Massage therapy is a relaxation technique that involves manipulating points in the body that are muscularly tense. Massage therapy is an umbrella term that is used for a variety of massage types and techniques. Some massages are soothing and relaxing while others are deep and intense demanding use of high pressure but, in general, the aim of massage therapy is to relieve pain and stress and improve the overall health of the individual.
What is a deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage is one of the three basic types of massage therapies, the other two being Swedish massage and acupuncture. Deep tissue massage therapy involves the application of strong pressure to manipulate the deeper layers of muscles and soft tissues and work out the pain causing knots or kinks present in them. Therefore, this technique is primarily used to treat pain that is chronic in nature. This therapy stretches fascia- a connective tissue that surrounds all the organs, muscles and bones of the body in order to lengthen the muscles, increase flexibility and relieve pain.
How does it work?
Chronic muscle tension, injury, or postural imbalance can cause pain and stiffness in muscles and soft tissues. This, in turn, results in shortening or contraction of muscle fibers and fibrosis (a condition in which tiny pockets of scar tissue form). Constricted muscles restrict the blood flow and also impairs the ability of the lymphatic system to remove the waste products from the body. The stiff muscles and soft tissues get glued together thereby creating adhesions. Deep tissue massage therapy works by applying pressure to release adhesions and lengthen the shortened or contracted muscles to improve blood circulation and removal of waste by the lymphatic system.
Does deep tissue massage hurt?
People who opt for deep tissue massage therapy frequently ask this question that is a deep tissue massage painful. How much pressure is applied? How deep is too deep? Well, the answer to these questions varies from individual to individual. For some people, a certain amount of pressure will be comfortable while for others the same amount of pressure can cause pain. These differences can also occur between different parts of the body. Pressures that seemed comfortable on the back can prove to be painfully intense in the lower legs.
Stiffness or pain experienced after a deep tissue massage therapy is completely normal, and it should subside within two to three days, leaving your body relaxed and rejuvenated. It is advisable that after getting a deep tissue massage therapy, you should allow your body to relax. You should take a warm bath, and drink lots of water to help the body get rid of any waste products that have been discharged from the muscles and soft tissues. Staying away from caffeine and liquor is also suggested, for similar reasons.
While getting a deep tissue massage therapy, you should tell the therapist what amount of pressure your body can bear. Pain caused due to intense pressure can cause your body to tense up making it difficult for the therapist to reach deeper layers of muscles and soft tissue. Therefore it is advisable to work with comfortable levels of pressure.
Laura Martel is a mother of two and a geek at heart. She loves reading books and spending time with her family. She regularly blogs at www.MassageTut.com.