Deep tissue massage is a specialty massage offering focusing primarily on the deeper layers of muscles and fascia. Therapists may use firmer pressure and strokes during this type of massage to release tension in these areas. Specifically, a deep tissue massage is meant to break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle knots or adhesions, which are bands of painful and rigid tissue. These adhesions can disrupt circulation, causing pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation.
To begin the massage, your therapist may start with lighter pressure to warm up and prep the muscles. Your massage therapist may then use techniques such as stripping, which is a deep gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs or friction, where pressure is applies across the grain of a muscle to release adhesions and realign tissue fibers.
Deep tissue massage is commonly thought to be “painful” but this should not be the case. Proper communication with your therapist will help them know how much pressure to use. If the massage is painful, your body will naturally tense up in response to the pain, making it hard for your therapist to reach deeper muscles. While some moments of discomfort are normal, always communicate for the best experience! People who can tolerate a slightly more intense touch may consider a deep tissue massage for its many benefits!
You may need a deep tissue massage if you…
1.Have Too Much Stress in Your Life
If you feel stressed out due to the demands at work or home, deep tissue massage can help ease this stress in a healthy manner. While all massage is beneficial for lowering stress, a deep tissue massage can really work
2.Are in Pain
If you suffer from chronic pain, consider a deep tissue massage. Self-stretching exercises along with deep tissue massage can lower the pain caused by conditions such as plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, and other forms of chronic neck and back pain.
3. Feel Stiff or Inflexible
Damaged muscles, ligaments, or tendons are a form of scar tissue that can cause limited mobility and pain. You may not be able to see them but they are certainly there, stemming from old sports injuries, a car accident, or too much repetitive movement. Deep tissue massage can help restore blood flow and movement to these damaged areas.
4. Have high blood pressure
Although high blood pressure should always be monitored carefully by your physician, a deep tissue massage may help lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Research studies have shown that individuals receiving a deep tissue massage demonstrate a heart rate that is ten beats lower per minute as well as lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. Blood pressure and heart rate can be directly tied to stress, with both conditions rising with the more stress you are under. Chronic issues with heart rate and high blood pressure due to heart disease or diabetes always require physician treatment, but if you feel your blood pressure start to rise under stress than consider regular deep tissue massage to keep your numbers in a healthy range.
For the best experience, drink plenty of water after the massage to help flush the metabolic waste from the tissues.