Deep Tissue Massage in Depth

Deep Tissue Massage as a unique therapy is relatively modern, although it draws from massage styles of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians as well as Far Eastern techniques. The basic practise is similar to Swedish Massage, but has a much deeper action and uses more pressure to treat the muscles and connective tissues right to their core.

In the 1940’s, a Canadian physiotherapist,Therese Pfrimmer, suffered paralysis of her legs, and began to massage herself using “digging” movements. Within 3 months, she had aided the reversal of her paralysis, and began to treat others with great success. By 1949 she began to train others in her formal, recognised system of Deep Tissue Massage.

Medical History & Lifestyle Assesment

When you come for your first appointment, your therapist will take a medical history and lifestyle assessment. It is important that any pre-existing conditions, aches, pains and major problems are disclosed. Some of the therapeutic oils used can have contra-indications if someone has seizures or epilepsy for example. Some pre-existing conditions need adjustment of the massage in order to maintain the best outcome without exacerbating the problem. If you are being treated by a doctor, consultant or another complementary therapist, it is best to check with them that massage is agreeable to their plan of treatment for you.

The Lifestyle Assessment is an important cue for the therapist to gauge where areas of tension or problems may be concentrated. By gaining this insight about the client, the therapist is better able to minister to the whole person, the whole problem, and give workable practical advise on how to help avoid recurrence of the issues.

It is the responsibility of the therapist to elicit the information that will give a full picture of the overall health of each client at each visit, but equally, it is up to the individual to be honest and tell their therapist about any pre-existing conditions or particular problems.

The Massage

Access to all of the body is desirable for Deep Tissue Massage Therapy. Modesty is ensured with appropriate draping of soft towels, and your therapist will always respect your body and you by not using intrusive or unnecessary touch in sensitive areas.

We use liberal amounts of a plant based oil blend to nourish and protect your skin from friction damage, either with or without the addition of essential oils, as your expressed preference and your medical conditions indicate during the initial assessment.

For a full body massage, you will be asked to lie on your front. You can put you face in the face hole in the table, on the crescent cushion, or have your head turned, as you feel most comfortable. Where ever your arms and legs feel comfortable is where they should be, although your therapist may ask you to move in a certain way to access deeper muscles. We can provide you with cushioned support for your legs if you get cramps in your feet and so on. The therapy begins on your back with a stroking movement to spread the oils and to introduce your skin to the therapist’s hands, gradually building up the pressure and focusing on the problem areas, one at a time. Next comes the back of your legs, then you will be asked to turn over, and your therapist will work up from your legs to your tummy, arms and shoulders. If you have requested that your head, hands or feet be included they will be included while working the closest area. In order to reach the deeper tissues hands, forearms, fingers and elbows may be used where necessary.

If you have booked a shorter session to address just a problem area, only that area will be massaged.

If at any point the massage is too hard or too gentle for you, say so immediately. Your therapist does not want to make you uncomfortable or leave you feeling only partly treated, but work with you, within your boundaries and your time scale to make you feel well. Equally, if you have booked a full body massage, then find that you want more work done to you back, we are happy to omit other areas as required to ensure you get what you need. It is sometimes possible to lengthen the treatment time, so if this is your preference, please ask, although it may not be possible if there is another booking after you.

After Effects

After your massage your therapist will leave you, comfortably covered and warm, on the massage table for a few minutes to help “set” the effect of the treatment so that you are able to maintain the improved state of well being for longer, and also for you to just enjoy the sensation of relaxation before you get ready to leave your therapist’s care.

You may feel either highly energized, or a little laid-back and relaxed. Both are normal reactions and very common. You may have a rush of relaxing endorphins that will lighten your mood and give you a comfortable feeling of overall well-being.

When you are ready to get up and dress, please do so gently - some people may feel light-headed after massage. It is advisable that you drink plenty of water after any massage therapy, as toxins that have built up in your body over time, and have got caught within muscle fibers, are released into your system and need flushing. A pint of water is always ready for you to drink as you get dressed, and feel free to ask for more if you are thirsty.

There may be areas of “erythema”, reddening of the skin. This is normal and is due to increased blood flow to the area and will fade within an hour or two. You may also feel slightly sore or tired immediately following massage. This is normal too, and is due to having released the toxins that have been trapped within the muscle fibers. It can be alleviated by drinking plenty of water to flush these toxins out of your system, and where necessary, application of cloth covered ice packs to the affected area. There are various products available from good health food stores that claim to aid recovery including cherry juice and homeopathic arnica, both of which have the added bonus of tasting good! Always consult your doctor before taking supplements.