Although individuals seek out massages for comfort measures and relaxation, their use can greatly contribute to enhanced health. Additionally, deep tissue massage can immensely enhance the quality of life for individuals with significant muscle injuries and chronic conditions. So, get relaxed and see how you may benefit from muscle therapy!
What Is a Deep Tissue Massage?
Massage therapy involves rubbing muscles and joints of the body, generally to relieve tension. When it comes to Swedish massage versus deep tissue massage, they are similar but with defining differences, as the pressures and techniques help to differentiate between massage methods. Swedish massage is most commonly offered and utilizes a firm pressure on muscles. Five primary strokes encompass Swedish massage to increase blood flow, ease muscular tension, and reduce stress response.
A deep tissue massage can help with small or large muscle injuries or aid in the healing of chronic problems. Deep tissue massage targets deep muscles, tendons, as well as protective and connective tissue known as fascia. It requires total relaxation of superficial muscles, as the lessened tension allows deeper muscles to come into contact and be manipulated (hence "deep tissue massage"). Individuals with chronic muscle tension or injury are more prone to adhesions, or thick "knots" that form in muscle fibers. These adhesions may not only be painful, but can disrupt blood flow and circulation, diminish natural movements, and result in inflammation. Undergoing deep tissue massages helps break down the adhesions and restore proper body functions.
Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
Stress Relief and Mood Boost
Tranquility is typically the initial feeling upon walking into a massage room and table. When deep tissue massage is underway, oxytocin and serotonin is triggered and further ignites feelings of relaxation while boosting mood. Stress hormones have also been shown to reduce following deep tissue massage and other forms of massage techniques.
Improves Blood Flow
Rubbing deep muscles and relieving pressures has been shown to improve blood flow. New research further explains there is an improvement in circulation in both athletes and non-exercisers, suggesting the benefit beyond the realm of exercise and correlated muscle injury and soreness. Blood pressure and heart rate can also be lowered following deep tissue massage.
Deep tissue massage is frequently used as a rehabilitation option. The stretching and twisting of injured muscles can relax them and ultimately encourage healing. Additionally, deep tissue massage can promote a greater range of motion in previously damaged muscles and ease pain associated with fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions.
The relaxation induced during the massage might feel like the endpoint, but massage care continues after leaving. First off, rest your body. Though you may feel relaxed and calm, it is important to remember the muscles have been intensely manipulated and worked on, thus needing time to recover. Try to schedule the massage appointment when other obligations and responsibilities will not follow. Continue care by drinking water and grabbing a bite to eat. Lightheadedness may occur and water and food can counteract dehydration and low blood sugars.
Massage therapy improves circulation, alleviates muscle soreness. University of Illinois at Chicago. Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416125434.htm.