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Deep Tissue Massage

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Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage is a massage that works primarily on the deep tissue of your body. Accumulated tension in muscles and tendons can be relieved through deep pressure and precise application of adapted movements. The lymphatic system and blood circulation are both stimulated and your body will benefit by feeling lighter after the session. If you have a lot of accumulated tension in your back, legs or feet, this is the perfect method for you. Please be aware that this session requires deep pressure being applied to muscles and tissue therefore it’s important that you inform me about any previous injuries or contusions you have suffered prior to the treatment. Furthermore, it is important to let me know if the applied pressure feels painful or uncomfortable so I can adapt the techniques according to your comfort and wellbeing. During this session I can complement the treatment by applying oils that stimulate the blood flow of your deep tissue such as Rosemary, Helichrysum Essential Oil or Herbal Balm.

Recommended time: 1h30

Maybe you would like to know more about what deep tissue is and how it functions:
The outer tissue of the body is the skin. The skin has multiple layers culminating with a layer of body fat, which is where we usually store extra fat reserves.
You can also accumulate fat in other areas, like around organs, but that happens only if you are obese and seriously overweight. Otherwise the area where you accumulate body fat is under the outer layer of the skin.
Under this layer of fat we find the “deeper tissue”: muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. In deep tissue massage, the primary focus is on the muscle tissue.
Muscle tissue functions like a power plant, burning nutrients in their cells in order to generate movement.
Most muscle tissue is moved consciously (arm, legs, etc), others is not (like for example the heart muscles and muscles which assure organ function. )
Muscles have a sponge-like texture because blood and lymph flow goes into the cells to enable the exchange of oxygen – carbohydrate and bring nutrients to make them work. Imagine your muscles as a sponge, just more flexible, maybe like a sponge made out of rubber. In a massage, you squeeze and clean them exactly like you would with a sponge.
Muscles have a common brain. If you are relaxed, all muscles relax to a certain degree. This is why in my sessions I always work on the whole body. If you feel stiffness in your legs and I work only on the legs for example, the stiffness will come back very shortly after your session. If we work on the whole body, the information of how to feel light and relaxed (your natural way of being) is transmitted to all the muscles of the body and it will be easier for you to maintain this sensation of lightness and flexibility for a longer period of time.

Tendons vs Ligaments:

A tendon attaches a bone to a muscle and acts like a rope that links the two in order to transmit and assure movement. The tissue is somewhat flexible but a lot different from muscle tissue. You can imagine it like a rope. In order for movement to be physically possible, the power generated and initiated from a muscle needs to be transmitted to a smaller structure, which is why tendons
are very strong, much stronger than the spongy muscle tissue. In massage there is not much to do on the tendons themselves, because of their rope-like texture.
However, in the areas where they attach to the muscle or to the bone, some work can be done to improve their function and flexibility. The best thing you can do is to keep your muscles stretched to take pressure off the tendons. That way they will be protected from injuries and inflammation.
Ligaments hold joints together and attach one bone to another bone. They have a similar structure to tendons. Just as with tendons, there is not much work to do on the actual ligament, but in a deep tissue massage we will work on all structures so they function better and in particular the connection to the bone stays soft and flexible.
Fascia is the connective tissue that holds all organs, muscles and the whole organism in place inside your body. Fascia will stretch and become flexible and elastic when worked on in massage therapy, which means it will not tear easily under strain.

Some other things you might want to know:

Knots vs tension.
I often get asked by my clients: “did you find any knots?”
But what actually is a knot in your muscle?
When you put too much strain, if you over exercise, if you move quickly without warming up, some of the fibers of a muscle can tear. When they heal again, they create scar tissue. This would be an actual knot. So knots can be treated, but just as any other scar tissue, it only changes it’s texture within about a period of one year. After that it will not change much and stay the way it is.
If you think about a scar on the skin, it’s exactly the same. It doesn’t harm or influence the function of your skin at all, the skin will just be less flexible on that actual scar tissue, but everything around functions normally. You won’t notice any negative effects from it, provided it’s not bigger than the healthy muscle.
Just like a visible scar on your skin. If you have had a huge, deep burn on your arm, then you will experience tightness and discomfort from the big patch of scar tissue; not so much on the tissue itself as it is usually less sensitive then healthy tissue, but the surrounding areas have to compensate for the lack of flexibility so they might feel stretched and may be damaged more easily.

Coming back to your muscle:

1. There are occasionally knots (little scars) that I can find in a massage session and I will work on them accordingly to break them up if still possible.
2. These knots are rather rare and it is mostly sports people who have them after they over exercise or hurt themselves when doing sport.
3. These knots are in almost all cases completely inconsequential for your muscle to function properly. Some people rip a big part of their muscle in an accident for example and then they need physiotherapy following the accident because then the scar occupies a large part of the muscle and can hinder it from functioning properly. But this is only the case after accidents and doesn’t otherwise happen.
So what most people think are “knots” in their muscles are actually tense muscles. If you use a muscle, it burns nutrients in order to work. The cells are little engines which burn resulting in waste material which is then transported out of the body. In a perfect, healthy world, where you live in perfect harmony with the earth, your body and mind, this process is not disturbed.
As you are reading this you are a human being, living a modern life which takes its toll on the body. For example: some of the things you eat actually create more waste than nutrition. You drink coffee and alcohol, you eat meat and cheese. The way your body moves is not as nature intended (you are sitting a lot or you are doing repeated movements, using your physical body in a way that is unbalanced).
You experience sensory overstimulation: eyes, ears, nose, tongue. (I don’t want to put the skin here, because in my opinion touch is a sense that is not experienced enough for most people.) You experience stress.
All these things have an influence on how your body functions and result in stiffening up your muscle tissue one way or another.
In massage therapy we stretch and squeeze the muscles and by doing so we engage the tissue to transport away waste products. Blood and lymph flow assures that new nutrients and oxygen reach the cells causing the muscle to soften and regenerate, which makes it resistant to injuries. This recharges you with a feeling of renewed lightness and flexibility. Touch also has a calming effect on the nervous system, so this also has an effect of easing tension in the muscles (but if you want to hear more about it read here what I wrote about relaxing massages).

Some additional remarks about joints:

When muscles are short and tense they add additional pressure on a joint. Joints are naturally filled with joint fluid in order to function. If pressure increases, the fluid in the joint is pushed outwards and pressure is applied to the cartilage in the joint, which then eventually erodes causing inflammation. Cartilage can rub off entirely and bone and bone rub together in a degenerated joint, which then stiffens up and is painful meaning it will not function correctly anymore. If you can keep your muscles flexible, your joints will experience less stress and will not degenerate prematurely. Specific exercises can target joint mobility, like circular movements for example for knee and shoulder or curving and stretching the spine for spine flexibility.