The origins of deep tissue massage are not well documented, as many ancient cultures used various forms of massage as a therapeutic practice. However, the modern form of deep tissue massage is thought to have evolved from traditional Chinese massage and Swedish massage.
Swedish massage, also known as classical massage, is a type of therapeutic massage that was developed in the 19th century by a Swedish physiologist named Per Henrik Ling. Swedish massage is based on the Western understanding of anatomy and physiology, and it involves the use of long, flowing strokes to manipulate the soft tissues of the body.
Chinese massage, on the other hand, has a long history dating back thousands of years. Chinese massage techniques, such as Tui Na and Acupressure, focus on the use of finger pressure and finger strokes to stimulate specific points on the body to promote healing and relieve pain.
In the 20th century, therapists began to combine elements of Swedish massage and Chinese massage to create the modern form of deep tissue massage. Today, deep tissue massage is widely used as a therapeutic treatment for a variety of conditions, including muscle tension, muscle imbalances, and chronic pain.
During a deep tissue massage, you can expect the therapist to use a variety of techniques to manipulate the deeper layers of muscle and fascia. These techniques may include:
- Friction: This involves the therapist using the pads of their fingers or their thumbs to apply firm pressure and make small circular movements on the skin.
- Petrissage: This involves the therapist using their fingers, thumbs, or knuckles to squeeze and lift the muscles.
- Stripping: This involves the therapist using their fingers or their thumbs to make long, parallel strokes along the length of the muscle fibers.
- Cross-fiber friction: This involves the therapist using their fingers to apply pressure across the grain of the muscle fibers.
Deep tissue massage can be slightly more intense than other types of massage, as the therapist is working on the deeper layers of muscle and fascia. You may feel some discomfort or pain during the massage, but this should subside as the therapist works to release tension and knots in the muscles. It is important to communicate with your therapist if you are experiencing any discomfort or pain, as they can adjust the pressure or technique to make the massage more comfortable for you.
Overall, a deep tissue massage should be a relaxing and therapeutic experience that leaves you feeling rejuvenated and relieved of muscle tension and pain.
Please understand that not all issues require deep tissue work or prolonged deep pressure. Should you have more than one area of concern, your therapist will prioritize the chief complaint and create a treatment plan for the time allotted and for follow ups.
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