At Movement Performance & Health, one of our massage therapy specialties is deep tissue massage. This massage technique has several benefits and can be used to treat a variety of issues including tight muscles and chronic muscle pain or muscle problems such as soreness, injury, or imbalance.
What is deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage involves applying firm pressure and slow strokes to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia with is the connective tissue surrounding muscles. It's commonly used for chronic aches and pain such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.
This massage technique is commonly used to treat strains and sports injuries. Deep tissue massage breaks up scar tissue that forms following an injury and is can reduce tension in muscle and tissue.
5 benefits of deep tissue massage
1. Reduces stress and anxiety
The physiological effects that commonly occur during a deep tissue massage helps reduce stress. Your body increases tissue elasticity and releases increased endorphins, serotonin and dopamine while decreasing cortisol. All of this helps to breed a calm state in your mind and body.
2. Pain relief
Deep tissue massage may relieve pain using several mechanisms including:
- relaxing painful muscles, tendons, and joints
- relieving stress and anxiety
- helping to "close the pain gate" by stimulating competing nerve fibers and impeding pain messages to and from the brain.
3. Reduces inflammation and increases blood flow
Deep tissue massage therapy is used to promote recovery of injured muscles and may promote faster healing by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation.
Studies hypothesis by reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and reducing tissue stiffness contributes to pain reduction.
4. Benefits during pregnancy
Research shows that a deep tissue massage can reduce stress hormones in your body and relax and loosen your muscles. It can also increase blood flow, which is so important when you're pregnant to keep your lymphatic system working at peak efficiency.
5. Increases range of motion
Massage increases range of movement in several ways. It increases the temperature of soft tissues, which increasing tissue elasticity. It also breaks down adhesions, reduces swelling and removes waste products from the muscles.
What to expect from a deep tissue massage treatment
Your massage therapists may use their fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during a deep tissue massage. When working on tense areas, you may be asked to breathe deeply.
After the massage, you may feel some stiffness or soreness, but it should subside within a day or so. If you have concerns or if you feel pain after your massage, be sure to let your massage therapist know.
Drinking water after the massage may help to flush the metabolic waste from the tissues. Having a warm bath with Epsom salts can also help reduce soreness and stiffness.
Deep tissue massage is different than relaxation massage
Deep tissue massage is more than just a massage with deeper pressure. The goals and techniques are completely different from a therapeutic or relaxation massage. Remember, massage doesn't always have to hurt or make your body sore to be effective. To get the most out of your deep tissue massage, we encourage you to communicate with your massage therapist.
Book your next deep tissue massage with David Sanda
If you need a deep tissue massage to treat stiff muscles or an injury, book with David. He is an experienced deep tissue massage therapist that is highly rated by our clients. Book today to start moving and feeling better!