What is Deep Tissue Massage?

According to the article Deep Tissue Massage Benefits plus tips to get the most out of one By Cathy Wong, ND, Alternative Medicine Expert on About Health, "Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas such as stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.

Some of the same strokes are used as classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles)." It works by applying direct, and deep pressure to the muscles to release adhesions, soften the myofascial layer, and ease muscle tension.

Deep Tissue Massage can hurt, but communication is the key during massage. Many clients have grown accustomed to living with their pain, so when your licensed massage therapist asks about areas that require attention, you may not immediately realize there is pain. Typically, a massage is firm, and is full body, but when a particular area is identified, additional pressure or strokes may be required to release the tension locally. You should discuss your goals and concerns with your massage therapist before, and during the massage, if there is pain beyond minor discomfort. Of course, "pain" is a subjective term, and we all have differing levels of pain tolerance. As such, your massage therapist typically starts at a default level, and moderates the pressure according to your feedback, both verbal and non-verbal. Never be afraid to speak up if you need to do so.

Techniques of Deep Tissue Massage 

Some techniques that may be incorporated during a Deep Tissue Massage may include using elbows, knuckles, deep hand pressure, and leverage. Additionally, your licensed massage therapist may incorporate stretching and Muscle Energy Techniques, and Myofascial release. Myofascial Release includes holding deep pressure on a particular area and allowing the fascial layer to unwind. It is a very slow and deliberate application of pressure.

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage 

Again, according to Cathy Wong, "Deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, and the following conditions:
  • Chronic pain
  • Lower back pain 
  • Limited mobility 
  • Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injury) 
  • Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome 
  • Postural problems 
  • Muscle tension in the hamstrings, glutes, IT band, legs, quadriceps, rhomboids, upper back 
  • Ostearthritis pain 
  • Sciatica 
  • Piriformis syndrome 
  • Tennis elbow 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Muscle tension or spasm 
  • After a workout or bodybuilding 

According to Consumer Reports magazine, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage more effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine and over-the-counter drugs. Deep tissue massage also received a top ranking for fibromyalgia pain. People often notice improved range of motion immediately after a deep tissue massage."

Further Reading: 

About Health, Updated December 19, 2014, http://altmedicine.about.com/od/massage/a/massage.htm Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massage
Livestrong http://www.livestrong.com/article/88911-benefits-deep-tissue-massage/
WebMD http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/massage-types-and-techniques

Popular posts from this blog

Dry Brushing for Loose Skin on Keto Diet

Last 30 Days

Massage Therapy for Lower Back Pain