The thought of getting a deep tissue massage can be intimidating, especially if you’re unsure what exactly is involved. While we offer a range of massage therapy appointments at Northwich Foot Clinic, a deep tissue massage is a specific type of massage therapy that targets the deeper muscle layers and the surrounding connective tissues. It can be highly beneficial in helping with a range of pains and medical conditions. The experience, however, may be quite different to what you’re imagining.

We like to prepare our clients ahead of time so they know exactly what to expect going into their deep tissue massage. This allows you gain maximum benefit from the treatment while experiencing minimal anxiety or uncertainty.

Do Deep Tissue Massages Hurt?

To address the elephant in the room, yes, deep tissue massages can be uncomfortable. This isn’t unusual, or abnormal, and doesn’t mean your massage therapist is ‘doing it wrong’. Your therapist will use a range of techniques to reach your deep muscles and tissue, including their fingertips, knuckles, and elbows, as well as their hands as they would in a regular massage.

Reaching those deeper layers usually requires the use of greater pressure. If you’ve never experienced such a massage before, and are unprepared for this, it can be quite unsettling. We like to be upfront about the discomfort, as the more relaxed you are, the less discomfort you will feel.

If you’re unprepared, you will naturally tense up, wondering what is happening, if something is wrong, or thinking your masseuse doesn’t know what they’re doing. Relax. It’s perfectly normal, and shouldn’t hurt if you don’t tense up!

Your massage should never cause physical pain; if it does, alert your masseuse. A certain level of discomfort is to be expected, but not actual pain.

What Happens During A Deep Tissue Massage

There are several core stages to a deep tissue massage. You will have an initial discussion with your massage therapist before it begins. This may involve taking your medical history and asking other questions. The more information you can give here the better.

This will usually be followed by preparing your muscles by applying light pressure and oil to warm them up. Once the areas your masseuse will work on have been prepared they will move on to a phase known as ‘stripping’, which involves using the angled joints of their knuckles and elbows, as well as their thumbs and forearms to apply gliding pressure, following the lines and fibres of the muscles.

Next your massage therapist will apply friction across the grain of your muscles. The goal here is to release any adhesions (rigid tissue) and realigning tissue fibres that have been causing you discomfort. 

As we said, it’s common to experience a degree of discomfort; the whole point of a deep massage is to break down your muscle tension and disperse scar tissue as well as muscle adhesions. These lie in the deeper musculature, and reaching them requires quite a bit of pressure. You will be asked to breathe deeply throughout; follow this instruction, it will make the process far more comfortable. 

And remember, discomfort is to be expected, but if it becomes too uncomfortable, speak up! 

You should also prepare yourself for a degree of stiffness and discomfort for a day or two following your deep tissue massage. You may also notice some bruising. Both are quite normal, and should fade in a day or two. If you find they do not, contact your massage therapist for advice. 

Where To Get A Deep Tissue Massage

If you’re looking for somewhere to get a deep tissue massage in Cheshire, we are located in the heart of Northwich and happily cater to the needs of residents in the surrounding areas of Middlewich, Winsford, Knutsford, and further afield across the county. Get in touch now to book your appointment.