A deep tissue massage varies greatly from a Swedish or sports massage. While the goal of a Swedish massage is to use long strokes to relax you, a deep tissue massage uses forceful, deep strokes in order to work deeper muscles and connective tissues. The goal of a deep tissue massage is to target deep muscles and break up knots, improve muscle positions and release built-up toxins.
Properly preparing for a massage beforehand makes the experience as relaxing as possible and allows you to reap the greatest benefits.
Choose a Massage Therapist
Do research to find a good massage therapist. Call massage businesses in your area to inquire about the credentials of their staff. In addition to a certificate and license to practice massage, ask about how long the individual has been performing massage services. You could also ask your doctor to recommend a therapist.
Gather Health Information
Prepare relevant health information for the therapist. A deep tissue massage can be somewhat uncomfortable. If you have any pain in your body or injuries, this is information the therapist will need to know.
Preparing the information ahead of time will ensure you do not forget anything when you are at your appointment. You may also choose to include information pertaining to any allergies you have or preferences on aromatherapy scents.
Hydrate Your Body
Drink water. Deep tissue massages are designed to break up knots and adjust your muscles. They also release toxins from the muscles, which might make you feel fatigued or nauseated after the massage. Staying well hydrated by drinking water before and after the massage will help alleviate these symptoms.
Take a Warm Shower
Take a warm shower before the massage to loosen up your muscles and help put you in a relaxed state. A fresh, clean body will also make the experience more pleasant for your massage therapist.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Wear loose, comfortable clothing to the massage appointment. This will help you continue to feel relaxed and make the process of undressing easier. You may also feel sore or tender following the massage, so loose clothing will be more comfortable to wear.
Deep Muscle Massage
If it is your first time for a deep tissue massage, arrive early to complete registration and health information forms.
Communicate what you are feeling during the massage. The therapist may use various techniques to work deeper into the muscle and these may be uncomfortable, especially in areas where you have tight or knotted muscles or scar tissue. If the experience becomes painful, be sure to tell your therapist.
After the Massage
Drink more water. Remember, it is common to experience some muscle soreness during the first 24 hours after a deep muscle massage. Staying hydrated helps to flush the released toxins from your system and reduce muscle soreness.
Generally, massages are safe if performed by a trained professional massage therapist. However, if you have unexplained pain, cancer, blood clots, fractures, arthritis or osteoporosis, consult a doctor prior to receiving a massage. Also, check with your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing.