Massage is widely accepted as both a tool for relaxation and stress relief as well as to alleviate pain, treat arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression, among other conditions. Deep tissue massage is one advanced massage technique to address certain issues.
WHAT IS DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE THERAPY?
Deep tissue massage therapy isn’t just a Swedish massage with deeper strokes or harder pressure. Deep tissue massages use firm pressure and slow stroked to massage deep layers of muscle and fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles.
Deep tissue massages are used to break up scar tissue and break down muscle adhesions or knots. These knots can inhibit your circulation and cause pain and inflammation.
When the massage begins, your massage therapist usually starts with lighter pressure to warm up your muscles and then works into deeper pressure.
The common techniques used in deep tissue massage therapy include stripping, which is deep pressure that glides along the length of your muscle fibers and friction, which applies pressure across the grain of your muscle to break up adhesions and align tissue fibers.
What Are The Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massages have benefits for both your physical and mental health. Any massage will have numerous benefits for the receiver, making them an an easy way to relax and treat your medical issues.
Deep tissue massage is a great stress reliever. Whether you are experiencing stress at home or at work, getting a massage is a great way to unplug and relax for an extended period of time.
A massage can help lower cortisol levels and increase levels of oxytocin, which is a hormone that relaxes the body and produces soothing effects.
It can also help with physical symptoms of stress, such as tight muscles and shoulders and tension headaches. A deep tissue massage can address these issues and help your body relax.
There are a number of conditions that deep tissue massage therapy can treat. Chronic pain in the lower back, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, and stiff necks can all be treated with massage therapy.
Muscle tension that usually occurs with chronic pain can also be lessened with deep tissue massage, as it can loosen the tight tissue clusters causing pain.
Research has reported that deep tissue massage is more effective for relieving chronic pain than medication or other medical treatments, and is usually more cost-effective as well.
LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE AND HEART RATE
Deep tissue massage reduces stress and tension, which impacts blood pressure. Massage has positive impacts on systolic, diastolic, and arterial blood pressure. The massage can also increase production of serotonin, which promotes good feelings and happiness.
BREAKS UP SCAR TISSUE & MAKES MOVEMENT EASIER
In areas where people have scar tissue, they often report chronic pain and stiffness.
Getting regular deep tissue massages can help break up this scar tissue by improving lymphatic circulation and drainage to improve flexibility and range of motion in the area of the scar tissue.
Many people who are recovering from surgery are often encouraged to get deep tissue massages to minimize scar tissue.
REDUCES ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS
Deep tissue massage therapy can be used to treat many different symptoms of arthritis, like pain, stiffness, limited range of motion in joints, and sleep issues.
Moderate pressure can reduce arthritis pain and ease tension, making it easier for those with arthritis to move around. It can also help with sleep issues by alleviating pain that may keep arthritis patients awake at night.
REHABILITATES INJURED MUSCLES
If you have injured muscles, a deep tissue massage can help stretch tight or twisted muscles and can also facilitate the movement of toxins from your muscles.
Deep tissue massage therapy is used frequently to treat sports-related injuries. Many athletes are incorporating deep tissue massage into their recovery protocols, as they can help delay the onset of muscle soreness, help with muscle fatigue, and prevent injuries.
Are there any side effects?
It’s not unusual to have some lingering soreness for a few days following a deep tissue massage. Using a heating pad or a cold pack wrapped in a towel may help to relieve soreness. Though massage therapy is generally safe, deep tissue massage uses very firm pressure and may not be safe for everyone. Speak to your doctor before having a deep tissue massage if you:
have a history of blood clots or a clotting disorder
are taking blood thinners
have a bleeding disorder
have cancer or are undergoing cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation
Anyone with osteoporosis or cancer that’s spread to the bones should avoid deep tissue massage as the firm pressure used may cause a fracture. You should also hold off on deep tissue massages if you’re pregnant. Gentler types of massage, such as Swedish massage, may be a better option. If you have an open wound or skin infection of any kind, you’ll need to reschedule to avoid developing a new infection or making an existing one worse.
Do I Need a Deep Tissue Massage?
Are you experiencing stress, muscle soreness, or pain? Do you feel like your body is a giant knot of tense muscles? Deep tissue massage therapy might be the solution to your problems. Deep tissue massage is best suited for people who engage in highly physical activities, such as running, or those who have an injury or chronic pain.
If you have a low pain threshold or are looking for relief of tense muscles, Swedish massage is gentler and may be a better option. Speak with your doctor before trying deep tissue massage if you have an underlying medical condition.
How often should you receive treatment?
Your massage therapist can recommend a frequency and duration to address the underlying health condition prompting this type of massage.
Whether you are an athlete, suffering from arthritis, or have chronic pain, there are benefits to deep tissue massage therapy that can help you.
Is Deep Tissue Massage Therapy Right for You? Everyone's issue is unique to them. Contact me for a personal consultation and assessment.