All about deep tissue massage

  

deep tissue massage

Although it is not commonly known, deep tissue massage has been used for thousands of years throughout the world due to its miraculous effects on physical and psychological stress. Recent studies show that deep tissue therapy is an effective way to treat common conditions like arthritis, anxiety and chronic lower back pain.

If you've tried a large range of massages, but none of them has solved your aches and tension issues, it might be time to turn to a deep tissue massage. This massage therapy consists of applying firm pressure and slow strokes to the affected area in order to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia (the connecting tissue surrounding muscles).
As the pressure is stronger and concentrated on the problematic area, it might cause a bit discomfort. The results, however, are worth the struggle as the therapy helps assuage the pain in the long term. Given it's intensity, it is used for chronic aches and pain and contracted areas such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders. It is also used to treat chronic tension and injuries from overuse, such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome.
How does it work?
Although some of the strokes might resemble those used in Swedish massage therapy and acupressure, deep tissue massage involves more pressure; while it's similar to the other therapies in that they all involve moving the body into certain positions,the pace in deep tissue massages tends to be slower and pressure is applied more strongly, focused on affected areas to break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle “knots” or adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) that can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation.
These bands of rigid tissue can cause pain and inflammation, and restrict movement and circulation in muscle tissue. You might have a stiff neck and upper back, lower back pain, tight legs or sore shoulders.
This therapy is meant to realign the different layers of tissue, treating the tendons, ligaments, fascia (the protective layer of tissue which surrounds the bones, joints and muscles), and the muscles to release tension and provide pain relief.
The massage therapy starts with light pressure applied to warm up and prep the muscles. Then, specific techniques are applied. The most common ones are:
The stripping technique involves deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle rivers using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs.
The friction technique consists in applying pressure across the grain of a muscle to release adhesions and realign tissue fibers.
Benefits
Deep tissue therapy is usually employed to deal with a specific problem, the likes of chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, low back pain, limited mobility, recovery from injuries - such as whiplash and falls), repetitive strain injury and postural problems.
Deep tissue massage also lowers high blood pressure, decreases the symptoms of arthritis, relieves stress, increases joint mobility and reduces chronic pain.
To make the most of the benefits of deep tissue therapy is to be as relaxed as you can and trust your therapist to relieve your pain.
The massage helps stimulate blood flow and relieve muscle tension, at the same time it lowers psychological stress and releases happy hormones like serotonin and oxytocin.
Precautions
Given the intensity of this massage, there are some precautions you must take before getting a deep tissue massage. First of all, avoid a deep tissue massage if you have been diagnosed with blood clots in the past; this is because the massage may dislodge the clots. If you are at risk of forming blood clots, talk to your doctor before getting a deep tissue massage.
You should also check with your doctor if you have had chemotherapy, radiation, recent surgery, or any medical condition. You should also avoid this type of massage if you have osteoporosis.
Bear in mind that deep tissue massage is mainly for therapy or rehabilitation rather than relaxation. Therefore, you have to be prepared to feel discomfort to some extent during the session and even after.

 

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