What Is a Deep Muscle Massage?

Nothing feels better than a deep muscle massage to relax and invigorate all your muscles. With the amount of stress that we deal with daily, sometimes it feels like you need a deep muscle massage each day! And while that would be nice, it’s pretty unrealistic (and expensive) to see a massage therapist regularly. So what are you supposed to do to keep your muscles relaxed on a long-term basis? Thankfully there are some great solutions that you can try out for the best deep muscle massages. 

What Is a Deep Muscle Massage?

If you’ve had a deep muscle massage before, you’d know it! This is because deep muscle massages are different from other types of massage therapy. Many popular types of massages, like Swedish massages, use light to firm pressure to target areas of muscle tension and rigid tissue. A deep muscle massage, however, is a type of massage that goes much deeper, is more intense, and uses higher pressure. The goal of a deep muscle massage is to reach the deep layers of muscles that are causing you problems so that tension can be released by slow and firm kneading strokes. 

Deep muscle massages specifically target “knots" and “trouble spots" caused by injury, stress, and inflammation. A deep muscle massage should start lightly to warm up your muscles and prepare them before they are worked on. However, after warming up, pressure increases substantially to reach the deepest layers of muscle. Many masseuses use a variety of different massage techniques for deep muscle massages like stripping and friction. They may use a variety of different body parts to do this like knuckles, thumbs, forearms, and elbows. The intense levels of pressure used may not create the most enjoyable experience for the patient which is why patients are advised to breathe deeply while the masseuse is working out tight knots. Patients may experience varying degrees of soreness after a deep muscle massage but that just means that the massage is working! To decrease soreness, try drinking lots of water to help flush out the extra levels of lactic acid that were released from your sore muscles. 

What Are the Benefits of Deep Muscle Massage?

A deep muscle massage may not be as relaxing as other types of massages but the benefits make up for that! It’s normal to be hesitant about deep muscle massages if you’ve never had one before but we promise that a little bit of discomfort now will save you from loads of discomfort in the future. Here are some of the other benefits of deep tissue massages: 

  • Lowering high blood pressure by increasing blood flow
  • Improves sleeping ability 
  • Increases flexibility and range of motion
  • Breaks up damaging scar tissue from injuries or surgeries
  • Increases oxytocin levels in the body that leaves you feeling happy and refreshed
  • Relieves painful joints and muscles from osteoarthritis pain
  • Boost athletic performance by promoting consistent workouts 
  • Relieves chronic muscle pain in specific problem areas like tennis elbow and sciatica 

Even though there are tons of benefits of deep muscle massages – it might not be the best solution for everyone. If you have serious pre-existing health conditions, it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor before trying any type of treatment. This is especially true if you have a history or risk of blood clots – as a deep tissue massage may dislodge them during the treatment and be life-threatening. You should also consult with your doctor before trying deep muscle massages if you have recently had surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation due to potential complications. Deep muscle massage should be avoided in areas with severe bruises, skin infections, skin rashes, or areas that have recently been fractured and are still healing. Finally, pregnant women should speak with their doctor before trying deep muscle massages and any treatment should avoid the abdominal area. 

How to Get a Deep Muscle Massage?

There are a few different ways that you can get a deep muscle tissue massage. The first way is to book a deep muscle massage with your favorite massage therapist. These sessions range from 30 minutes to an hour, and you may need multiple sessions to work out really bad knots in your muscles. Be sure to drink plenty of water beforehand as well as after your treatment to help flush out your system of excess lactic acid. 

While it’s always nice to go to a spa for a massage, there are other ways that you can get a deep muscle massage in your own home – no appointment needed! There are handheld massage tools called percussive massagers that are able to target the deeper layers of muscle within your body. You can use these tools yourself without the consultation of a professional. Although there may be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using percussive therapy on yourself, it’s easy to pick up after a few sessions and you will be able to increase the time and intensity of these massage sessions to maximize the benefits.

Handheld percussive devices, like the Theragun, are rolled over the body and provide bursts of pressure from an attached massage head. The best percussive massage devices feature a variety of different intensities and attachments so that you can get the best treatment for your specific problems and goals. For example, you may want to start off using low pressure and a ball attachment to work out knots in your back and shoulders. As time goes on, you can increase the pressure to higher levels and change out attachments to things like the flathead or even the fork attachment to effectively target areas for pain relief all over your body – ranging from your feet all the way up to your neck. 

How to Choose a Percussive Massaging Device

Percussive massaging devices are very appealing because they are easy to use and can save you tons of time and money in the long run by acting as an alternative to long and expensive massage therapy sessions. That being said, a percussive massager is still an investment and so you want to make sure to get a high-quality device so that you can get the most bang for your buck. Not all handheld percussive massagers are created equal, so here are some great features that you should look for in a device:

  • You should purchase a device from a reputable company that has great reviews, top-notch customer service, a product warranty, and is clinically tested. 
  • You should purchase a device that is cordless and either features a chargeable battery or a long-lasting battery.
  • The device that you purchase should offer a range of different massage heads so that you can customize your massage. Some of the different attachments you might want to consider include balls, wedges, cones, flat, thumb, and fork. 
  • You should purchase a device with an ergonomic design so that you don’t create more muscle problems while you are trying to treat your existing muscle problems! 
  • You may want to purchase a device that comes with a carrying case so that you can easily store and transport the device, attachments, and chargers. 
  • You should purchase a device that has a quiet motor so that you can use it at any time without worrying about too much noise. 
  • Finally, you may want to purchase a device, like the Theragun PRO, that is easily integrated with technology. This device features a smartphone app that allows you to control your device remotely through a Bluetooth connection. It can also pair with your other fitness apps on your phone to help guide you through the best massage session. Once you have found the perfect routine, you can save it and program it to your phone so you can easily achieve a perfect massage every time. 

Tips and Tricks for Deep Muscle Massage

To get your muscles feeling their best as quickly as possible, follow these deep muscle massage tips and tricks:

  • When using a percussive massager like the Theragun, start off with low pressure and short sessions rather than with deep pressure. Only spend 10-20 seconds on an area at a time and don’t press down too hard on soft tissue with the device. 
  • Even though deep muscle massages can help improve workout performance to reduce muscle soreness and release tension, it’s still a good idea to wait a few hours before working out after a sports massage. 
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water both before and after any massage treatments so that your body is hydrated.

A deep muscle massage can be a great source of relief for people that suffer from all sorts of muscle pain and aches – whether they stem from chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, stress at work, or even intense workout routines. These highly effective massages aren’t just available at a massage parlor – but can be done in your own home with a percussive massage device. A handheld personal device is a better investment and allows you the flexibility and customization that you need to truly get the best results.