Restructuring Your Body with Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is directed specifically to individual muscle fibers and involves the understanding of the layers of the muscles, and the ability to work with the muscle tissue in these layers to relax, lengthen, and release holding patterns in the most effective way possible. There is less emphasis on pleasure as the primary goal and more emphasis on altering structure and muscle restrictions. All movements and strength comes from the ability of the muscles to utilize calcium to contract. The muscles also depend on the circulatory system to provide oxygen, and the lymphatic system to flush out and carry away the toxins.
Besides injuries, other contributors to muscle spasm or tightness may be age, repetitive use, poor posture as well as emotional and physical trauma. Insufficient oxygen and a build up of toxins add to the problem. All of these conditions cause hyper-toned muscles being in a constant state of contraction, which result in tightening or muscle spasm.
Although deep tissue massage is an intense massage with powerful results, it is done in such a way as to encourage the body not to react defensively. The depth and pressure of the work is kept within the comfort range of the client. A common misconception of deep tissue massage is the phrase "no pain-no gain". When the massage goes beyond a "good hurt" and becomes excruciatingly painful, it becomes counter-productive and the creation of scar tissue could occur resulting in other issues such as limited range-of-motion. Most clients, once they are accustomed to the benefits of deep tissue work, prefer the increased degree of relaxation, the alleviation of pain, and the longer lasting benefits.
Susan Clark is a Licensed Massage Therapist and owner of Clark Bodywork Therapies. She is a graduate of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, AZ and presently resides and works in Cave Creek, AZ.