What is a deep tissue massage?
Deep Tissue Massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on manipulating the deeper layers of tissue in the body, which includes the fascia (connective tissue) and other supportive tissue that comprise the muscles and joints. This type of massage is designed to reach the deep section of the individual muscle fibers by applying slow strokes and firm pressure.
Compared to other types of massage therapy, deep tissue massage is less rhythmic and is usually slower and firmer. The techniques used are also different in terms of the strokes and muscles stretches. It should be noted that different types of massage provide different outcomes.
How to do deep tissue massage
Through the use of deep muscle compression, deep tissue massage helps in unsticking the muscle fibres and releasing both toxins and deeply held tension points. It also employs several hand positions and strokes to respond to a variety of tissues while breath and movement techniques are used in releasing muscle congestion. When the muscles are loosened, toxins from the muscles are released and blood and oxygen are gotten to properly circulate.
During a deep tissue massage session, the client usually lays on the back or stomach in one position on the massage table, while the trained therapist applies deep pressure on the target areas of the body. The massage stimulates blood flow and relieves muscle tension. During or after the session you may experience some soreness but if it is done correctly, you should start feeling better after a day or two. It is important to drink plenty of water after a session since water is helpful in eliminating toxins from the body.
Why do deep tissue massages hurt?
During the massage, you may experience some pain or discomfort while the massage therapist works on the target areas of the body where there are adhesions or scar tissue. Pain is not an indicator that the massage will be effective. As a matter of fact, the body responds to pain by tensing up, which makes it hard for the therapist to reach the deeper muscles.
It is important to tell your therapist when you start feeling pain so he or she can adjust the technique or further prepare the tissues if the superficial muscles are still tense. It should also be noted that this massage is not recommended for people with blood clots due to risks of becoming dislodged. Consult your doctor first if you have blood clots or at risk of forming blood clots.
What are the benefits of deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage helps in addressing on some specific health conditions such as:
- chronic muscle pain
- rehabilitation from injury
- back pain
- limited mobility
- recovery and rehabilitation from injuries
- repetitive strain injury
- postural problems
- muscle tension
- osteoarthritis pain
- piriformis syndrome
- tennis elbow
- upper back or neck pain
Other benefits of deep tissue massage include:
- lowers high blood pressure
- reduces stress and anxiety
- breaks scar tissue
- improves athletic performance
- helps with labor pain and delivery
- reduces symptoms from arthritis
Since this type of massage works very deeply, it can help address very deeply, emotional issues and in lowering stress and releasing happy hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin.