When specific areas need deeper work, a deep tissue massage is a perfect solution. As the name suggests, this massage type allows the therapist to apply much deeper pressure onto the trouble areas of the body. The main focus is on rearranging deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues. This massage type can be rather painful as your therapist pushes into your knotted muscles and you might feel sore for a while after the massage. This is a very powerful way to soften up the knotted muscles and doctors recommend it as an effective treatment.
What happens during a Deep tissue massage?
Your therapist will be focusing on specific areas of your body. This technique can be combined with other massage types as a full body treatment. Your masseur will use his/her knuckles and if necessary, their elbows to work on your muscle tissue. Some strokes are the same as those used in a Swedish massage, but you will notice they are much slower while the pressure is much deeper, especially when your therapist reaches the contracted areas. There are a lot of people who wouldn’t go for any other type of treatment but there are also others who are afraid of the pain and avoid this type of massage. Your deep tissue massage therapist will find the level of pressure that you are comfortable with and work with your breathing to make sure the pain is bearable, whilst ensuring the massage is effective as possible. You will feel the benefits of a deep tissue massage when the soreness has disappeared after a few days later.
What’s the goal of a Deep Tissue Massage?
With this massage type the primary goal is to relieve pain, improve your joint flexibility and break down any adhesion in, on and around the muscles, tendons as well as ligaments. This is normally due to a past injury where the tension in the muscles becomes chronic. Adhesions have several bad effects; they can block blood, oxygen and waste product flow which cause discomfort, pain, limited joint flexibility and sometimes inflammation. Your therapist will focus on particular areas of your body with increased pressure in order to reach deeper layers of your muscle tissues.
Having tight muscles and limited range of motion
Tight muscles are contracted all the time, they never relax and that’s why they are so painful. They can also limit the way you move. There are several reasons why muscles tighten up but the most common cause is probably prolonged inactivity sitting at a desk for many hours a day without doing any exercise. Sitting in front of the computer results in muscle imbalances due to the wrong posture. It’s extremely important to maintain good posture while seated and to make sure the chest and the hip flexors are stretched regularly. This is where a deep tissue massage becomes even more recommended. These adhesions are broken down during the massage so the pain is relieved, the muscles and tendons will move normally again. The connective tissues that give you this tightness and the feeling of being restricted will be broken down during the massage.
The benefits of a deep tissue massage
A deep tissue massage is proven to be much more powerful than any conventional medical remedies in reducing chronic pain and contracted areas of the body; such as a stiff neck, pain in the lower back and tightness in the muscles. It helps with blood flow increase and it also reduces inflammation which is normally the cause of the pain. It can also be a treatment for high blood pressure because it eases stress and tension. It doesn’t only makes the muscles relax but it also removes waste products in the body and encourages blood flow to the muscles. Painful muscles recover faster if the toxins and metabolic wastes are taken away. Deep tissue massage is also recommended for lower back pain, osteoarthritis pain, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia and after an intense workout. There are studies showing that a deep tissue massage is proven to be more effective than prescription medications or physical therapy.
Who is a deep tissue massage recommended for?
This massage method is recommended for people doing sports on a regular basis who have muscle tightness. It’s very important to stretch after doing any exercises in order to avoid muscle pain. Deep tissue massage is also helpful for people who have chronic muscle tension and for those who had injuries previously which healed completely. If you are recovering from an accident or a sports injury, this is also beneficial as the blood circulation will be increased in the muscles that are not used due to the injury. Strain injuries that are mostly job related can also be treated with this massage type. Soft tissues can be damaged in car accidents even when there are no symptoms. The neck and back are usually the areas which seem to suffer the most. Muscles are also affected by how well we sleep. Human growth hormones are released while we sleep which are needed for healthy muscles.
Does it hurt?
This massage type is definitely not relaxing, it can cause pain and discomfort while the therapist is working on the tight muscles. This soreness might last for a few days after the massage but it will definitely feel better afterwards. If it’s outside your comfort range, always tell your therapist that you need less pressure. Applying ice to the stiff area can be a solution to relieve the pain after the massage.
Things to remember
• Having a heavy meal before the session will ruin the experience. • Try to get to your appointment slightly earlier so you can relax before it starts. • You might feel sore and tender for a few days after the massage. • Drink plenty of water afterwards as it helps to rinse out all toxins that have been released from the muscles. • Try not to do any demanding activities after the massage. • Stretch as much as possible to avoid pain.
With a deep tissue massage the therapist is required to carefully lengthen soft tissues layer by layer in order to make the client relaxed. The aim is to alter the tightness in the muscles, to decrease all tension and to make the client feel revitalised afterwards. During a full body massage, the therapist shouldn’t only do deep tissue strokes as they would be far too overwhelming to the receiver. All strokes are performed with care and caution and the effects of this type of massage normally last longer than a Swedish massage.