Deep Tissue Massage
The term deep tissue massage is widely used in the massage therapy and manual therapy professions. Unfortunately, it has no well-understood or quantifiable meaning and it’s used to entice patients who believe that for a massage to be beneficial it needs to be deep and painful. Massage therapy does not need to hurt to be effective. “No pain, no gain” is an antiquated phrase that should be removed from the thoughts and practices of massage therapists. With a modern understanding of anatomy, physiology and the nervous system, we know that deep tissue massage is actually detrimental to the health of the connective and nervous tissues and may result in prolonging pain in those who are suffering with painful conditions.
To be effective, massage therapy does not need to be ‘deep’. Slow, careful, and properly applied techniques and treatment strategies that incorporate the patients values, treatment goals and the expertise of the massage therapist is all that is needed to achieve longer lasting and beneficial therapeutic benefits.