For ancient cultures, a massage was almost considered a privilege for the richest social classes. With the passing of time, massages became a common practice in the world due to its proven benefits. After several investigations, many different types of massages have been created. Also, many of these are being employed to improve people’s health quality. Among these, one stands out: deep tissue massage.
Deep tissue massage, as its name shows, is mainly used to treat damages within the layers of the skin. To get that deep, it is necessary to apply deeper pressure. However, deep tissue massage is more than that. It is composed of techniques which go from light pressure (as a warming up stage) to deep pressure. For example, Stripping and Friction are very common techniques used for this type of massage.
The first one consists of deep pressure on the muscle fibers. In order to do so, different body parts are employed by the therapists. For example, elbows, forearms, knuckles and thumbs. It makes possible a deeper reach into the layers of muscle fibers. Regarding the second one, friction is used to realign tissue fibers, which makes us gain more motion and some strength. It also includes strokes as in normal massages but they are slower and with more pressure.
Due to the depth reached, this massage is especially helpful to treat stiff necks, low back tightness, sore shoulders, among others. When we suffer from muscle knots or adhesions we should look for a deep tissue massage therapist. By doing so, we prevent these problems from obstructing a free circulation and causing pain and inflammation. With this kind of massage, it is possible to work on the deep affected body parts hence helping patients feel much lighter. Moreover, if you suffered a deep injury in one of your muscles, this could be the right therapy to accelerate the breakdown of the scar tissue. Other conditions which may be improved if performed a deep tissue massage are: repetitive strain injury (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), postural problems, osteoarthritis pain, fibromyalgia and muscle tension. The benefits will be perceived immediately. Meanwhile, in the long term, sleeping patters would improve as well as stress and anxiety levels.
Nevertheless, this is not the type of massage you normally ask for if you only want to relax. You will enjoy it because it will make you feel better, but feeling pain during a deep tissue massage session is normal. The deep pressure will make you feel uncomfortable sometimes, but in case you cannot resist it, you should alert your therapist and he/she will moderate the intensity. You can also feel sore for one or two days after the session, but in the long run, the relief will outweigh any possible side-effects.
If you are receiving a deep tissue massage, you should not forget to drink enough water in order to hydrate your muscles after the session. The improved circulation will take metabolites back to the cardiovascular system, and the more water you drink, faster will be accomplished this process.