In this article, we'll cover:
- What is a deep tissue massage?
- What are the benefits of getting a deep tissue massage?
- How often should you get a deep tissue massage?
- Using a massage gun for deep tissue massage
- Techniques for using a massage gun for deep tissue massage
What is a deep tissue massage?
As the name suggests, deep tissue massage is a type of massage that uses firm pressure and deeper strokes to reach the deeper layers of muscle within the body, as well as the fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles. This means that it’s much more than simply a massage that’s designed to relax you. Instead, despite using many of the same stroked as Swedish massage, it has distinct therapeutic benefits.
Since deep tissue massage uses greater force and pressure, some people may find that they experience a little discomfort in the area being treated. However, most of these describe it as a ‘good’ type of discomfort, in that while it is uncomfortable, it also provides them with a feeling of relief at the same time.
Patients may also find that in addition to using their palms and fingers, massage therapists may also use their forearms and even elbows in order to generate a deep enough pressure to be effective. Alternatively, you can perform deep tissue massage on yourself using a massage gun on a moderate to high pressure and vibration level.
What are the benefits of getting a deep tissue massage?
The main purpose of deep tissue massage is to target the very deepest layers of muscle, in order to break down muscle adhesions, which are the knots that we can sometimes feel in our muscles. These adhesions are bands of tight, rigid muscle tissue that limit circulation and cause pain and inflammation. By breaking them down, deep tissue massage provides a range of benefits which include:
One of the biggest benefits of deep tissue massage is that it can help to reduce pain without the need for pain medication (1). This is because by breaking down muscle adhesions and reducing tension in the muscles and fascia, blood flow to the area is improved, delivering oxygen and nutrients that helps to reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing process.
As we now know, by improving your natural circulation, deep tissue massage can send increased amounts of nutrient and oxygen-rich blood reaching the damaged area, enabling it to heal more quickly. This makes deep tissue massage particularly good for people suffering from traumatic or sporting injuries.
Many people are surprised to learn that scar tissue can form inside the body as well as on the outside (2). Scar tissue is a collection of cells and collagen that form when the body tries to repair an injury that it has sustained. Sometimes too much scar tissue develops around connective tissues, and when this happens, the fibers become too tight, limiting your movement and causing stiffness and pain and limiting your natural mobility. Deep tissue penetrates the deeper layers of muscle and fascia and so can successfully break down excess scar tissue and help prevent it from forming.
How often should you get a deep tissue massage?
Exactly how often you should get a deep tissue massage really depends on why you are undergoing this treatment in the first place. Below are some of the most common reasons why people choose deep tissue massage and how often experts recommend that you have treatment.
Getting a deep tissue massage to reduce stress
Although deep tissue massage is primarily considered to be a healing treatment, it is also just as effective at reducing stress, particularly when this stress is manifesting as tension deep within your muscles. Many things can cause stress, from work to personal difficulties. Fortunately, a deep tissue massage will help to alleviate tension and give you a release that helps you to feel better able to manage your stress.
Getting a deep tissue massage to reduce localized pain
Many experts recommend deep tissue massage to help people to manage injury-related pain, or chronic pain conditions. However, since everyone’s experience of pain is different, exactly how often you’ll need to have deep tissue massage may vary. In most instances, deep tissue massage once or twice a week is usually enough to manage pain sufficiently. However, it can be helpful to have the equipment necessary to perform massage at home so that you can get immediate relief if your pain is particularly bad one day.
Getting a deep tissue massage to reduce sore muscles
Although anyone can suffer from sore muscles, they are most commonly experienced by athletes (both amateur and professional) and by people who have very physical jobs, such as construction workers, farm workers, landscapers, tree surgeons etc. When you are very physically active day to day, you are likely to need deep tissue massages much more frequently than someone who lives a more sedentary lifestyle. Many people choose to have regular deep tissue massages with a therapist, and between appointments to perform them on themselves at home using a massage gun.
Using a massage gun for deep tissue massage
If you want to enjoy the benefits of regular deep tissue massages, visiting a therapist each time may prove to be too costly or inconvenient. Fortunately, there’s another option. An increasing number of people are choosing to buy massage guns so that they can reap the benefits of many different types of massage therapy, including deep tissue massage, at a time and location that works for them.
Massage guns are handheld devices that come with a variety of different applicators, enabling you to pick the one that best suits your needs. For deep tissue massage, many people choose the massage head with the most acute point as this can apply more precise and targeted pressure. The gun also operates at multiple speeds, and again, the higher the speed the more vigorous the pressure and massaging pulses. This means that it can be effectively used to deliver the same therapeutic effects at professional massage, but in the comfort of your own home.
Techniques for using a massage gun for deep tissue massage
The techniques for using a massage gun are really very simple. Simply choose the appropriate head and apply it to the gun, then switch the gun on to the desired power setting. We recommend that you do this before you place it against your skin so that you can apply it gradually and get used to the pressure. Then simply work the massage gun methodically across the area, applying moderate to firm pressure to ensure that it reaches the deeper layers of muscle and fascia.
Some mild discomfort is normal and to be expected, but if you experience any significant pain, stop using the massage gun and speak to your doctor.
Our Pro Massage gun and Mini Massage gun provide you with an effective way to perform deep tissue massage at home, enabling you to reap the benefits of this therapeutic technique at a time and place that suits you and your lifestyle.