For thousands of years, massage has been used to alleviate physical pain and discomfort, mental, and emotional distress. Its techniques have evolved to effectively address different kinds of illnesses and conditions. Doctors recommend massage therapy to alleviate the effects of arthritis, stroke, sports-related injuries, accidents, and chronic pain. There are different types of massage therapy. One of the most popular forms is deep tissue massage. While associated with athletes, anyone can benefit from receiving deep tissue massage.
Deep tissue massage techniques involve manipulating the deep layers of tissue in the body. These tissues include the tough fascia and other tissues that comprise your joints and muscles.
If you’ve had Swedish massage before, you will notice that deep tissue massage techniques are done slower and more deliberately. If Swedish massage is soft, deep tissue massage is hard and firm.
Deep tissue massage therapy has been identified with athletes because they are the most frequent recipients. Many of the best athletes in the world include deep tissue massage as part of their recovery program. It helps them heal and recover faster from the effects of a hard training session or competition.
After training, the athlete’s muscles become tight and tense. This is the result of physical and emotional stress plus the gradual build-up of lactic acid. Muscle fibres also get damaged after exercise. For an athlete to be able to perform at a high level for the next session, the muscle fibres must heal as fast as possible.
When you undergo deep tissue massage, the muscles tend to lengthen which helps relieve tension. By going deep inside your tissues, the massage therapist’s hands are able to improve blood circulation. Thus, your muscles are able to receive water, oxygen, and vital nutrients to enhance repair and recovery.
If it’s good enough for an athlete, you can be assured that deep tissue massage will be beneficial for everyone.
Some people go into a spa thinking of getting a back massage. They go to the receptionist and sign up for a Sports Massage therapy session. A few hours later, they leave the spa getting more than they bargained for. In truth, what they should have signed up for was a Deep Tissue Massage therapy session.
Sports massage and deep tissue massage are often interchanged. While both types of massage share common techniques and functions, they are quite different.
We defined deep tissue massage as a technique that manipulates deep layers of tissue including the fascia and other tissues that comprise your joints and muscles.
Although the technique is called “deep tissue” massage it does not go as deep as sports massage. In deep tissue massage, the massage therapist’s hands manipulate the layers of tissue. In sports massage, the massage therapist’s hands dig deeper into the soft muscle tissue.
A sports massage therapist has a wider and broader knowledge of the medical benefits of massage. He/she has to be familiar with an athlete’s condition. If there is an injury, the massage therapist must know the right techniques to help with recovery.
Before signing up for a massage therapy session, talk to the massage therapist and explain your purpose. The massage therapist will gladly advise you on the best type of massage to fit your needs.
If you’re thinking of getting a back massage, should you opt for deep tissue massage therapy? Read on and find out!
A study published in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics showed that deep tissue massage was able to improve the condition of people who suffered from chronic lower back pain after 10 days of treatment.
The sessions lasted for 30 minutes and included techniques such as oblique pressure, lengthening, and cross-fibre strokes. The participants in the study had better results compared to those who received basic therapeutic massage.
A separate study published in the Scientific World Journal showed that deep tissue massage worked better in alleviating pain symptoms than painkillers.
If you have a history of having high blood pressure, you should consider getting a few sessions of deep tissue massage.
A study that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that deep tissue massage can positively impact your levels of diastolic, mean arterial, and systolic blood pressure.
Participants in the study involved 263 adults who were suffering from high blood pressure symptoms. They were subjected to deep tissue massage sessions lasting 45 to 60 minutes in duration.
After the deep tissue massage session, the participations were evaluated to have reduced their systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure readings. Likewise, their average heart rate was slowed down to 10.8 beats per minute after the session.
Stress has been linked with many diseases, illnesses, and other life-threatening conditions. It has been constantly studied to be a leading cause of certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Another factor that can cause stress is inflammation. When you exercise, your body builds up inflammation and this can likewise increase the amount of tension in your muscles.
Studies have shown that deep tissue massage can greatly alleviate the symptoms of stress as well as significantly relieve muscle tension.
For one, deep tissue massage will induce the body to release a mood-enhancing, “feel good” hormone called oxytocin which helps you relax. It can also regulate the activity of the body’s limbic system and control the release of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Injuries will often lead to the build-up of scar tissues which can hamper the recovery process. When you are injured, inflammation will occur and this will prevent the damaged tissue to receive enough blood flow. The longer blood flow is delayed, the greater the probability of scar tissue build-up.
Deep tissue massage is a wonderful option to remove inflammation and lower the incidence of muscle spasms. Massage does this by restoring blood flow, relaxing the muscles, and decreasing tension.
Improved blood flow as mentioned earlier, will make it easier for damaged tissues to receive water, oxygen, and vital nutrients that can speed up the healing process.
People who suffer from arthritis experience chronic joint pain, limited mobility, and general stiffness which can often be debilitating and affect work and basic everyday activities such as sleeping.
The Arthritis Foundation has been studying the positive effects of deep tissue massage on arthritis. Their studies reveal that deep tissue massage can help alleviate these common symptoms and give a sense of normalcy to arthritis-sufferers.
It is also shown that harder or firmer massage techniques can lead to better results compared to lighter massage techniques.
A sports massage may be more ideal for competitive athletes. However, a report published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness disclosed findings that deep tissue massage therapy can lead to improved athletic performance.
The study revealed that deep tissue massage sessions can remove lactic acid and reduce the level of DOMS or Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. By managing the lingering effects of lactic acid and DOMS, an athlete will be able to recover faster and perform at a high level.
Another interesting finding of the study was that deep tissue massage had psychological benefits as well. Athletes who underwent massage therapy were able to focus more and maintain confidence.
There are many different types of massage therapy for you to consider. In general, any kind of massage therapy will give you the benefits we discussed in this article.
However, if you set aside time for regular exercise or if you participate as a competitor in a sport, deep tissue massage therapy will offer you the added benefit of faster recovery.
Massage therapy has withstood the test of time and remains an effective way of addressing certain illnesses, conditions, and symptoms of chronic pain. However, it takes experience and years of formal training to be good at executing its various techniques.
Before engaging the services of a massage therapist, make sure the person carries a valid massage therapist license. You should also find out if the massage therapist is certified to provide the kind of service you are looking for.