North Shore Massage and Bodywork by Milica 
Human Remodeling: massage that works!

Receiving Deep Tissue Massage

copyright 2008 by Milica Barjaktarovic  


What can you expect and how can you prepare for receiving deep tissue massage? 

There are some massage and bodywork techniques which are deep tissue by definition - for example, rolfing. There are some which can be deep or light, depending on the needs of the receiver, like lomilomi or shiatsu. Warning Japanese love hard shiatsu and will probably do that. Ask them first. Finally, there are some massage and bodywork techniques which are light by definition, for example craniosacral therapy and lymph drainage massage. 

So, let's say you wanted deep tissue massage. Usually people who ask for that are athletic and/or stressed out and have lots of tight muscles that need releasing. 

Deep does not necessarily mean painful. It is possible to go deep in a rather soft way, sinking through the tissue - slowly. So, the deeper we go, the slower it gets. If deep is combined with fast, it can hurt. We try to avoid that. If the receiver tightens, then what's the point of having the massage? It is not about a wrestling match between the therapist and the receiver. 

Sometimes deep tissue massage can be painful, for example when encountering knots or trigger points, or very tight, thick bands. However, even that pain is not something that makes the receiver cringe and tighten. It is more of a "good" pain, where the tissue feels like releasing and melting. 

Therefore, keep your therapist informed and let them know if anything feels like too much. To repeat: the overall feeling is of release and relaxation, letting go - not tightening up. The therapist has to find the edge that is challenging yet comfortable. 

The effects of deep tissue massage will be felt the next day and maybe even longer. If the massage was very thorough and a lot of tissue was moved and released, the effects will be felt maybe for the entire week, as the body adjusts to the new structure. Prepare for that by taking steps to ensure that the healing process unravels. 

The massage itself is just the start of the healing process that the body goes into. So, immediately after the massage, take a walk, sit for a while, meditate, go easy. Don't rush back into activities. Don't have any other kind of bodywork for at least 24 hours. The day of the massage is not a good day for partying and going wild. The day of the massage is good day for being quiet, contemplative, and resting and relaxing. A vacation day. 

The time after the deep tissue massage is the time to detox. If you feel sore, just drink some more water and eat more lightly, more fruits and vegetables. Maybe soak in some sea salt water or rub with sea salt. Since the tissue is released on a deep level, all the stored toxins and waste products will be leaving the body. Therefore, drink a lot of water, urinate, eat lightly, sweat, and have bowel movement. Get it all out! Some old emotions or memories might come back too. Just let it all go.... 

In short: deep tissue massage is a powerful way to remodel the body. Treat it with respect and you will reap great  benefits.

Telling it as it is, from a lot of experience :)


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All images and text Copyright 2007, 2008 by Milica Barjaktarovic.   

For a fabulous massage, call Milica today. Gift certificates are available. North Shore, greater Haleiwa and Waialua area, Oahu, Hawaii. Email or call 808.351.0848.