Deep tissue massage does not describe the amount of pressure you prefer it is actually a style of massage. Deep tissue massage focuses on deeper layers (below the superficial layer) of muscle and fascia that can be responsible for chronic pain. Deep tissue massage is also very popular among athletes due to repetitive motions that can cause muscle tightness and pain.
Deep tissue massage is usually done with less lotion and slower more deliberate strokes than a typical relaxation massage. Your therapist may work areas other than the exact location of the pain because those areas may be contributing to your discomfort. For example, with low back pain your therapist may also work hips, hamstrings (back of upper leg), quads (front part of upper leg) and other areas. This can be important because they have attachments on the pelvis which can be a big factor in low back pain if they are short and/or tight.
Common issues treated with deep tissue massage include:
It is fairly common to experience some soreness after a deep tissue massage. However, it should only last for 24 to 48 hours. You should always drink plenty of water after a massage and this is especially important after a deep tissue session. You can also do an epsom salt bath in very warm water to help with this or any other soreness you may have. If you experience soreness for more than 48 hours you should let your massage therapist know so they can adjust the pressure in future sessions. Everyone's perfect pressure is different so it is important that you communicate with your therapist so they can find yours.