Many believe that a deep tissue massage is a “deep” relaxation massage; this is not so. Deep tissue massage is a distinct modality designed to treat specific musculo-skeletal disorders by realigning the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue, and in doing so provides superior health benefits. Deep tissue massage is applied to both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, fascia, and associated structures. It is especially beneficial for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, lower back tension, and sore shoulders.
As the result of the deliberate and focused work, many patients experience a more intense session but they also feel that it is more beneficial because it addresses deep-seated muscle pains. It would be impossible to employ deep tissue techniques on the entire body in one session. Therefore to see profound changes in the body it is recommended to have sessions on a regular basis so that the therapist and patient can work together to rehabilitate long term problems, relax the body, and prevent injuries.
According to the August 2005 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage more effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine, and over-the-counter drugs. Deep tissue massage also received a top ranking for alleviating fibromyalgia pain.
At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort. It is important to communicate to your therapist if what you are experiencing is outside of your comfort range. You may be asked to breathe deeply as the massage therapist works on especially tense areas. There can be some muscle stiffness or soreness after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so. To avoid this, it is recommended that you apply ice to the specific area after the massage. It is also important to drink plenty of water to flush metabolic waste from the tissues.
Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage:
- Heals whiplash, fall, and sports injuries
- Combats repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow
- Corrects postural problems
- Minimizes osteoarthritis pain
- Soothes the symptoms of fibromyalgia
- Releases muscle tension
- Decreases muscle spasms
- Increases range of motion