Deep Tissue Massage: What You Need to Know

By March 18, 2021Blog, Massage
Deep tissue massage: What you need to know

Massage therapy is a technique that has been studied and explored over the years to discover its other benefits. Initially, it was only known as a great way to relieve pain, but now, it is the most sought-after therapy for various reasons. Registered Massage Therapists in Pickering often deal with patients with several conditions, with deep tissue massage being the most requested massage type.

What is deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that targets the musculoskeletal tissues. It involves the application of different levels of pressure through long and deep strokes on the affected area. The technique was discovered by a paralyzed physiotherapist who was looking for a way of treating her paralysis. The more Therese Pfrimmer applied varying pressure on the deep tissues, the more the condition reversed.

If you participate in high-intensity activities, like running and swimming, deep tissue therapy will be the best remedy for you. Such activities often result in lower back pain, different types of strains, and other injuries that are associated with sports. You should try to get the massage from a registered massage therapist at least once every two weeks or anytime you can, so long as it’s not in 2 consecutive days. The massage, which lasts between 75 to 90 minutes, will minimize knots and strains in the muscles.

Where to go for a deep tissue massage

Every patient who needs deep tissue massage needs a personalized approach, which CP Health provides. The physiotherapy clinic has the best team to attend to your therapy needs by focusing on your individual needs. The therapists here are trained and qualified to handle various conditions and situations professionally. Our goal is to give you the best treatment, and our registered massage therapists will make sure it happens.

We maintain high ethical standards and strive to get you back on track. Our services will get rid of the pain and help you resume your usual routine. Our professionals are experts in various massage fields, including relaxation massage and acupuncture. You can visit our offices or give us a call anytime you need a massage.

Techniques used in a deep tissue massage

Although various techniques can be used for a deep tissue massage, they all involve the same actions. The RTM will apply varied pressure into the deep tissues to dissolve the knots or break up the scar tissues. Also known as adhesions, the knots are usually chronic tension that can sometimes be caused by an injury. The tension can affect your tendons and ligaments as well. If not attended to, it will cut off blood circulation and cause a lot of pain and swelling. In some cases, you may become immobile as your flexibility reduces progressively.

When choosing the areas for the deep tissue massage, the RTM will consider places likely to build tension or suffer the most from an injury. They will mostly assess areas with big muscle groups such as the neck, lower back, and upper back.

The massage process begins with a warm-up of the muscles. The therapist will apply light pressure on the targeted area, but the intensity of the massage will increase as the therapy progresses. This process is why this massage is sometimes compared to the Swedish massage.

Although the intensity will increase, deep tissue massage is never painful. Qualified therapists will know the right amount of pressure to stimulate the affected muscles to heal or relax without causing you pain. However, if you are not used to this type of massage, you may feel a little discomfort as the massage progresses. You can always inform your therapist about any pain or discomfort, and they will adjust accordingly.

It is crucial that deep massage therapy be painless. If too much pressure is applied to a point where you feel pain, your muscles will become tense all over again, and the therapy will be ineffective. Communicating with your therapist is very crucial. Let them know when you start to feel pain. You should also relax and take deep breaths to allow the muscles to relax. If you tense, your body will hinder the pressure from taking effect.

Preparing for a deep tissue massage

Adequate preparation before the massage can increase your comfort level during the massage.


Deep tissue massage is similar to other types of exercises. Your body will be stimulated the same way, which is why staying hydrated is essential. If you don’t, you will become dehydrated during and after the massage.

Additionally, water will help your muscles relax, thus making the massage simple and more effective. It’s normal to want to relieve yourself during the massage as well. Don’t fret if you feel the urge to visit the toilet frequently. By massaging your muscles, the pressure will be releasing toxic elements, which will leave your body in the washroom.

See your doctor

Always consult your doctor before signing up for a deep tissue massage. The consultation is crucial if you have an existing medical condition such as arthritis or osteoporosis. Degenerative bone diseases can result in more complications when combined with the high intensity of massage therapy.

Expectant mothers are also advised to consult gynecologists before going for the massage. The intense pressure could harm you or your baby or cause you a lot of discomforts. If you must get a massage, go to a therapist whose specialty is in pregnancy massages after talking to your gynecologist.

Talk to your doctor if you’ve had recent surgery or you’re undergoing chemotherapy and other radiation procedures.

Know your body response

Your first time getting the massage may be very uncomfortable. Knowing the level of pain you can endure and how your body reacts to intense pressure will help you and the registered massage therapist handle the session well. Discussing this with the therapist will also enable them to recommend the right massage for you.

Additionally, knowing your pain threshold can also help you avoid flinching and tensing during the massage. Remember, tension will prevent the release of toxins from your body, causing you more harm than good.

During the massage

Given the duration of the massage, you should know what to expect to help you relax. The following tips can help you out.


Your therapist will start by asking you about the areas you are experiencing the most problems with as they assess your body. Be frank and let them know about the places you feel are more tense or taut. In some cases, the therapists will massage your whole body. In other cases, they will target specific areas.

You have the option of undressing completely or leaving your undergarments on. You will then lie on a table, preferably on your back or stomach. Lying down is meant to help you relax before the massage begins.

The therapist will keep talking to you throughout the massage session as he/she increases the pressure. This mostly happens if you are a new client who doesn’t understand how intense the pressure can get. Don’t wait until the therapist asks you a question before you answer. You can freely express how you feel as the massage progresses.

Warming up

The RMT will try to help your body to adjust to the therapy. They will apply light and simple strokes so your body can familiarize itself with the actions. After the warm-up, your therapist will start kneading and stroking the affected areas with more pressure.


This is another phase of the massage that involves the use of knuckles, forearms, thumbs, or elbows. You will feel a gliding pressure as the therapist moves around.


The rigid tissues that cause adhesion are the target here. The goal is to realign your muscles and release the knots. You may feel more pressure here.


Slight discomfort is common during a deep tissue massage. It comes from the tension, adhesion, and knots being broken up. In case of an injury, the scar tissue will be manipulated to degenerate, and that will also cause discomfort.

When the therapist is done, you feel great relief, and you’ll be at peace. You’ll also feel light and relaxed as more oxytocin is released in your brain.

After deep tissue therapy

Improve the after-care with the following tips.


The recommended resting period after a deep tissue massage is usually 12 hours. You may feel sore after the massage session, and straining your body further may cause you more pain. Don’t engage in another exercise or any other strenuous activity. Remember, this massage can burn the same calories in your body as a regular exercise.

Using ice

If you’re too sore, apply ice on the most affected areas. It will reduce the swelling and help your muscles relax to reduce the discomfort.

Contact the therapist

Although being stiff and sore is common, sometimes the above methods cannot subside them. Other times you will start to feel better naturally. If you don’t after 12 hours, call your therapist.

Why you should get deep tissue therapy

Improves your health

Some of the medical conditions this therapy may help relieve are:

  • Arthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Sports injury
  • Sciatica
  • Lung diseases
  • Blood pressure
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Fibrillation

Several studies have been done to determine the effectiveness and health benefits of deep tissue massages, and they have produced promising results. For instance, a study done in 2014 showed that people suffering from chronic pain found relief after the massage.

Stress release

Stress can cause a lot of negative changes in your life. You may deal with insomnia, agitation, and even depression. The massage lowers the level of cortisol hormone that is released when you’re stressed, which helps you feel better. The therapy will also stimulate your body to release dopamine, oxytocin, serotine, and other hormones that help you feel happier and less stressed.

Weight loss

If you have been struggling to lose weight and haven’t been successful, try deep tissue massage therapy. The massage will stimulate your muscles the same way an exercise would, and the stimulation will last up to 12 hours. Instead of the stress associated with working out, go for a massage by a registered therapist.

Better posture

Chronic pain, especially on your back, can cause bad posture. The massage gives you a way of improving your posture naturally.

Toxin release

When your body is tense or injured, it releases toxins that increase with each scar tissue and knot. The massage increases the flow of oxygenated blood that flashes out the toxins. The massage will also release lactate that builds up and causes soreness or fatigue. If you are an athlete, lactate will build up more frequently, and you’ll feel tired. The same applies if you engage in a strenuous activity regularly. The massage will help you greatly.