Deep Tissue Massage

History:
While the modern form of deep tissue massage first began in the mid 19th century Canada, techniques that involve the application of focused pressure on the inner layers of muscle tissue in order to alleviate muscle spasm or adhesions, commonly termed “knots,” were first employed by the ancient Egyptians.
Originally developed to address specific conditions such as whiplash, modern deep tissue massage first gained attention within the Unites States with the publication of “Muscles—Your Invisible Bonds” by Canadian physician Therese Phimmer. Deep tissue massage has since been adopted b sports medicine practitioners as well as muscular therapists who employ it to deal with soft-tissue injuries and to help alleviate chronic pain.

Modality:
Deep tissue massage works by manipulating the connective tissues that attach, enclose and separate muscles. Deep tissue massage works to loosen these tissues, known as fascia, in areas where they may have stuck together. This technique promotes improved circulation in targeted areas and increases flexibility.
Employing motions and techniques similar to Swedish massage therapy, deep tissue massage typically applies force against, rather than with, the muscular grain. Practitioners commonly utilize their fingers, knuckles, fists, elbows and may even make use of purpose-made tools and utensils in order to focus and apply pressure on specific areas.
More intense than a traditional massage the  amount of pressure that is being focused and applied means that deep tissue massage therapy can become a bit uncomfortable at times, but should never actually be painful or cause bruising.

Benefits:
Pain Management – Effective for reducing the pain and stiffnesses associated with minor athletic injuries, muscle spasms and strain, deep tissue massage is also utilized to deal with more serious injuries, such as whiplash as well as a range of medical conditions including osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
Multiple sessions may be needed in order to ensure deep tissue massage therapy is able to provide the best results.
Muscle Relaxation and Flexibility – Deep tissue massage can improve circulation to targeted areas in order to providing relief to muscles that have been strained or injured.
This style of massage can also result in improved flexibly and restored range of motion, key concerns for those recovering from a sports injury.

What to Expect:
Drinking plenty of water in order to stay hydrated can allow for a more comfortable session, as will a pre-session hot shower or a trip to the sauna that may serve to relax muscles.
Communication with your practitioner before and during a deep tissue massage can be very important. Providing details regarding an injury or preexisting medical condition as well as communicating throughout the session will ensure the massage can be as painless and productive as possible.
Wearing loose-fitting comfortable clothing that can be easily removed can also ensure you are able to enjoy a more comfortable session.

Tensegrity and Balance

If you have done more than a few sessions with me I have probably spoken to you about the idea of Structural Integration. Structural integration is a modality most notably pioneered by Ida Rolph in the early 1970s.
Structural integration is a multiple modality which seeks to free myofascial restrictions in the body, and then neurological re-education for the system so that the body can begin to move through the former blockages and create more optimal functional patterns which will keep the old blockages from retuning. Structural integration can be a very trans-formative experience and can also be quite intense both physically and emotionally. The core premise behind the structural integration I practice is tensegrity.
Tensegrity is a phrase coined by famed Architect and Systems Theorist Buckminster Fuller. It is basically the idea that a structure can be both flexible and incredibly stable if within it a web of tensions and compressive forces is connected by rigid members which don’t actually touch each other. Putting this into perspective consider the human body and the skeleton. If the human skeleton were actually a compressive structure (like an archway) one would be able to stack the bones, without any of the connective tissue, and it would retain the shape of a human. Applying the idea of tensegrity to the human body allows us to conceive of a structure made up of bones (rigid bodies) which act as spacers for and are integrally connected by and transmit force of the tensions of the muscular and fascial structures within our bodies.
So as important as our bones are within our bodies, the thing which shapes our movement potential are, in fact. our connective tissues (fascia and muscle). Structural Integration seeks to create an optimal homeostatic balance between the tensions in the skeletal and muscular bodies. Curiously most physical athletic injuries are not, in fact, cases of injured or damaged muscle fibers but are conversely damage to the soft connective tissue: fascia or joints. In light of this, treating the “Fascial body” then becomes of paramount importance when treating old, recurring or chronic injuries as well as injury prevention. Structural Integration is not a panacea but is an excellent tool for addressing movement blockages due to scar tissue and sub-optimal movement histories and for creating more facile, and effective movement paradigms within your body.
When combined with other modalities like regular Deep tissue massage, Thai Bodywork and Kinesio Taping you will be able to address long held movement issues and blockages and remain injury free and at peak performance with optimal recovery from stress and strain.

Blog

These blogs are mostly my musings on things related to the human body, movement, Yoga and Bodywork. As well as history and informative articles I have written or found.
Please be advised that these ideas are just my ideas and opinions, civil comments and discussion are welcome, as I would like to encourage lively debate and contemplation.

I will do my best to reason through my ideas logically and I expect commenters to do the same. If I have any sources or reference materials available I will list them at the bottom of the post and I expect guests to do the same when presenting an argument.