Deep tissue massage is extremely well-known across the world, and in particular is used very commonly among athletes. Deep tissue massage utilizes aspects of other types of massage, but as the name suggests the idea is to go deeper into the muscle, which provides certain results which I will go into later in this article.
As mentioned before athletes are prime candidates for deep tissue massage, but so are others who have severe chronic pain or tightness. The reason for this is due to the nature of the pain or injury. Chronic muscle tension is almost always the result of muscle, ligament, and tendon adhesion, which is what occurs when tissue forms into stiff, rigid bands. As you can imaging, these adhesions can cause significant problems, mainly flexibility and circulation issues, along with pain.
What deep tissue massage does is break down any adhesions or scar tissue over time so that your body can heal with healthy tissue. To do so, deep tissue massage borrows some techniques from other massage types, like friction strokes from Swedish Massage.
Deep Tissue Massage Techniques
Here is a video that will show you an introductory approach to deep tissue massage techniques. You will notice that they are not complicated or difficult techniques to apply, but other factors than the stroke itself, like speed and pressure, are much more important than in other aspects of massage.
Deep Tissue Massage Benefits
Eliminates Scar Tissue
Scar tissue is the remnant of muscle trauma from a natural reaction for the body to heal quickly. Unfortunately scar tissue is rigid and often causes re-occurring injuries for an indefinite period of time. To fix this deep tissue massage can be used to break down the scar tissue so new healthy tissue can be formed. This can in many cases completely fix any pain or flexibility issues.
Improves Circulation/Blood Pressure
At Louisiana State University a study was done to determine if deep tissue massage would improve blood pressure levels and heart beat rate. The results were very promising, showing a reduction of 10.8 heartbeats per minute and a statistically significant reduction in arterial and diastolic blood pressure.
Can Help Reduce Chronic Pain
Because of all the different things deep tissue massage helps with, it can often be extremely helpful at reducing chronic pain, even if there is more than one cause. The circulation benefits that accompany it like any other massage help in a variety of ways. Also, the deep pressure helps re-align muscle tissue and fibers, almost like a ‘reset’ button for your body.
The bottom line is that deep tissue massage is a great tool for a masseuse to have, and for people with chronic pain to look into.