Deep tissue massage targets chronic tension in muscles that lie
far below the body's surface. Deep muscle techniques involve slow
strokes, direct pressure or friction movements that go across the
When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement.
Massage therapists will use their fingers, thumbs or occasionally even elbows to apply the needed pressure. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders. Some of the same strokes are used as classic massage but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain.
Unlike classic massage therapy, which is used for relaxation, deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as: chronic pain, limited mobility, recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injury), repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis pain, fibromyalgia, and muscle spasms.