The benefits of deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).
Deep tissue massage is done using deep finger pressure with strokes that are firm and slow. Deep tissue massage has several therapeutic effects and can be used to treat many different conditions. This type of massage has many amazing benefits.
How it Works
While some of the strokes may feel the same as those used in Swedish massage therapy, deep tissue massage isn’t the same as having a regular massage with deep pressure.
It’s used to break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle “knots” that can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation.
At the beginning of the massage, lighter pressure is generally applied to warm up and prep the muscles. Specific techniques are then applied. The most common techniques include:
Stripping: Deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs
Friction: Pressure applied across the grain of a muscle to release adhesions and realign tissue fibers
What To Expect
The first thing to bear in mind is that deep tissue massage is used for therapy and rehabilitation, not relaxation. So you need to be prepared to feel some discomfort during a deep tissue massage and even after. You will most likely lie on your stomach or back while the massage therapist applies various degrees of pressure on tight muscles that have issues and are lying dormant in your body.
You may experience some discomfort during the massage as this form of massage concentrates on relieving strain and tension from tissues that go deeper. The discomfort could also be because the massage uses movements against the muscles rather than moving with them. But if you think you’re experiencing intense pain, immediately inform your therapist. The best way to make the most of a deep tissue massage is to be as relaxed as you can and trust your therapist to massage your pain away. That’s why it’s important to go to a certified and experienced massage therapist for a deep tissue massage.
There are also many great benefits that come with getting a deep tissue massage. Although deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain. Deep tissue massages have been used to treat the following conditions:
- Low back pain
- Limited mobility
- Recover from injuries
- Repetitive strain
- Posture problems
- Muscle tension
- Upper back or neck pain
Some additional benefits of deep tissue massage:
#1: Relieves Stress
Stress can be a real pain, especially if you haven’t found a way to manage it. Thankfully, deep tissue massages have been known to help reduce stress.
Studies have shown that massage can increase the production of a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone is also known as the bonding hormone as it influences social interactions and creates positive emotions. Massage also helps reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels.
#2: Lowers High Blood Pressure
Since deep tissue massage is designed to work on the deep layers of tissue in the body, it also has an impact on your blood flow. A few studies have been done involving deep tissue massage and it’s effect on blood pressure.
The results indicated that deep tissue massage had a positive impact on lowering blood pressure. While more research needs to be done, it is definitely possible that a deep tissue massage could help lower your blood pressure.
#3: Aids Muscle Rehab
Muscle injury and soreness are an occupational hazard when it comes to athletics. Coaches, athletes, and professionals in the field of sports medicine have found that massage can provide several benefits to the body such as increased blood flow, reduced muscle tension, and an increased sense of well-being.
In short, deep tissue massages are a great way to reduce chronic pain and stress. While you make experience some slight pain due to the nature of this massage, you shouldn’t be in excruciating pain. If you do, ask your massage therapist to adjust the technique.
If you are interested in deep tissue massages, I encourage you to schedule an with one of our trusted practitioners. We also offer many other holistic treatments such as: acupuncture, homeopathy, and spinal decompression. If you need some help figuring out what service is right for you, try our personalized .