Keyword(s): deep tissue massage
If you suffer from persistent aches and pains that just won't let up, no matter how many chiropractors or acupuncturists you've seen, deep tissue massage could be the answer.
This type of therapeutic massage is used to treat a myriad of musculoskeletal issues that no amount of clicking and pricking is able to solve.
Essentially, deep tissue massage breaks down scar tissue through sustained pressure. If you're considering this treatment, here's what you should know:
What Exactly is Deep Tissue Massage?Deep tissue massage is unlike any other type of massage therapy on the market today. The truth is- deep tissue massage is not meant to be super relaxing. It's a form of musculoskeletal therapy which involves the application of sustained pressure, in long, deep, slow strokes.
This sustained application of pressure targets the inner layers of the muscles, tendons and connective tissue. This helps to break up scar tissue that has formed over time, reducing muscle tension and inflammation.
Deep tissue massage is also ideal for promoting increased blood flow. This helps to reduce swelling in the tissue and surrounding areas. Overall, this can also help to reduce pain levels.
Pain Levels: What to Expect As previously mentioned, deep tissue massage is not meant to be relaxing. At some point throughout the massage, you can expect to feel some level of pain and discomfort, particularly in very tight or tense areas of muscle.
However, if you experience pain that is completely out of your comfort zone, tell your therapist right away. They will then ease up on the applied pressure that is in-line with what you can tolerate.
Post-massage, you can expect to feel a little tenderness or stiffness in certain areas. This is completely normal and will fade within a day or two.
Who is Deep Tissue Massage Best For? Deep tissue massage therapy is ideal for people you have sustained some form of musculoskeletal injury. Whether it's in the back, shoulder, or legs, this type of massage works to break down and relax injured or scarred muscles.
Chronic muscle tension or injury leads to adhesions in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These adhesions then block the circulation of blood. Over time, this can cause immense pain, limited mobility, and inflammation.
In order to reach deep into the musculature portion of the affected area, deep tissue massage is perfect for this.
People who suffer from structural abnormalities in the muscles and spine can also greatly benefit from this type of massage. Ideally, deep tissue massage promotes muscle relaxation and the correct function of the muscle.
What to Expect During Your MassageWhen your massage first begins, your therapist will use a light amount of pressure to warm up the targeted area of tension or injury. After this, specific massage techniques are applied to reach deep down into the muscle.
The two primary techniques used in deep tissue massage include friction and stripping. Friction is defined as the pressure that is applied across the grain of your muscle to relax adhesions.
Stripping is defined as deep, gliding pressure that runs along the length of your muscle fiber. Typically, the thumbs, forearm, elbow, and knuckles are used for this technique.
Generally, your massage therapist will also use the ball of the hand and fingertips during your session. In especially tense areas, your therapist will ask you to breathe deeply through any pain or discomfort.
What Are the Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage?Deep tissue massage is specific to any type of musculoskeletal problem you may be suffering from. It helps to alleviate chronic tension, pain, inflammation, and discomfort. This helps you to live a more comfortable lifestyle, not limited by pain or mobility issues.
Deep tissue massage is also beneficial for the following conditions:
- Poor posture which causes muscular pain and discomfort
- Muscle spasms
- Limited mobility and stiff limbs
- Chronic lower back pain
- Pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis
- Pain associated with tennis elbow
- Chronic sciatic pain caused by injury
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Exercise or sports-related muscle stiffness or injury
What Are the Side Effects? It's worth noting that you will most likely experience some level of pain or tenderness after your first deep tissue massage. This pain or tenderness should dissipate after a couple of days though. And each time you return for a massage, your discomfort levels should decrease, as does your muscle tension.
Deep tissue massage is a completely safe treatment, but it may not be suitable for everyone. You may need to chat with your doctor beforehand if you have a history of:
- Blood clotting disorder
- Take certain medications such as blood thinners
- Suffer from a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia A or B
- Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment
- Suffer from osteoporosis and have particularly fragile bones
Looking For Holistic Care For Your Aches and Pains?At Starsiak Osteopathic Clinic we specialize in deep tissue massage, also known as medical massage, as part of our holistic approach to reducing your chronic pain.
Aside from this, we offer services in osteopathic medicine, primary care, prolotherapy, nutritional counseling, and more.
Learn more about our massage therapy by browsing our massage menu to get an idea of how we can help!