Sports injuries, muscle tension, and chronic back pain can be hard to treat. Knots, scar tissue, and adhesions can form over time, adding to your pain and affecting your mobility. People suffering from these conditions may find relief through deep tissue massages.
This type of massage therapy helps loosen tension that’s held deeper below the surface of your skin. Learn what to expect during your deep tissue massage, what to do after a deep tissue massage to improve its effectiveness, and how this type of massage therapy can benefit you.
What is a Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage is a form of massage therapy that is similar to Swedish massage but offers deeper, firmer pressure to help relieve your muscle tension. While both massage therapies use longer strokes, deep tissue massage focuses on different parts of your body. Your deep tissue massage therapist uses more forceful pressure to reach the deeper layers of your muscle and surrounding connective tissues including fascia.
This therapeutic massage therapy uses slow, deep strokes to reach tissues past the surface of your skin. Deep tissue massage helps loosen knots and break down adhesions and scar tissue you may have. It helps treat sports related strains and injuries, muscle tension, and chronic pain.
What to Expect During Your Deep Tissue Massage?
Your deep tissue massage starts like any other form of massage therapy. You will undress to your level of comfort and lay down on a massage table with a sheet covering you. Depending on what area of your body needs treatment, you may need to lie down on your side or your back. Your therapist begins your deep tissue massage with lighter pressure to gently prepare your body.
After the warmup, your therapist applies firmer pressure using different strokes and techniques to help release tension from deeper within your body. You’ll feel firm pressure against your body, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Your therapist will check in with you throughout your massage to make sure the pressure they’re applying feels okay.
Your massage therapist uses different techniques during your deep tissue massage, including:
- Stripping: gliding pressure along the grain and length of your muscles
- Fingertip pressure: using their fingers to apply pressure to specific trouble spots along your body
- Friction against the grain of your muscles to release adhesions or scar tissue and help realign your muscle fibres
- Stronger pressure using their elbows or forearms to dig into problem areas
What to Do After a Deep Tissue Massage?
Knowing what to do after a deep tissue massage is important. Patients may experience more muscle soreness or stiffness immediately after deep tissue massage. This is due to the techniques used in the massage therapy and your muscles and connective tissues healing afterwards.
Massages of all types increase circulation and create metabolic waste. You can aid in your recovery by drinking plenty of water before and after your deep tissue massage. Water aids your body in flushing the waste from your tissues, helping you recover from your massage faster. Water also rehydrates your muscles after a massage, which helps reduce muscle soreness.
You can also do gentle stretching after your massage to decrease soreness. Stretching keeps your muscles loose and prevents tension from reoccurring. You may also want to use heat therapy to relax your sore muscles, including taking a warm bath or shower or using a heating pad. Leave yourself time to relax and recover from your deep tissue massage to gain the most benefits.
The Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage benefits people suffering from chronic pain and decreased mobility. It helps treat muscular and connective tissues injuries and may benefit people suffering from certain medical conditions.
Deep tissue massage helps by:
- Increasing circulation of your blood and lymphatic systems, which reduces swelling and fluid build-up around injuries
- Reducing inflammation that causes pain stiffness
- Increasing your range of motion
- Decreasing the time it takes to heal from strains and muscle injuries
Studies have found that deep tissue massage is better at relieving back pain than other forms of massage therapy. It can help to improve symptoms in people with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and other forms of chronic muscular or joint pain. It also helps in recovery from soft tissue injuries and is a popular form of massage therapy for athletes.
Can Anyone Get a Deep Tissue Massage?
While deep tissue massages are safe and have few side effects, they’re not the right type of massage for everyone. Patients dealing with muscular and soft tissue injuries, nerve injuries, or bone fractures should consult their doctor before getting a deep tissue massage. You don’t want the massage techniques to injure you further.
Patients with blood clotting disorders or that have recently undergone surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy should avoid getting a deep tissue massage unless their doctor believes it is safe. Pregnant patients should also talk with their doctor before getting a massage.
Deep tissue massage isn’t for someone looking for relaxation. The techniques use more pressure to relieve deep tension, but it’s not designed to make you feel less stressed or more relaxed like other types of massage therapy.
Deep Tissue Massages at Wayne Massage
Deep tissue massage is an effective treatment for people suffering from injuries or chronic muscle tension. Wayne Massage is happy to offer tailored massage therapy to our patients across New South Wales to meet their exact needs.
Our therapists can guide you through what to do after a deep tissue massage to reduce your soreness and increase the benefits of your therapy. Contact us today for an appointment:
- Muscle Pain, It May Actually Be Your Facia https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/muscle-pain-it-may-actually-be-your-fascia
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- Deep Tissue Massage: What Are We Talking About? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29861215/
- Ask a Scientist: Why Do You Have to Drink Water After a Massage? https://www.youbeauty.com/fitness/ask-a-scientist-drink-water-after-massage/
- How to Relieve Sore Muscles After a Massage https://www.healthline.com/health/sore-after-massage
- Comparison of Deep Tissue Massage and Therapeutic Massage for Lower Back Pain https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/9894128/
- Deep Tissue Massage and Soft Tissue Release in the Management of Chronic Ankle Injury http://www.sportmont.ucg.ac.me/clanci/SM_February_2020_Kushartanti_53-56.pdf