HOW DOES IT WORK
Deep Tissue consists of stretching the connective tissue that surrounds, penetrates, and supports the muscles, bones, nerves, and organs. It works down into the deeper layers by the use of fingers, thumbs, fists, elbows, forearms, and sometimes implements. It focuses on “breaking up” knots and releasing muscle spasms resulting in greater freedom of movement. BENEFITS
Deep Tissue works on the deeper layers of muscle and fascia. It works layer by layer addressing those that have formulated into “knots” and contractions, resulting in more flexibility, more suppleness, a greater range of motion, and the possibility of improved posture. Like Swedish, it increases circulation – but more so to the targeted areas. Deep tissue stretches tissue and releases toxins that become trapped in adhesions. In addition it can provide relief from pain and stiffness that is associated with injuries, spasms, and more.
It is best to either abstain from massage or check with your regular physician when any of these are present: fever, infectious disease, cancer, broken bones, high blood pressure, HIV, hernia, osteoporosis.
ORIGINS OF DEEP & SWEDISH MASSAGE
Prior to acknowledging the origins of these two styles of massage, let’s address the question of the difference between them. To briefly and very generally summarize, Swedish massage focuses on improving circulation of blood and lymph and relaxing the “superficial” muscles. Deep Tissue massage focuses on the “deeper” layers of connective tissue – to loosen muscle tension and relieve stress.
Some of the earliest indications of these styles being used for their various benefits mentioned above are found in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and the Far East. More recent history of their use in the Netherlands in the mid 1800’s through the work of a practitioner named Johan Georg Mezger. Mezger is notable for organizing and describing the specific set of massage movements we know today as “Swedish” (effleurage, petrissage, kneading, etc.). Roots are also found in the mid 1800’s and into the 1900’s in Canada. One example is Dr. Therese Phimmer’s book “Muscles – Your Invisible Bonds”. This book established the techniques and guidelines for what would become Deep Tissue Massage. Although deep tissue massage came to the United States in the 1800”s, it wasn’t well known until Dr. Phimmer’s book was published and her work was recognized.