A deep tissue massage is designed to relieve muscle tension and the restrictions in the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on deeper, rather than surface muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience chronic muscle pain, who are involved in heavy physical activity, athletes, and also typically persons receiving regular massage. It is not uncommon to feel a bit sore the day after deep tissue massage, especially if it is your first deep massage. This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is in fact an inflammatory response by the body. This next day soreness is the exact same response by the body to a heavy workout. If you have ever noticed soreness the day after a period of exertion, this is also DOMS.
Deep tissue massage is applied to both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, fascia, and other structures. The sessions are often quite intense as a result of the deliberate, focused work. Please note that when asking for a deep tissue massage, your therapist will determine where and when he can work deeply, with patient safety in mind. If a therapist employs deep tissue techniques on the entire body in one session it could lead to injury or localized muscle and nerve trauma, thereby rendering the session counterproductive. Your therapist is trained to know when it is appropriate to work deep and when it is not. That being said, if any work ever feels too deep to you, inform your therapist immediately, so that he can work within your pain tolerance.