What Is The Difference Between Deep Tissue And Trigger Point Massage?

Deep Tissue vs Trigger Point Massage: side by side comparison

If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from chronic pain or tension headaches, then you know how hard it can be to find relief from common therapies like physical therapy and chiropractic care. Although these can be effective in reducing pain and relaxing your body in the short term, they don’t always get to the root of the problem and can leave you feeling drained and exhausted after each session. For more effective long-term pain relief, you may want to consider trying deep tissue massage and trigger point massage therapy as alternative methods of relaxation and treatment.

What Is The Difference Between Deep Tissue And Trigger Point Massage?
Deep tissue massage is a form of massage that works deeply into muscle tissues, to relieve tension and chronic pain. It aims to treat what’s known as myofascial trigger points, which are small muscle knots (also called knots) that refer pain in other parts of your body when they are pressed on. Deep tissue massages can be quite intense—you’ll likely find that the therapist uses vigorous strokes, presses firmly on your muscles and moves through large areas of muscle tissue (rather than focusing only on smaller areas or pressure points). It may feel like you’re being bruised or injured at times, but if you know what to expect from deep tissue massage then it should be fine.

What Are They Both Good For?
Both types of massage are well-suited for muscle pain, but they also have their own benefits. Deep tissue massage is great for relaxing tense muscles in your back, neck, and shoulders. And trigger point massage is excellent for easing shortness of breath, tightness in your chest, and chronic pain around your shoulders or back. If you’re sore from working out or need a bit of relaxation after a stressful day at work (especially if you sit all day!), both styles can deliver big results. Ultimately, though, it’s personal preference that will determine which style you choose—deep tissue massage feels firmer because it goes deeper into your muscles than trigger point therapy does; trigger point massage is gentler on your muscles but can feel a bit more intense if done improperly.

Why Choose One Over the Other?
The main difference between deep tissue massage and trigger point massage is that deep tissue works on scar tissues, whereas trigger point massage focuses only on muscles. Deep tissue massage can be effective in providing relief to chronic pain, whereas trigger point therapy is more likely to provide relief for a specific location of localized pain. Both types of massages may be used together for a more effective treatment plan. Depending on your needs, you might choose one over another. But there’s no reason why you can’t get both kinds! Remember to talk with your doctor before making any decisions about alternative therapies. The best treatment option is always going to be determined by you and your doctor based on your individual needs.

How To Get Relief From Deep Tissue Massage
As discussed above, deep tissue massage involves applying more pressure to specific points on your body. Unlike trigger point massage, however, deep tissue massage isn’t generally used to treat back pain or muscle pain; it’s designed for chronic aches and pains that require deeper work. If you have stiff or tight muscles in certain areas of your body—or if you experience stiffness throughout your entire body—you might benefit from a deep tissue massage. If you feel especially sore after exercise or sports, consider trying out a deep tissue session instead of simply stretching. Since trigger point and acupressure aren’t viable options if your pain is located only in one area (rather than being widespread), a deep tissue session may be just what you need.

Signs Of A Bad Deep Tissue Massage Provider
Deep tissue massage is a good choice for addressing knots and chronic tension in muscles. However, there are some clues that indicate you may not be receiving high-quality deep tissue massage. To make sure you are getting a good, effective deep tissue massage, look out for these signs. When you visit a new provider, ask them to show you their technique and to explain why they do what they do before paying your money. Just because someone calls themselves a massage therapist doesn’t mean they’re qualified to provide deep tissue work. If you have any doubt about whether or not your therapist knows how to deliver quality deep tissue work, don’t hesitate to ask questions or leave. A good massage therapist will welcome questions from clients and will happily demonstrate their techniques. If they seem hesitant or annoyed at having to demonstrate, it’s probably best that you go elsewhere.

How To Tell If You Need A Trigger Point Massage
Look for pain that radiates through your shoulder and down your arm. If you feel a tightness in certain areas of your shoulders, it’s probably time to book an appointment with a massage therapist. The best way to explain what a trigger point massage is like is to say that it’s more intense than deep tissue massage. There are several different kinds of trigger point massages – here’s a list of some of them with descriptions so you can get an idea which one might be right for you: Myofascial Release (MFR), Swedish, Deep Tissue, Acupressure/Acupuncture-Based, Orthopedic/Sports Injuries, Lymphatic Drainage, and Craniosacral Therapy.

Cautions When Getting A Trigger Point Massage
If you are on blood thinners, if you have fibromyalgia, or if you have a clotting disorder (like hemophilia), avoid a trigger point massage. You should also be wary of getting a trigger point massage if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. In these situations, it is better to see your doctor for recommendations on treatments that will work best for your body and pregnancy. Sometimes an injured muscle can result in short-term pain that flares up in response to touch and then dissipates when pressure is released, making a trigger point massage seem like it was effective even though it wasn’t. The real damage is still there, however; once pressure is released from the affected area, that’s when true healing begins.

Final Word
Both deep tissue and trigger point massage focus on releasing muscle knots, but they go about it in different ways. Deep tissue massages focus on deeply stretching tissues that have become stiff or contracted as a result of injury, overuse, or prolonged stress. To loosen tight muscles and break up knots, a deep tissue massage therapist uses pressure applied to areas where tendons attach to muscles. If you feel soreness while you’re getting a deep tissue massage, don’t worry — it’s supposed to hurt! Deep tissue is most helpful for chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis. It also helps if you’ve been feeling pain for some time. Trigger point massage has its roots in Chinese medicine as well as sports medicine and rehabilitation practices.

How Often Should You Get A Trigger Point Massage?


Lynn has been writing at our blog for over two years. She currently writes about topics such as sleep, massage therapy, and cooking. Recently, she has teamed up with other bloggers to write about their life stories. Lynn is also a certified massage therapist who loves to express herself through cooking recipes she finds on Pinterest or food blogs. Lynn's blog is an outlet where she can share her passions with others while encouraging them to live the best version of themselves.

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