Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that concentrates on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. The purpose of this technique is to lengthen, relax and release strain patterns within the muscles so that the posture of the body can realign itself. Therapists use a combination of slow strokes and deep pressure by fingers, hands and forearms on tight places either following or going across the fibres of the muscles. As opposed to other massage techniques, deep tissue massage concentrates on the certain parts of the body that are strained; therefore, it is not unusual to have a session that concentrates fully on the lower back, neck or shoulder.
Who can benefit from deep tissue massage?
There are a wide range of ailments that can be remedied through deep tissue massage, including quite a few problems originating in the back. Lower back pain is increasingly common, with as many as sixty percent of people in the UK reporting to have had back pain at one time or another. This can be a result of pulling a muscle from lifting something too heavy or simply because of bad posture. Now that we are leading more sedentary lives, with many of us working for hours in front of computers, our posture is suffering, causing back pain. Even those of us that work physical jobs can suffer from repetitive stress injuries that can be relieved through deep tissue massage. Stress is also an important factor in back and neck pain, as it can cause us to tense our muscles for long periods of time, eventually causing pain. When muscles are contracted for long periods of time, they can develop ‘trigger points,’ where muscle fibres have bunched up, restricting both muscle function and circulation.
How does deep tissue massage help?
When muscles are strained or stressed, they block the circulation of oxygen and nutrients from flowing through the muscle. This can lead to inflammation that can build up toxins in the muscle tissue. By placing pressure on these muscles with slow strokes, the muscles can be loosened or relaxed, releasing the build up of toxins and allowing oxygen and nutrients to circulate again. Not only is this technique therapeutic, but it can be corrective in those clients that have suffered from muscle tension for a long time.
What to expect during deep tissue massage
Most massage therapists will take the time during the first appointment to learn the client’s history and current problems. The therapist should be told if the client is pregnant, taking medications, has joint problems or skin allergies, or has a history of respiratory or heart problems. Clients should avoid eating large meals or drinking alcohol before a session. Deep tissue massage is applied directly through the skin and body oil is usually applied. Clients may experience some discomfort when the technique is applied in certain areas, but this should subside after the session. If the pain is too much to bear, clients should tell their therapist without hesitation. Because toxins are released into the body, clients should drink plenty of water after a session to help flush the toxins from the body.