The health benefits of massages are wide-ranging, from the relaxation of muscle tension to the improvement of your skin tone.
However, there are many different types of massage, which address different issues in different clients. If you’re considering booking a massage, you should take some time to consider which one is most suitable for you.
One of the most important types is deep tissue massage.
So, what’s a deep tissue massage? Read on to find out.
What’s a Deep Tissue Massage?
As the name suggests, deep tissue massage is a treatment that focuses on the tissues deep under your skin. Deep tissue massage therapists target muscles and connective tissues that lie deep in the body.
The movements used by therapists are slower than in other types of massage, and the fingers probe more deeply into areas of tension and pain.
Chronic tension and pain are usually caused by blockages in the tissue which are difficult to work out. By applying pressure to these areas, therapists can induce relaxation in them and ease your symptoms.
Because deep tissue massage targets areas that are difficult to reach, therapists often use their elbows, knuckles, and forearms.
The Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
There are a host of benefits afforded by deep tissue massage. We’ve outlined some of the most important here.
Easing of Pain
One of the most common reasons that people book in for deep tissue massages is because they are struggling with pain. Whether it’s age-related or from a sports injury, chronic pain is a real issue in many people’s lives.
There are certain specific conditions for which deep tissue massage has noted benefits.
One of the most significant is plantar fasciitis, which is common in the running community and is noted to be one of the most prevalent causes of heel pain.
Another pain-inducing condition that deep tissue massage therapy can address is fibromyalgia. This condition causes widespread aches and pains in the musculoskeletal system, and so can be particularly difficult for sufferers.
Benefits for Movement
Those suffering from limited movement for one reason or another can also benefit from deep tissue massage.
Movement is often inhibited by scar tissue that collects on muscles, tendons, and ligaments after an injury. Deep tissue massage can address this issue.
This is particularly effective for rotating joints, such as the shoulder.
Improvement of Organ Function
This may not be something you expected to see listed here. However, deep tissue massage can have pronounced benefits for your organs.
Those suffering from high blood pressure register lower systolic and diastolic pressure after a massage, as well as a slower heart rate.
Lung function is also positively affected by deep tissue massage, especially in those with clinical pulmonary issues.
Relief of Stress
This is one of the benefits most traditionally associated with massage. However, there is more to this than a simple feeling of relaxation. Stress can be majorly damaging to mental and physical health if left unchecked for a long period.
One of the most tangible symptoms of such stress is stress headaches. These are shown to reduce dramatically in severity and frequency in response to deep tissue massage therapy.
Studies have shown that deep tissue massage can also help those with symptoms of clinical anxiety and depression.
Does Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?
Deep tissue massages can be a little painful, especially if you’re a beginner. However, it’s nothing you won’t be able to handle.
It is normal to experience discomfort during the massage, as your therapist needs to work your muscles hard to give you all the benefits of the therapy. If this is too much for you to bear at any point, it is important that you communicate this to your massage therapist.
You may also be sore or stiff for up to a day after your massage. Your therapist may direct you to apply ice to the affected area. The extent of your soreness will depend on any injuries you have, as well as how hard your massage was.
Should I Book a Deep Tissue Massage?
No matter who you are, a deep tissue massage can have benefits for you. Even if you don’t have problems with pain, stiffness, or joint dysfunction, you can benefit from the stress-relieving effects of a deep tissue massage.
You should know that the benefits of deep tissue massages are not always immediately realized. Contrary to popular belief, a massage therapist cannot undo years of pain and tension in a single session.
However, if you’re willing to commit to a program of deep tissue massage therapy over a number of weeks, you’re certain to see benefits.
Other Types of Massage
There are some key differences between deep tissue massage and other types of massage therapy. Some other common types of massage are listed here.
This is the type of massage you may picture when you think of a “traditional” massage. A Swedish massage therapist applies gentle pressure to you with their hands, generally all over the body.
The focus of Swedish massage is generally on relaxation rather than the treatment of an injury or source of discomfort.
Hot Stone Massage
This is similar to Swedish massage in many respects. Here, however, hot stones are balanced on your skin to aid the process. This may be done along with manual massage, or in lieu of it.
This is also similar to Swedish massage. As well as physical stress relief, it focuses on emotional healing through the application of essential oils to your body.
Making the Most of Your Massage Therapy
So, what’s a deep tissue massage? If you have an injury or pain issue that keeps recurring, it might just be the solution to your problems.
If you want to book in for a massage, or you have any questions about our treatments, contact us today.