Essential Guide to Deep Tissue Massage
When the muscles constantly ache and pain takes over, it is just the right time for a deep tissue massage. In this massage, your therapist will slowly apply pressure where needed to hit deeper layers inside the muscle. This helps in healing the connective tissue, which is the root cause of chronic muscle pain.
Deep tissue massage is beneficial in treating multiple medical conditions. It can be most effective around your neck and lower back area. It is also used to heal injuries in tendons and joints.
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What to Expect from a Deep Tissue Massage?
This type of massage suits all ages and body types. The techniques aim at physically breaking down bands of tissues that go rigid after taking excessive pressure. These tissues have disrupted blood flow, which causes pain, inflamed joints, and limited motion.
Deep tissue massage involves deep strokes which, at times, require a certain level of force from the therapist. So it is recommended that you build an understanding with the therapist about your comfortable pressure level.
In the initial stages of a deep tissue treatment, mild pressure is applied to warm up all muscles. During the massage, different techniques are applied by the RMT like:
Friction: The RMT applies force along the grain of your muscles. This helps in re-aligning tissues.
Stripping: An RMT uses different parts of his/her body, drifting them with the muscle’s structure. So don’t worry if you feel the RMTs elbow or knuckles working on your body.
You can feel maximum relaxation along tense areas by deep breathing while the therapist works on them.
Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
Helps with Joint Pain
Deep tissue massage is focused on targeting the deep-lying layers of your muscle. People with tendon and joint injuries can recover quickly through this treatment. The therapy is designed to focus on your weight-bearing joints and release tension from the lower back.
Optimizes joint mobility/flexibility
In the current era of people that sit behind computer screens all day, chronic muscle injuries are imminent. These injuries are easier to catch now more than they were 50 years ago. Deep tissue massage enhances natural lubrication inside muscles. The length and capacity of your muscles are hence improved.
You may have seen athletes getting deep tissue massages before starting their season. That is done to prevent them from catching serious injuries. Lubricant stimulation in a deep tissue massage helps with muscle fatigue and lactate clearance. It also aids with the delayed onset of muscle soreness.
Poor posture is the biggest reason behind back pain. This treatment is a natural way of improving your posture. Deep pressure therapy and some minor changes to your lifestyle can drastically improve your body’s natural alignment.
Decreases stress and improves mood
Our minds are crowded by thousands of thoughts at one time, making our routines stressful. This stress produces cortisol in large amounts, which leads to depression and other health issues, and deep tissue massages have proven effective in reducing cortisol. It can also increase oxytocin and serotonin, the hormones that control our moods, and keep us light-headed and happy.
Lowers Blood Pressure
This treatment helps with lymph node relaxation. Lymphatic system adjustment and the stress released from muscles improve blood flow. Reduced stress hormone levels help you feel at peace. Due to your relaxed mind, blood pressure tends to remain at normal levels. This treatment is the perfect remedy for you if you have blood pressure issues.
A massage may not help with physical injuries like bruises but with most internal strains, it can do the job for you. If you’ve strained your muscles or caught a bad cramp, this should be your go-to massage. Also, for people that are recovering from injuries, deep tissue massage prevents scar formation. When a therapist applies pressure on the recovering area, scar tissues break down from within before appearing on the surface.
Detoxifies the Body
When your therapist applies pressure on muscle knots to straighten them, the toxins trapped in those knots are released. This freshly released blood combined with your water intake will flush out the unnecessary toxins from your body. In case you feel the need to use the restroom during the massage, know that it’s working.
Precautions to take during Deep Tissue Massage
Most people feel a certain amount of soreness for a couple of days after getting a deep tissue massage. It is totally normal and placing an ice pack on the sore areas for a few minutes should help.
Consult Your Doctor
Massage therapy, in general, is not dangerous. However, deep tissue massage has firm strokes and may not be entirely safe for all. Consult your doctor before the treatment if you:
- are on blood-thinning medication
- have a clotting disorder
- have a bleeding disorder
- are undergoing treatment for cancer
If you’ve picked an injury or a skin infection, kindly reschedule your appointment or your position might get worse.
Take caution with bone diseases
People that have diseases like osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis or cancer that weakens your bones should avoid this treatment. The therapist handles tissues with firm hands and that may not be suitable for your condition. You should consider opting for massages with less pressured strokes like Swedish massage.
Drinking alcohol within 24 hours following your relaxation massage therapy is not recommended since alcohol fills you up with new toxins and can also take away from the beneficial results of a calm state of mind.
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