The Inside Scoop on Deep Tissue Massage

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep Tissue Massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or moving across the fiber’s of the muscles, tendons and fascia. Those suffering from certain conditions will find deep tissue massage to be therapeutic. Sufferers of chronic pain, fibromyalgia, edema, muscle cramping, and even carpal tunnel syndrome may find significant relief from deep tissue massage. The pressure exerted on different groups of muscle tissue will stimulate circulation in the areas of pain.

This can be especially helpful for athletes who expose their muscles to daily, intensive conditioning. Deep tissue massage will noticeably loosen muscles, alleviate pain, and increase mobility – all significant benefits for an athlete. However, you do not have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage however, is not for everyone as there may be mild to moderate discomfort during the massage as tight muscles are worked. Also, there can be a day or two of soreness following the deep tissue massage – similar to after you complete a particularly rigorous workout.

Deep tissue massage helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue. This type of massage usually focuses on more specific areas and may cause some soreness during or right after the massage. However, if the massage is done correctly you should feel better than ever within a day or two.

Why get a Deep Tissue Massage?

It feels good and it is beneficial to your health. When muscles are stressed, they block oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that will build up toxins in the muscle tissues. A deep-tissue massage will help to loosen muscle tissues, release toxins from muscles and increase the proper circulation of blood and oxygen. Due to the release of many toxins, it is important to drink plenty of water after a deep-tissue massage to help eliminate these toxins from the body.

What is the purpose of Deep Tissue Massage?

The purpose is to “unstick” the fibers of a muscle while releasing deeply-held patterns of tension, as well as removing toxins, while relaxing and soothing the muscle. It is both corrective and therapeutic.

The key benefits of deep tissue massage include:

  • Elimination of the blockages that cause muscle tightness
  • Increases the circulation of blood, lymph, cerebro-spinal and interstitial fluids
  • Can resolve many chronic pain patterns by releasing deeply held emotions that cause tension
  • Helps improve the functioning of the internal organs and any associated symptoms or diseases
  • Improves posture and mobility
  • Helps to reduce tension and the automatic reflexes to stress

How effective is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage can be very effective, but one has to be realistic about how much can be achieved in one session.

Simply asking for more pressure and thinking that if the therapist pushes hard enough, all tension will be released within an hour is unrealistic.

Chronic knots and tension built up over a lifetime and can only be addressed with a series of treatments.

Most therapists will offer advice on a program that includes exercise, work on your posture, relaxation techniques and a regular program of massage.

Is Deep Tissue Massage Safe for Everyone?

As with most massage treatments, deep tissue massage is not recommended for certain people.

Massage should not be done directly over bruised or inflamed skin, open wounds, tumors, areas of recent fracture, abdominal hernia, rashes or skin disease.

It should also be avoided by:

  • People with cardiovascular conditions and heart disease especially in cases of thrombosis, phlebitis and oedema
  • Pregnant women and people with osteoporosis should consult their doctor before considering a massage
  • Immediately after surgery
  • Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor

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