WHAT IS DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE?
All RMTs are familiar with the idea of deep tissue massage (DTM), but few can agree on exactly what it entails. The majority of us think of DTM as being like pressure: the more pressure we apply, the deeper it will reach into the tissue. The majority of massage therapy programs teach this concept: we work slowly from the superficial to the deep layers, applying more force with our hands and forearms as well as our body weight and muscular power.
This fundamental principle still holds true: if you apply greater pressure with your hands, it will enter deeper. This idea does have several limitations, which we are all aware of:
- Client’s pain tolerance: The client can only withstand so much pressure before their sympathetic nervous system reacts, causing them to resist by contracting their muscles in opposition and complaining of pain.
- There is a maximum amount of power that a therapist can generate with their hands over a long period of time.
- Depth of specific muscle groups: Some muscle units are surrounded by layers of superficial muscles, which will mostly withstand the strain, negating the need for our efforts.
- Even if the aforementioned challenges are addressed, there is still a significant risk of injuring the superficial blood vessels. Bruising of capillary beds.
In order to reach the deeper levels of muscles without crashing the client, it is not really a challenge to exert additional pressure.