Deep tissue massage focuses on realigning the deep layers of muscles and connective tissue. The movement of this massage is usually slower and the pressure digs deeper as compared to a relaxation massage. The focus of this type of massage is to target the areas of tension and pain.
The following are some of the conditions that can benefit from Deep Tissue massage:
- Chronic pain
- Limited mobility
- Postural issues
- Recovery from injuries
- Recurring injuries
- Muscle tension and spasm
- Osteoarthritic pain
What is Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage uses many of the same strokes as Swedish (or Classic) Massage, but it is performed with greater pressure and more slowly, in order to connect with the fascia (a connective tissue which surrounds the muscles) and into the sub layer of muscles as well.
In cases of chronic injury or pain/tension, ligaments, tendons and muscles will usually be affected by adhesions (entire bands of stiff, pained tissue), which not only cause pain and inflammation, but limit mobility and block blood circulation. This can happen throughout the entire body, but commonly affected areas include both the upper and lower back, legs, neck and shoulders. As muscles become injured or effected by bad posture, stress, etc., the muscle fibres actually begin to shorten, resulting in fibrosis (small sections of scar tissue which, if left untreated, can lead to large areas of scar tissue and excruciating pain), lack of proper blood flow and a build-up of waste toxins from the lymphatic system.
What deep tissue massage does is to eliminate the adhesions causing this pain in the first place. This will of course take several treatments, but even after the first you will begin to notice improvement. Your massage therapist will begin by applying massage oil and using his or her forearm to massage up and down the affected area, and relaxing tense muscles. You might be advised to take deep breaths throughout the massage, which aids in oxygen flow through the blood and helps advance relaxation. Because of the amount of pressure applied during the latter part of the process, it is important that your muscles and body are as relaxed as possible. Once this has been achieved, your therapist will begin kneading your muscles with fingers and thumbs, eventually working into the deeper tissues and even using elbows, knuckles and fists.
Does this sound like it might cause some discomfort? If done correctly, there should only be mild discomfort, though this of course depends on the extent of your injuries and pain. You must always inform your therapist of any pain experienced during the massage so that he/she can make the proper adjustments to your personal comfort level. After the massage is complete, you may experience minor stiffness or soreness for 1-2 days, and your therapist might suggest applying ice, taking warm baths, and drinking non-caffeinated teas to help you relax and allow the full benefits of the massage to sink in. It is also very important to keep well hydrated after a massage, since the body needs to flush out the remaining toxins from the lymphatic system.
But the long-term benefits of deep tissue massage ultimately outweigh any short-term side effects, since most people who undergo the treatment agree that their mobility is increased and pain levels decreased, if not eliminated altogether.
In a 2005 survey conducted by Consumer Reports, 47% of respondents stated that they found deep tissue massage to be far more effective in treating everything from sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome to fibromyalgia and ostearthritis than many other therapies, including prescription drugs.
If you are interested in deep tissue massage, give us a call. Our therapists at Unique Health & Wellness, Inc. are among the best in Edmonton, and we are here to serve you. If would like to book a deep tissue massage or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 780-938-8623 or email@example.com. We are here for you!