Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) are both techniques that address the deeper tissue layers of muscle. Deep tissue massage is the application of deep sustained pressure to warmed up tissue. It is important to practice deep work only on warmed up tissue. If the tissue is not completely warmed up or not used to being massaged, muscle and nerve damage could result. The three layers in a muscle are superficial fascia (adipose tissue or the subcutaneous layer); deep fascia with three layers (the connective tissue framework of the body); and, finally, sub-serous fascia. The goal of deep tissue massage is to apply pressure to the deepest layer where some deeper scar tissue may have formed or some tissue needs to be reorganized.
Deep Tissue involves locating areas of restrictions beginning with a light touch and gradually adding deeper pressure to locate the deepest area of restriction. Sometimes restrictions in muscle tissue manifest due to injury, stress, poor posture, disease. In some cases the tissue can become so acclimated to the restriction that it does not know it exists or the restriction can be let go of. The massage therapist looks for the area of greatest restriction and decreased range of motion. Once located he or she can apply pressure while at the same time looking for trigger points that may be referring pain to other areas of the body.
There are several regions of the body where deep work is often applied. These often are shoulder and pelvic girdles. Many pain and postural problems can stem from these large junctures in the body. Much low back pain can come from the lateral rotators and gluteal muscles located in the pelvic girdle. Much neck and shoulder pain arises out of muscles attaching to the scapula in the shoulder girdle. Deep tissue work is a great modality to use when the goal is remove great restrictions that are causing musculoskeletal pain.