According to the Mayo Clinic, massage may be useful in the following areas:
- Relieving anxiety
- Treating digestive disorders
- Dealing with the pain related to fibromyalgia
- Reducing headaches
- Helping to combat stress-related insomnia
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Injuries or strains of the soft tissue
- Injuries that occur while playing sport
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- M.J. pain
While the clinic agreed that massage showed promise in the treatment of some disorders, it did clarify that more research was needed when it comes to this area.
Science is on the fence, but anecdotal evidence suggests that there might be a lot more to its effectiveness.
In this post, we will look at massage in general and deep tissue massage benefits in particular.
What Is A Deep Tissue Massage?
This is a form of massage therapy that requires that massage therapists have a deeper understanding of how the different muscles, bones, and tissues in the body interact.
This type of massage aims to help relieve muscle pain and muscle tension by also changing the structure of the soft tissues around the muscles.
When it comes to pain relief, the study shows the effectiveness of massage when it comes to dealing with chronic pain such as lower back pain.
The study noted how applying deep pressure could be beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension.
But what effects could you expect? Could it work for neck pain, shoulder pain or for sciatica nerve pain? What about Piriformis syndrome (in sport)?
There are many muscle injuries, and muscle knots that can be eased through this therapeutic massage, but not every chronic muscle issue or all health conditions will respond.
Not all pressure therapy gives the best benefits & techniques in healthcare may need to be adjusted.
Sports massage might be more effective at reducing pain that is the result of repetitive motion such as bodybuilding or relieving pain next day from more training.
Can A Deep Tissue Massage Help You Lose Weight?
The massage sessions in themselves are not going to help you with weight loss. The massage treatment will, however, help to speed toxins out of your system, improve blood flow and break up cellulite.
Other health benefits are just as significant.
Using a firm massage pressure can help to relax your mind and so lower your blood pressure. Now, modern high-end massage chairs have a deep kneading massage programs to help alleviate pain.
In some cases may help and it can be effective.
Of course, the mental massage benefits also mean that you feel better and more motivated to try healthy recipes.
How Painful Is A Deep Tissue Massage?
D.T.M. might involve the use of a roller or some other tools that allow the therapist to zone in on trigger points.
This can help with reducing pain or restoring the range of motion of a tight muscle.
Depending on the extent of the problem, the process might be somewhat painful, and you can expect bruising during recovery.
How To Give A Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massages can be enhanced through the use of essential oils.
This is especially helpful when treating scar tissues and, when done correctly, reduces stress.
The key is the part about doing it correctly. You need to have a basic understanding of massage techniques, the soft tissues and connective tissue of the body.
This is not a pregnancy massage so avoid practicing on pregnant women. Also, avoid those with heart disease.
Work on the area that is causing the pain, rather than the area that the pain manifests itself. Pain can be referred to, as you should know if you have done some homework on this topic.
For example, pain as a result of an impinged nerve could manifest as tight and sore neck, shoulder, arm and leg muscles.
Work in long, deep strokes one layer at a time. Consider using your elbow to help loosen up stubborn areas.
Deep Tissue Massage Vs. Swedish Massage
D.T.M. aimed at making changes deep within the body. So it is helpful when postural issues are causing you pain, for example.
Long strokes and even, firm pressure is used.
With Swedish massage, on the other hand, the goal is to help release muscle tension and stimulate the circulation.
To this end, the strokes are also firm and long, but faster.
Other massage techniques like friction to warm up the skin are also employed to stimulate blood flow.
It is good for conditions where muscles have been strained and can speed up recovery time.
Massage techniques have some proven health benefits. While they might not directly help us to lose weight, they can be used to ensure that our other weight loss efforts go more smoothly.
Say, for example, that you decide to hit the gym twice a week to help you get into shape. You are bound to be sore and tired the next day, and this can be demotivating.
If, on the other hand, you schedule a short sport’s massage just after your workout, or on the day after, the stiffness will not feel as bad, and your muscles will recover faster.
Massage can help to speed blood flow to the muscles and get rid of lactic acid. From a nutrient perspective, massage can be good as well.
This is especially true if you are typically an emotional eater. You can go for a massage when you are feeling down, instead of wolfing down the ice cream. If you are under a lot of pressure at work, massage can help you get a handle on that.
It relaxes the body and helps to reduce the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream. High cortisol levels are linked to an increased chance of obesity. If you can cut the stress cycle off at the knees, you will be more motivated to eat properly, and your body will produce less cortisol as well. It is a win-win.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and book your appointment today.
Marian Majchrzycki, Piotr Kocur, and Tomasz Kotwicki, “Deep Tissue Massage and Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Low Back Pain: A Prospective Randomized Trial,” The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2014, Article ID 287597, seven pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/287597