When people get a massage, they imagine relaxing under a towel as the massage therapist works to relieve the aches and pains in joints to loosen up muscles as the tension goes away. Yet many people get scared when they hear that it may cause pain when it is performed. Finding out what deep tissue massage is, understanding the benefits, and knowing why it is not for the faint of heart will allow you to decide if you want to have this treatment done to your own body.

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage is where a massage therapist manipulates the deep layers of soft tissues as well as muscles in the body. There is more pressure to a deep tissue massage because they have to go through the top layer of muscle to reach the lower layers. The massage therapist will use direct pressure as well as warm oils to help relax the body.

A deep tissue massage is designed to help people who experience chronic pain and aches in muscles and joints to relieve the pressure. Many people also get a deep tissue massage if they suffer from lower back pain, or if they have tension in the upper back, neck area, or shoulders.

Why Are People Uneasy with Deep Tissue Massages?

Since a deep tissue massage targets a deeper tissue layer, people who get this technique will often tense up, which causes muscles to react by increasing tension. There is normally discomfort when the session begins if the soft tissue layers have inconsistencies with tense places. It can take several sessions before the deep tissue massage begins to loosen and relax the muscles, as the therapist will modify their technique to work with the patient’s comfort levels.

However, a person with a low tolerance for pain may not be able to deal with the amount of pressure that is applied to the body for them to gain the benefits from the massage. If they are constantly tensing their muscles in anticipation of the discomfort, their muscles never have the chance to relax, hampering the massage therapist’s session. So it might take multiple sessions for them to get the same results as someone else who has a higher threshold for pain.

Is it Right for You?

If you have never had a massage session before, you don’t want to start out with getting a deep tissue massage. It would be better to get other massage techniques and work your way up to a deep tissue massage once your body became used to the massage therapist working the muscles and tissues of the body. You may decide to get one if you enjoy the deeper pressure that a deep tissue massage provides and your body can relax and find comfort with the release of tension in muscles. It will depend on your pain threshold and the reason for the treatment.