Deep Tissue Massage differs from Deep Pressure Massage in that it is a more therapeutic modality. Deep Pressure massage uses similar strokes to Swedish massage, yet does so in a manner utilizing a much more firm (deep) amount of pressure. Deep Tissue massage has a therapeutic objective in mind. It is not designed to relax the client. It is designed to relax the tissue.
This technique is designed to manually reach the deeper soft tissues of the body. This is important (because of its effectiveness) for people who are larger and more muscular. Deep Tissue work is especially effective for those individuals who are not only more muscular but whose muscular tissue is simply way more "dense" than the average person. When getting a massage, these people (myself included) often feel as if the Swedish massage therapist just "doesn't get deep enough" where the real problems seem to be.
This is often the case with athletes and or athletic people. Having unique body types, these groups of people require a much different approach than Swedish Relaxation types of massage. To be effective at alleviating problems by releasing not only the superficial and moderate layers of tissue but also the deep layers, the therapist must use techniques which "reach" those layers. This can be accomplished by, not only a mixture of general and specific techniques designed to affect the deep layers of tissue, but also by utilizing some general and targeted stretching techniques designed to likewise reach those layers of muscular tissue.
This modality is extremely effective on issues of chronic pain, limited mobility (of a certain region, for example frozen shoulder), postural problems (whereby hypertonic deep muscle layers are affecting one's posture by chronically pulling on the skeletal system), muscular spasms (due to muscular tension), and in the soft tissue injury recovery process. It is often not relaxing to the client during the session, as compared to a Swedish massage, and yet the client will feel the tissues that had been overly contracted and "let go" of this hypertonic state and hence feel more pliable.
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