A question that I am often asked by clients is, "What is the difference between sports massage and deep tissue massage?". It's a common misconception that they are the same type of massage therapy, but knowing the difference will help you ascertain the best treatment option for you.
Sports massage involves the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit a person engaging in regular physical activity. It's designed to correct imbalances, prevent or improve injury, prepare the body for an event, increase performance and aid recovery from the desired activity. It's not just for elite athletes either but for anyone who engages in ant type of physical activity. Sports massage is a strong, area specific massage that will target specific injuries such as muscle tightness from overactivity or strain. The focus is mainly seeking out and treating muscular imbalances that may lead to injury. This helps rehabilitate over stimulated, overworked and painful muscles.
There is a common perception that deep tissue massage means massage applied with forceful pressure. Soft tissues are classified as superficial or deep and these are more anatomical terms at best. The main goal for deep tissue massage is to work on the deeper layer of muscles and fascia, which is ideal if you require the release of chronic muscle tension. The treatment focus is on breaking down adhesions (knots) and reducing muscle tension. Deep tissue massage seeks to "unlock" stiffened, cramped and chronically rigid muscles, fascia and tendons that have been subjected to repetitive activity. During a deep tissue treatment an assessment of posture is carried out before the treatment, noting skeletal alignment to assess imbalances between muscles. This formulates the treatment plan to release the correct muscles.
With both types of massage, the client will have a specific purpose for the treatment and will experience post-treatment soreness. In either case, all massage techniques are tailored to address the needs of the client. A consultation will always give insight into the problems the client is experiencing, and a massage treatment will be recommended to align with the preferred treatment outcomes.