If you are experiencing fatigued or sore muscles, a deep tissue massage from a Licensed Massage Therapist might be exactly what you are looking for. The secret to its success is in the name, your therapist will focus on the tissue areas in need of the most attention. Deep tissue work is directed at the deeper structures of muscle and fascia, affecting various levels of fascia, which is connective tissue throughout the body. Deep tissue massage helps clients with chronic pain caused by recovering from injury, illness or surgery, athletes and those that overwork themselves at the gym, for people who sit for long hours at a desk, or even people with long commutes exhausted from sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
The following are five ways deep tissue massage can help you.
With tension comes pain and vice versa. Pain within your body leads to more tension and that causes even more pain. A deep tissue massage can help alleviate the tension and loosen the muscles contributing to chronic pain issues. Deep tissue massage increases blood flow to the area – which is called hyperemia — and as blood flows to the area in question, the healing process gets the nutritional boost it needs to heal more quickly. Overall increased blood flow helps your body flush out metabolic waste thus fighting inflammation which is contributing to pain.
A well-trained deep tissue licensed massage therapist will use various deep tissue techniques and not necessarily deep pressure. Some of those techniques may include use of their elbows, skin rolling, scar tissue release therapy, Myofascial release (MFR), Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), Muscle Energy Technique (MET), Positional Release Therapy (PRT), Craniosacral work, Structural Integration work, Trigger Point Therapy (TPT), Rolfing, Tragerwork, Hellerwork or even the Feldencrais Method. The more deeply the therapist works, the more important a refined and trained touch becomes. Therapists must cultivate a sensitive and powerful touch which is generated by soft and relaxed hands, which is a life-long process. The key component to a really good and effective deep tissue session is the therapist’s intention. If the therapist fails to “set their intention,” their strokes are simply empty (and sometimes painful) gestures. The biggest cause of pain to the client is a harsh touch by the therapist trying to make things happen rather than allowing them to happen. Therapists should NEVER try to force tissues into releasing. A well-trained therapist understands the deeper they work, the more they MUST slow down. If the client’s stressed or sore tissue does not respond, applying more force is rarely the solution. Patience and intention are the single greatest qualities that dictate the therapeutic touch. While the therapist is patient and waits until the tissue melts, they should be directing the clients breathwork. It is often this “partnership” that allows the greatest gains in release for the client. That is when the magic happens. That is when the client realizes serious stress relief.
Breaks Down Scar Tissues
What you might not realize is that scar tissue is a contributing factor to tension and pain. A deep tissue massage can break down scar tissue. Athletes, manual laborers, people with “repetitive stress syndrome,” people recovering from surgeries, injuries or illnesses all deal with scar tissue in some way or another. There’s a reason doctors recommend deep tissue massage for surgery recovery, it’s because of the scar tissue break down, which improves lymphatic drainage and enhances circulation, all of which contribute to improving your range of motion and flexibility. Scar tissue release allows the client to more fully recuperate and return to full functionality, eliminating pain and enhancing their productivity. When we feel productive, the ripple effects on the body, mind and spirit are incredibly empowering.
If you have existing injuries, then a deep tissue massage is the perfect way to rehabilitate it. When your muscles are tense, stressed, or exhausted nutrients and oxygen are prohibited from freely moving throughout the body to energize and empower us to be our best. This is where a deep tissue massage comes into play, because it relaxes the muscles and helps your body get back to normal working order. Remember, your body wants to be healthy and serve you well. In order to do so, your body’s ten “systems” must function in harmony to provide the healthy balance – or homeostasis – we all need to function at our peak. Everything in the body is connected, so if one area is “off,” it has a ripple effect everywhere else. When we can correct those areas of the body that were damaged at one point or another, then we can help the entire body “reset and rebalance” back to its peak. Deep tissue massage can certainly help in that process.
Improves Blood Pressure
Guess what? Deep tissue massage can help you battle your blood pressure problems! The massage helps your body relax to beat stress and tension away from your muscles. This reduces pain and all of that works to help improve your blood pressure. When you make massage part of your regular “wellness plan” than you can begin to manage your blood pressure challenges in ways that give you control over your health and wellness. We have seen success with clients receiving weekly or bi-weekly massage and ultimately manage their once “high blood pressure” into normal range, ultimately helping them discontinue their prescription management system. That would certainly not be for everyone to do, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but if there was a healthy alternative — like weekly massage — to overcome your high blood pressure issue, would you try it? The bonus of an increase in serotonin will leave you feeling happier and less stressed overall. And the added bonus of becoming more “mindful” of your own body and its individual needs allows you to truly take control of your own wellness over time.
What you need to know before you arrive for your deep tissue massage is this – ensure you are well hydrated with plenty of water ahead of your appointment. Not only will it help your muscles stay pliable, but it will also purge metabolic waste – which a lot of people, including some ill-educated massage therapists, call “toxins” — from your body. We should not assume that any “body” actually has “toxins.” The definition of “toxins” includes pollutants, heavy metals, synthetic chemicals and side effects of processed and fast foods. Metabolic waste is what is left-over after the body utilizes the food and water (and anything else we ingest) as “nutrition” for the cells of the body to perform our normal functions of everyday life. We truly are what we eat! Whatever the body doesn’t use — i.e. nitrogen compounds, CO2, water, sulfates, etc. — we excrete through urination, defecation and perspiration. Massage can certainly speed up the process – or at least make it work more efficiently. It’s normal to feel a bit of soreness following a deep tissue massage treatment, as some of the metabolic waste is stimulated to the surfaces of your tissues awaiting to be excreted from your body. One of the most important ways this can happen is when you drink enough water, each and every day, and especially before and after a deep tissue massage. Your therapist should remind you to drink more water, and also may offer suggestions on how best to improve your body’s healing process.
While there are plenty of fantastic health benefits associated with deep tissue massage, it’s important to understand that it’s also an excellent treat that makes you feel great! What better act of self-care than one serving you in a multitude of ways?
Get in touch to find out more about deep tissue massage today.