6 Proven Benefits Of Deep Tissue Massage
While some massages relax and rejuvenate your body, deep tissue massage has therapeutic effects which are capable of healing your body and repairing muscles, tissues, and joints. The slow, firm strokes against the grain of the muscle may cause some discomfort because deep tissue massage impacts deep layers of muscle and connecting tissues known as fascia.
The use of massage as a way to treat chronic pain and other musculoskeletal ailments has been on for thousands of years. Ayurveda prescribes specific oil-based massages to treat muscle injuries and for detoxification. Ancient Egyptian and Chinese civilizations have also used pressure massages to improve health and maintain a healthy liver. In modern times, deep tissue massage has been used to supplement muscle recovery and treat chronic conditions because of the many benefits it offers.
What Is Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a specific type of massage that works on the deep layers of muscle and fascia in the body. A fascia is a band or sheet of connective tissue beneath the skin, consisting primarily of collagen. It attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.
Unlike Swedish massage, which has a relaxing effect and uses lighter pressure, deep tissue massage is done using deep finger pressure with strokes that are firm and slow. Deep tissue massage has several therapeutic effects and can be used to treat many different conditions. This type of massage is ideal for the treatment of major muscle groups like the neck or lower back. It can also be used to relieve strain and treat injuries in your joints and tendons.
What To Expect
The first thing to bear in mind is that deep tissue massage is used for therapy and rehabilitation, not relaxation. So you need to be prepared to feel some discomfort during a deep tissue massage and even after. You will most probably lie on your stomach or back while the massage therapist applies various degrees of pressure on tight muscles that have issues and are lying dormant in your body.
You will experience some pain during the massage as this form of massage concentrates on relieving strain and tension from tissues that go deeper. The pain could also be because the massage uses movements against the muscles rather than moving with them. But if you think you’re experiencing intense pain, immediately inform your therapist. The best way to make the most of a deep tissue massage is to be as relaxed as you can and trust your therapist to massage your pain away. That’s why it’s important to go to a certified and experienced massage therapist for a deep tissue massage.
Benefits Of Deep Tissue Massage
1. Lowers High Blood Pressure
Since deep tissue massage is designed to work on the deep layers of tissue in the body, it also has an impact on your blood flow. In 2008, a study was conducted with 263 volunteers with an average age of 48.5 years who were suffering from moderate or severe muscle strain. Each patient was given a deep tissue massage for 45-60 minutes. Blood pressure readings showed a dip when compared to readings taken before the massage indicating that deep tissue massage has a positive impact on lowering blood pressure. Though the exact mechanism of how this happens needs more study, you could use deep tissue massage as part of a holistic approach to treating hypertension.
2. Reduces Stress And Anxiety
Deep tissue massage could also be a solution to all that stress life throws at you. Studies have shown that massage can increase the production of a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone is also known as the bonding hormone as it influences social interactions and creates positive emotions. Massage also helps reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels.
3. Treats Back Pain
According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time. When researchers conducted experiments to confirm if indeed deep tissue massage helped reduce chronic back pain, they found that the effect of deep tissue massage significantly reduced chronic lower back pain. In fact, in another study, deep tissue massage scored higher than therapeutic massage for treatment of lower back pain.
4. Helps Manage Labor Pain
Labor pain has been described as one of the most intense pains a human being can endure. Studies have supported the claim that massage therapy can be an effective way to reduce labor pain during pregnancy. Women who received massage therapy reported decreased depression, anxiety, and leg and back pain. It was also found that the rate of prematurity was lower and labors durations were on average 3 hours shorter with less need for medication.