapist is only working the more surface layers of muscle -whether they are actually applying much pressure or not. This is what I consider to be a Deep Pressure Massage. This type of massage varies significantly from client to client and therapist to therapist because it is highly SUBJECTIVE. Every massage therapist has a different style and different techniques that they use in their work and consider to be deep or not. Every client has different parts of their body that are sensitive or inflamed or numb that will determine if they think the pressure feels deep to them or not.
The most important factor in making sure that you get the best massage and the pressure you need the next time you search 'massage near me' and schedule an appointment, is communication with your massage therapist. Communicate your goals for the session before you start- do you want to relax and destress? do you want to get rid of issues causing you pain even if it's a little intense? Let your therapist know! Then communicate again DURING the session if it doesn't seem like you are on the same page. Your massage therapist is doing their best to accommodate what they think you want but miscommunication happens all the time.
Tell us what you want, it's your massage session! Then trust that the massage therapist is doing their best work to help you with your goals.
Until next time, may you have the highest quality of life possible!
Tasha Ouderkirk, LMT, Business Owner
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Nothing on this blog is to substitute for proper medical advice from your doctor and is not intended to diagnose or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified medical physician if you have any questions about a specific diagnosis or disease