Deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).
A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that people’s blood pressure fell after a single 45 to 60-minute-deep tissue massage. Additionally, a 2010 meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that massage modalities like deep tissue reduce stress hormone levels and heart rate while boosting mood and relaxation by triggering the release of oxytocin and serotonin.
WILL IT HURT?
At certain points during the massage, you may feel some discomfort or even some pain as the massage therapist works on areas where there are adhesions or scar tissue. You should always tell your massage therapist if you feel pain during the massage. The therapist can adjust the technique or further prep the tissues if the superficial muscles are tense. Pain isn’t necessarily good, and it’s not necessarily a sign that the massage is working. In fact, your body may tense up in response to pain, making it harder for the therapist to reach deeper muscles.
COMMON CONDITIONS TREATED
Deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, and the following conditions:
- Limited Mobility
- Recovery from Injuries (E.G. Whiplash, Falls, Sports)
- Repetitive Strain Injury (E.G. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
- Postural Problems
- Arthritis Pain
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Tennis Elbow
According to Consumer Reports magazine, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage more effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescription medications, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine, and over-the-counter drugs! Deep tissue massage also received a top ranking for fibromyalgia pain. People often notice an improved range of motion immediately after a deep tissue massage.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Dehydration can stiffen the fascia and muscles, which translates to a more painful massage. Ensure you’re sipping adequate amounts of H20 before you hop on the table. If you are dealing with a serious injury though, and don’t have a diagnosis, definitely see one of our doctors. While a therapist can identify and attempt to alleviate any tightness and inflammation in the body, it is very important you first consult with a doctor. Once a diagnosis is given, your massage therapist can work with that information and use massage as a helpful tool in recovery.