One of the most effective therapeutic massage techniques, hot stone therapy, is the best way to fight back pain, muscle aches, stress, insomnia, and circulatory issues.
Deep Tissue Massage
Massage has been giving individuals medical and health benefits for years. At this time, there have been over 80 different types of massage that have been identified, having been used for the last 3000 years. Deep tissue massage is one of those therapies that focuses on realigning deeper muscle and connective tissue layers. Researchers have found many deep tissue massage benefits, especially for those who suffer from chronically tense and contracted body areas, including neck, low back and sore shoulders.
Deep tissue massage vs other massage styles
Deep tissue massage uses some of the same motions and techniques as a Swedish massage, but the pressure will generally be more intense. Deep tissue massage is a more focused type of therapy as the therapist works to release chronic muscle tension or knots, also known as adhesions.
Deep tissue massage should be done by a therapist who has been specially trained in the technique. Although it does not hurt, it is likely to be more uncomfortable than a classic Swedish massage. Using these more profound massage techniques can help break up and eliminate scar tissue and is usually focused on more specific body areas than a whole-body massage. Although there may be some soreness during or after the massage, the participant should feel better than ever within a day or two.
Like other massage therapy types, individuals who experience deep tissue massage regularly will find the most benefits. Individuals who consistently used deep tissue massage also find that their bodies stay in better shape, decreasing the risk of injury.
One of the other delineating differences between deep tissue massage and a standard massage technique is tools usage. During a standard massage, therapists usually only involve their own hands and lower arms. However, during deep tissue massage, the therapist will use elbows, fingers, and penetrating tools such as ceramics, glass or wooden props to reach the deep muscles. Some unfamiliar with the technique may go too quickly and cause the muscles to tense up, which is not the desired reaction. Some therapists also maintain substantial pressure in trouble spots for several minutes to help the muscle achieve release before moving onto the body’s next area.
Things to consider before getting a deep tissue massage
Before a client gets the deep tissue massage, they should talk to their therapist about any outstanding issues that currently have and anything they would like to see specifically addressed during the massage.
Most therapists are pleased to concentrate on a single part of the body to achieve more lasting results that the client will truly appreciate. At the end of any session, the client should drink lots of water to help the body excrete the toxins released during the massage.
The client needs to be realistic about what one particular massage will be able to achieve. Some people even ask for more pressure thinking that if the therapist pushes hard enough, they can get rid of all of the knots in just one hour. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and can actually hurt the individual more than it helps. Undoing chronic knots and tension built up over a lifetime is achieved more successfully with an integrated program that includes exercise, relaxation techniques, improved posture and regular treatment with massage.
Unlike classic massage therapy that can be used for relaxation, deep tissue massage is usually focused on specific problems such as:
- Chronic pain,
- Limited mobility,
- Recovery from injuries,
- Repetitive strain injury,
- Postural issues, off to arthritis, fibromyalgia and muscle spasms.
Fun fact: According to a report in Consumer Reports in 2015, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage as more effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescription drugs, acupuncture, glucosamine, or over the counter medications.
In fact, deep tissue massage also received top rankings for individuals who had fibromyalgia.
It would be best if you avoided deep tissue massage treatment in the following few cases:
- If you are suffering from an infectious disease, rash or open wounds,
- Immediately after surgery,
- Immediately after chemotherapy,
- Individuals who are prone to blood clots,
- Pregnant women,
- Deep tissue massage should never be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumours, abdominal hernias or areas of recent fractures.
Note: Before seeing the massage therapist, do not eat a heavy meal and, if it’s your first time, arrive at least 10 minutes early to fill out all the necessary forms.
Deep tissue massage is a complementary and alternative therapy approach that can help decrease your pain, improve circulation, and improve your overall health. Used in the right way and regularly, individuals can often see significant positive results in their overall medical health.
To find out more about deep tissue massage and its benefits, please read our next article.