Deep tissue massage therapy is often recommended for people suffering from chronic aches and pains in specific areas. A lot of people complain about having problems on their neck, lower back, upper back, legs, and shoulders. These are most likely due to tightness, soreness, and stiffness in the muscles.
What is deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage targets deep layers of muscles and the connective tissues surrounding it. It utilizes slow strokes and firm pressure. Some strokes are quite similar to relaxation massage (also known as Swedish massage therapy).
To be fair, though, deep tissue massage is more than having a regular massage on deep pressure method. Deep tissue massages enable actual break down of rigid tissues that can be sometimes painful. When these tissues adhere they resemble what can be considered as deep tissue massage knots. These can cause blood circulation leading to pain, inflammation, and limited movements.
During the massage, discomfort is expected. Since the pressure is a lot harder than the massages most people are used to, pain can sometimes be a part of the therapy. After all, the main goal of the therapists is to rid the body of those adhesions and knots, not to provide a relaxing time.
Being uneasy with the pain is normal. However, if you have no tolerance for it, informing the therapist might be a good idea. He or she can adjust the technique being used.
Bear in mind that pain is possible, but it does not mean that feeling pain during the massage is a good sign. Pain does not necessarily mean more muscles are being targeted or the massage is more effective. Instead, it may cause your body to become tenser.
The tenser the muscles are, the harder it is to access the deeper muscles and tissues. Some therapists will try to further prep the tissues to reduce the tension of the superficial muscles.
What are the Deep Tissue Massage Techniques?
There are many deep tissue massages employed for different purposes. Some of them are:
- Cross Fiber Friction
Massages can only be effective when done right. To be able to do this, proper procedure should be considered at all times. When it comes to Cross-Fiber Friction, no oils, lotions or creams should be applied to the skin. The seriousness of this method might disappear once muscles and tendons that causes elbow irritation and agony begin to repair.
- Active Release Technique
ART Technique as it is called is more than just a treatment. In this method, the therapist makes use of her hand to figure out the development and component of tendons, ligaments, nerves, and of course muscles. If an issue is detected, the coordinated pressure is applied. This technique is both examination and treatment rolled into one.
- Muscle Energy Technique
MET is used by sports massage specialists, physical therapists, and other wellness experts. It is a type of stretching that helps improve postural muscles, which are likely to shorten from time to time. Muscles are reinforced through the dynamic constriction performed against the resistance. The isometric compression can relax the muscles, lessen the occurrence of edema, regain the muscle capacity, and strengthen them.
- Trigger point
This method helps ease up pain by utilizing a cycle of pressures. The effects of deep tissue massage will be most felt if deep breathing is utilized. It also helps find the areas where discomfort is most felt. One of the advantages of this type is that it removes tightness and lightens the pain. Pain is alleviated treatment after treatment until you will no longer feel it. This is perfect for those who constantly develop wounds and experience pain.
- Myofascial Release
Oils, lotions, and creams are not used. Without these things on your skin, it will be a lot quicker for the therapist to determine facial limitation and know the proper intensity of pressure for the release of the fascia.
What are the Types of deep tissue massage?
There are different types of deep tissue massage that are tailored to suit different pains and tensions.
- 1. Trigger Point Massage Therapy.
Sustained pressure is applied to a single area for around 30 Seconds. Since most areas of our body experience more tension than the others, this targeted treatment is helpful in removing the tension, promoting improved circulation, and getting rid of the pain in these regions.
- 2. Rolfing
In this therapy, the connective tissues are reorganized to achieve improved posture and avoid further injury. It also helps lessen muscle pain.
- 3. Sports Massage
A treat to all the athletes out there, this deep tissue massage involves strokes that reduces pain.
- 4. Neuromuscular therapy
This therapy is quite intensive. It concentrates on one area of the body before moving onto another for a more targeted approach.
There are other varieties of deep tissue massage. Sometimes the therapists use not only their hands but even include elbows and knees to provide increased pressure for the deep tissue massage therapy.
What Benefits Can You Get From Having Deep Tissue Massages?
These deep tissue massage benefits will surely have you booking an appointment in no time:
- 1. Deep tissue massages shoo away stress.
The demands of life can get to a person; deep tissue massages is a big stress reliever. According to a study, the majority of health-related concerns that lead to a visit physician’s clinic are due to stress. Unresolved stress can damage our body and interrupt important bodily processes.
- 2. Deep tissue massages alleviate pain.
In a research published in April 2014, it was shown that patients who have had deep tissue massage and stretching exercises experienced lesser pain associated with plantar fasciitis. It also helps patients who have fibromyalgia, lower back pain, or many more.
- 3. Deep tissue massage increases flexibility.
After a massage, most people reported that moving around seems to be easier. Unbeknownst to many, most scars are deep-seated. The superficial ones often heal quicker than damaged ligaments and tendons. Thankfully, deep tissue massages are effective in resolving these problems.
- 4. Deep tissue massage can decrease blood pressure and heart rate.
A study in 2008 involving 263 patients who have muscle strain or spas. Blood pressures and heart rates were both measure before a not more than an hour deep tissue massage. The results showed a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate.
For the most part, people do not experience any dangers of deep tissue massage. Bruising is expected. However, worse comes to worst; some case reports have reported the following issues after a deep tissue massage: spinal accessory neuropathy, hepatic hematoma, venous thromboembolism, and posterior interosseous syndrome.
There are, however, a few restrictions on deep tissue massage meaning some people should steer clear of them. People who experience blood clots should not try them; there is a possibility of becoming dislodged. Same goes for people who have recently had medical procedures chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or anything similar.
All these issues should have an okay from a physician before going through a deep tissue massage. People who have osteoporosis, however, should not undergo deep pressure massage. Massages should never be done on bruises, infected skin, rashes, unhealed wounds, or fragile bones. For safety measures, always check with your physician before getting a deep massage if you know you have a condition.
How To Deep Tissue Massage?
While professional masseuses underwent hours of school and practice, you can get away with just knowing the basics. However, do not expect it to be the same. You can’t perform best deep tissue massage without adequate training.
First, you need to get an idea of the basic anatomy if you want to learn about massages. The back is a good area, to begin with. When practicingSearch for tensed know, lay out the images to guide you.
Next, apply massage oil to the area. Run your forearm and position it cross-wise. Move it up and down. Avoid pushing motion on your forearm. Instead, lean lightly and let your forearm slide down before siding it back up. Avoid areas with a bony surface like the spine.
Thumbs and fingertips should be used to massage individual muscles. Apply focused pressure by pressing and lean into the fingertips. Move your fingers in search of tense knots or areas where muscles appear rigid. These spots are often tender when you press on them. Press on these knots or tensed areas by letting your fingers sink into the muscles. Do not rush or use your shoulders for added pressure. The gentle pressure can penetrate more into the tissue.
After a deep tissue massage, drinking water can help rid off the lactic acid out of the tissues to prevent feeling sore the next day. Although, a bit of soreness is normal. But, at least, you can get rid of waste products out of the tissues. In just a day or two, the soreness will pass.
A special pointer when getting massages, do not ask for more pressure than you can take to get rid of all the knots. This is not how does deep tissue massage works. It normally takes more than just one session to undo knots and tension that have accumulated through time.
There is no denying the fact that a deep tissue massage is extremely beneficial and having a licensed therapist to perform it is always the best way to go. But if you don’t have the time or money to visit one, it is best if you will buy the best deep tissue massager so you can enjoy a good massage wherever you are.