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Deep Tissue brings you in contact with the deeper layers of musculature that are not addressed in Swedish Massage. This modality deals with specific muscle groups and begins to work with chronic pain. The techniques work deeper in the body and are more invasive; therefore additional knowledge is required by the therapist. It becomes important to know where the muscle originates and attaches, as well as what nerves pass through these muscles. It becomes important to know about certain anatomical parts that would be in danger if too much pressure were placed there. Areas like the popliteal area, the soft area behind the knee, the region of the kidneys and the styloid process to name just a few.

Deep Tissue paves the way into neuromuscular work, which is searching for the active trigger points. Trigger points are basically sites of dysfunction at cellular level. It is a site of damage in the tissue, which the body has tried to protect by forming a spasm in order to protect the area from further injury. Often, even when the injury has healed, one may continue to have pain because the body has not released the protective spasm. Neuromuscular work addresses these issues by searching out trigger points which are generally found in tight and painful tissue which often emit referral pain to some other part of the body.

Trigger points can occur anywhere in the body. They can cause tremendous pain and can at times even be debilitating, and yet your medical doctor with all of his tests many not be able to locate the source and so he may prescribe an anti-inflammatory or pain pills, which may or may not eliminate the problem.

If you have a condition where pain is running from your neck down to your shoulders and or hands or from your back down to your leg, such as in sciatica. These are examples that can often be addressed and resolved through Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular work without medications.

In the deeper forms of bodywork you will run into a few contra-indications for massage.
For example:

  • Sunburn, which is pretty self-explanatory
  • 1st trimester pregnancy, not so self-explanatory. In the 1st trimester the fetus is at its highest susceptibility to miscarriage. Massage and bodywork release toxins, which are carried out through the blood, which passes through the womb. If too many toxins are released from an already toxic system, it could cause a miscarriage.
  • Painkillers can dull the recipient's ability to communicate the effect of the pressure delivered. If you can't feel what is being done to you, secondary damage could be done in your tissues.
  • Varicose veins are another contra-indication, to work with depth here runs the risk of releasing a clot to the heart or brain.

So be wise and remember to inform your therapist of your conditions and medications.