Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit


Deep Tissue Massages can vary enormously and often incorporate a whole range of techniques to manage, manipulate and rehabilitate soft tissue including muscles, ligaments and tendons. Typically, it involves a massage using forearms, elbows, knuckles and thumbs. However, a good practitioner will often include other techniques such as trigger point therapy and myofascial release.

DTM aims to reach into deeper tissue structures of the fascia and muscles, ie the connective tissue, and usually focuses on specific areas. This is achieved by using more pressure and applying slow, deliberate cross-grain strokes, with the aim of separating, releasing and un-sticking muscle fibres. The techniques are designed to reach deeper sections of thick muscle, especially the individual muscle fibres. Specific hand positions and strokes then help to release muscle congestion.

Direct pressure to trigger points, when sensitively applied, is picked up by the client as ‘good pain’, almost de-sensitising the area whilst at the same time releasing endorphins into the renewed blood flow. Because DTM works on a deeper physical level, it can also help to release emotional issues that have been stored in the body’s tissues, thus ensuring the experience is both corrective and therapeutic.

Most fans of DTM are normal active people with repetitive strain injuries or stress-related problems whilst others may take part in low-level sports and get common injuries such as groin or hamstring strain or shin splints. This type of massage can release muscular trauma and tension, stretching the muscles, ligaments and fascia so muscles can lengthen and the body can realign itself. It can also remodel scar tissue after injury and stimulate blood circulation, aiding the disposal of metabolic and other waste after activity. Athletes sometimes use it to reduce recovery periods, whilst others use it pre-competition to prevent injury. It’s not always comfortable, but most people feel more invigorated or relaxed afterwards.

It is usual for DTM to focus on a specific problem, but the overall result can help reduce muscular aches, tensions, pains and spasm, general stress and anxiety, improve mobility and range of movement, promote both blood and lymph circulation and improve discomfort caused by poor postural alignment, work related stress, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia.

Although there may be some soreness after a DTM, the discomfort should dissipate within a day or two and then be replaced with a noticeable improvement in mobility. One recommendation following a DTM is to soak in a warm bath with Epsom Salts as this will help remove the toxins out of your body. Another recommendation is to drink plenty of water post treatment to dispel the released toxins. Muscles will need to rest after a DTM, even if there is no soreness. No activities should take place within a day of treatment. Continued deep breathing techniques can also help to oxygenate the muscles.

A general misconception of this treatment is that if you push hard enough, a knot can be worked out in one session, however this is not the case. For built-up tensions and chronic knots a series of DTMs may be needed.

DTM is not recommended for people with certain conditions:

  • Those with infectious skin disease, rash or open wounds
  • Immediately after surgery
  • Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
  • People with osteoporosis should consult their doctor before getting a massage
  • Those prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged
  • If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage
  • Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage. Massage for pregnant women should be done by massage practitioners who are certified in pregnancy massage
  • Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumours, abdominal hernia or areas of recent fractures

Anam Cara’s female practitioner says, “I have always been a keen sportswoman and played basketball at international level and netball at regional level as a teenager. Since then I have maintained my interest in sport and I continue to play basketball in the West Midlands league. I trained and qualified as a Sports Therapist (IIST Dip) and then continued on to qualify as a Beauty Therapist (IHBC Dip). Following qualification I worked full time at Hoar Cross Hall Health Spa as a gym and fitness instructor and beauty therapist for several years. My passion is massage be it for deep tissue, relaxation or maintenance. I work with competitive sports people, overworked professionals, those needing post injury rehabilitation and others who want to relax and switch off in calm surroundings. My greatest strength is my ability to flex and accommodate the unique and different requirements of the clients that present at Anam Cara.”

Anam Cara’s highly skilled and experienced male holistic health and fitness practitioner says, “I specialise in designing natural treatment programmes for a wide range of health issues, applying laboratory and evidence based clinical, cutting edge nutrition and exercise protocols for patients with digestive infections, food cravings, hormonal imbalances such as PMS, chronic stress related disorders, low libido, low energy, depression, back problems, acute and chronic pain, sports injury and many other health complaints.”

He offers the following options which, when integrated, serve to support healing and ongoing wellness:

  • Cutting edge nutritional coaching
  • Laboratory-based assessments (hormone balance, digestive infections and function, liver function, toxicity, vitamin and mineral deficiency)
  • Nutritional supplement programmes
  • Diet and lifestyle consulting
  • Exercise coaching, including rehabilitation and weight loss programmes
  • Neuromuscular therapy (see below)

Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)

Our practitioner explains, “NMT is a thorough programme of recovery from acute and chronic pain syndromes which utilises specific massage therapy, flexibility stretching and home care exercises and stretches to eliminate the cause of most neuromuscular pain patterns. This specific and scientific approach to muscular pain relief will help to bring about balance between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. NMT enhances the function of joints, muscles and biomechanics (movement) as well as releasing endorphins, the body’s own natural pain killers. It can be part of a comprehensive programme of care complementing other Anam Cara healthcare packages.”

NMT will be used to address six factors/elements that cause pain:

  1. Ischemia - lack of blood supply to soft tissues which causes hypersensitivity to touch
  2. Trigger points – highly irritated points in muscles which refer pain to other parts of the body
  3. Nerve compression or entrapment – pressure on a nerve by soft tissue, cartilage or bone
  4. Postural distortion – imbalance of the muscular system resulting from the movement of the body off the longitudinal and horizontal planes
  5. Biomechanical dysfunction – imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting in faulty movement patterns (i.e. poor lifting habits, bad mechanics in a golf swing or tennis stroke, computer keyboarding etc)
  6. Nutrition and emotional wellbeing