Deep tissue massage is a type of massage that aims to release chronic tension patterns, improve flexibility and range of motion, and reduce stress and anxiety. It can be particularly useful for people with chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia, sciatica, chronic headaches, athletes or anyone who engages in regular physical activity.
So what is a deep tissue massage exactly? Deep muscle and connective tissue layers are the focus of a deep tissue massage, which is therapeutic in nature. Through the use of slow, gentle strokes that either go in the same direction as the tendons, muscles and fascia or in the opposite direction, deep finger pressure helps to release tension in the body.
What Happens During a Deep Tissue Massage?
During a deep tissue massage, the therapist uses strong pressure and slow strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and fascia. This focuses on specific areas of the body that may be experiencing chronic pain, recovering from an injury or suffering from stress-related tension.
A deep tissue massage usually focuses on areas of the body that tend to be sources of chronic pain and tension, such as the back, shoulders, neck and legs. These areas tend to hold a lot of stress and tension, and the massage techniques are intended to alleviate this tension and promote relaxation. Techniques used in deep tissue massage include the following:
Cross-fibre friction massage is a method of manipulating the muscles by applying pressure perpendicular to the muscle fibres. It is commonly used to break up scar tissue and adhesions that can build up in the muscles. This technique is believed to aid in healing and enhance the range of motion.
Trigger point therapy
Trigger point therapy is a soft-tissue treatment specifically helpful in releasing tension, knots and fascia. This kind of treatment might include sustained pressure, posture and movement correction, electrical stimulation, dry needling, and massage.
Myofascial release is a type of hands-on therapy that aims to relieve stress in the fascia, the connective tissue that encases the muscles. This approach is believed to increase flexibility and movement and alleviate discomfort.
Active release technique (ART)
ART is a manual therapy method that utilises movement and pressure to alleviate muscle and soft tissue tension and soreness. This approach is commonly used to manage pain, muscle injuries and tendons.
Muscle energy technique (MET)
MET is another manual therapy that utilises the patient’s muscle contractions to alleviate tension and enhance flexibility. The therapist directs the patient through specific exercises to help release tension in the targeted muscle or muscle group. The purpose of this technique is to improve the range of motion and release tension in the muscle.
Who Should Consider Getting a Deep Tissue Massage?
If you understand what is a deep tissue massage, then you know that it is intended to alleviate chronic pain and muscle tension. This makes it a suitable option for certain individuals, including people who experience chronic pain or muscle tension. They may find relief from deep tissue massage, as it can release muscle tension and improve circulation, thereby reducing pain and stiffness. It also benefits people who suffer from conditions such as fibromyalgia, sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Another group of people who may benefit from this massage technique are athletes or active individuals. These individuals may experience tight and tired muscles due to repetitive motions and intense training. Deep-tissue massage can help to alleviate these symptoms, improving flexibility and reducing the risk of injury.
Deep tissue massage can also be beneficial for people recovering from injuries. It can help reduce inflammation and swelling, promote healing and restore flexibility to the affected area. By targeting the deep layers of muscle tissue, deep tissue massage can accelerate recovery and improve overall function.
Potential Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage aims to relieve chronic muscle tension and knots, which can result in various positive effects on the body and mind.
A deep tissue massage can be beneficial for improving blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. This can help with reducing muscle soreness, increasing flexibility and supporting the immune system.
Reduced stress and anxiety
Anxiety and stress can cause physical tension in the muscles. Massaging the deeper layers of muscle tissue can help alleviate this tension, leading to a more relaxed state and reduced stress and anxiety.
One way to enhance sleep quality is by having a deep tissue massage, which can aid in relaxation and decrease muscle tension. This can lead to an improved sleep experience and refreshment upon waking up.
Be at Your Best With FlexiFit Physiotherapy
A deep tissue massage is a therapeutic technique that targets the deeper layers of muscle tissue. This form of massage can be particularly helpful for individuals who suffer from chronic pain, restricted movement, or muscle tension. It is important to seek a trained and experienced practitioner who can tailor the massage to your specific needs and preferences.
At FlexiFit Physiotherapy, we take a holistic, preventative approach to managing pain. Our team believes that building a strong foundation of overall health can prevent future chronic pain and movement problems. Contact us here for more details.