Deep tissue massage is a particular type of massage that focuses on deep, sustained, and firm finger pressure on the inner muscle and tissue layers. It is mostly advised to treat musculoskeletal problems such as sports injuries that require firm strokes for better functioning of lymphatic circulation and enhanced flexibility. In this article, we will review a few benefits of deep tissue massage with regard to the wellbeing of the overall body and mind, as well as the reduction of specific physical problems such as knee pain or sciatica.
What Are the Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
- Reducing Pain: Whether because of bad posture at a desk job or a rather serious injury in a sports match, muscle cramps can be excruciatingly painful. The first target of deep tissue massage is to reduce the pain of muscle cramps by decreasing inflammation and increasing blood flow.
Deep tissue massage strokes can also break up muscle knots and clusters of stiff tissue which can reduce muscle tension as well. With the elimination of muscle spasm, chronic muscle pain, such as back pain or shoulder pain, will be significantly reduced. Also, with the removal of muscle knots, body flexibility and mobility will also be higher.
Additionally, bad body posture is one of the primary causes of pain. Deep tissue massage is a great natural way to improve one’s body posture and alignment along with the removal of muscle soreness that may restrict one from taking the proper posture during long hours of sitting/walking or lifting heavy objects.
As well, deep tissue massage therapy can be effective in reducing pain and discomfort in another possible way. Massage strokes can increase a special type of protein in the muscles which is in charge of the production of mitochondria, a central part of living cells that is also known as the powerhouses of the cells. This chemical is chiefly effective in muscle recovery and healing.
- Improving Body Chemical Balance: Deep tissue massage can increase the production of endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin, both of which are remarkably effective in improving one’s moods. On the other hand, deep tissue massage is also effective in lessening the level of the stress hormone, Cortisol.
Improved and balanced secretion of body chemicals which directly influence happiness can decrease one’s stress, depression, tension, fatigue, pain, and headache. It can also promote sleep quality and therefore prevent further exhaustion and fatigue. Furthermore, various techniques of deep tissue massage can also be highly beneficial in reducing one’s high blood pressure.
- Making Physical Recovery Faster and Easier: It is believed that deep tissue massage can help to destruct scar tissue formed after an injury and therefore reduce pain and tension in the deeper layer of the injured muscles. Deep tissue massage can break up knots, make space for more blood, smooth the extraction of toxins out of the previously tight or twisted muscles, and finally replace it with oxygenated and fresh blood. The result of this process is to relax the muscles that are of extraordinary help in healing sports injuries which involve tightness and scars in the deeper layers of muscles. However, it should be noted that no direct pressure should be applied to the bruised and afflicted area.
Can Deep Tissue Massage Heal Sciatica Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, and Knee Pain
As mentioned above, deep tissue massage can be beneficial in many ways. But, what about more major problems? Here, we will address three of more serious physical complications that have been subjects of controversies whether deep tissue massage is also effective for them or not.
Although the answer to all of them is YES, no direct pressure should be applied to the bruised, afflicted, or too painful areas. Nevertheless, deep tissue massage is never as comfortable and pleasant as Swedish massage. Deep tissue massage clients will feel soreness, especially during the massage session. Pain relief and relaxation gradually come after the session.
In general, it should be noted that any massage type including deep tissue massage is a complementary therapy and does not replace medicines prescribed by a specialist. Moreover, patients with a history of blood clots should not receive any type of deep pressure massages such as deep tissue massage. On the whole, discussing a specialist about receiving massage therapy is definitely recommended.
- Sciatica Pain: The agonizing lower back pain of sciatica can become devastating. Deeper pressure of deep tissue massage can aim the agitated nerve roots and their surroundings, which can lead to more relaxed muscles. With the alleviation of muscle spasms, sciatica nerves will also be less compressed and therefore sciatica pain can be relieved. Deep tissue massage can help the blood flow to circulate better, which can finally offload chronic tension and pressure from the afflicted nerves.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is the pain one may feel around his/her foot bottom, specifically after getting out of the bed or resting after a long walk. Deep tissue massage can actually help the irritated muscles of Achilles heel, fascia, and calf to relax and lessen the pain the patient would feel.
- Knee Pain: Knee tissue and muscles are among the most exposed ones to injury during activities such as standing, sitting, jumping, walking, running, bending, or lifting. Deep tissue massage can loosen the injured muscles and tissues, together with facilitating better blood flow. In addition, this massage type can lower the level of muscle adhesion which can be caused by too much strain and tension.