There are many different types of massage and they all have their different benefits. From relieving tension and relaxation to helping improve physical performance and general health and well-being, some of the techniques we use in our clinic have been handed down over many generations.
One of our approaches to massage is deep tissue massage. If you have a sports injury or strain or suffer from muscle aches, this type of more intensive massage technique can provide instant relief and help promote better recovery.
What many people don’t know is that a deep tissue massage can also be used to relieve stress, lower blood pressure and improve chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia.
The Best Massage for Muscle Knots
Many of our regular clients who book into our Crawley clinic benefit from a deep tissue massage. Often called a massage for muscle knots, it works on underlying tissues in the body, with the therapist using firmer and deeper strokes than you would find in a more superficial relaxing massage.
During a deep tissue massage, we normally start with lighter strokes to help warm up the muscles before working in with more pressure. It includes techniques such as stripping where the pressure runs along the length of a muscle. This can help reduce adhesions and knots and align the tissue fibres as well as improve blood flow.
Deep tissue massage requires an intimate knowledge of the physiology of muscle groups and can feel slightly uncomfortable at times especially if you have specific problem areas.
Deep Tissue Massage Benefits
Before we decide that deep tissue massage is an appropriate form of therapy, our professional therapists will discuss your full medical history and talk through the process with you, so you know what to expect. Deep tissue massage tends to focus on one or two particular areas rather than the whole body and has a wide range of benefits, including:
1. Deep tissue massage for muscle recovery
We’ve all experienced that familiar sensation of muscle soreness after exercising. This is caused by a build up of lactic acid in the muscles. A deep tissue massage is one of the best ways to relieve that pain and improve recovery time.
A 2005 study found that massage can help reduce the impact of problems such as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS by as much as 30%. It’s one of the reasons why professional athletes hit the massage table when they have finished training.
2. Deep tissue massage for pain relief
Many people live with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, sciatica, lower back pain and plantar fasciitis. Deep tissue massage is a non-invasive and effective method of helping to reduce pain for these conditions. It can also help with some sporting injuries such as muscle strains and can be used to ease pain from tennis elbow.
A 2017 research study looked at patients who suffered from ankylosing spondylitis and found that those who had a regular deep tissue massage showed an improvement in their pain levels compared to traditional therapeutic massage techniques.
3. Deep tissue massage for better recovery
We often see clients with musculoskeletal issues in our clinic. This can include problems such as muscle tears and strains. Both deep tissue and soft tissue massage can help reduce stiffness and pain as well as improve circulation to speed up recovery.
A recent study found that massage can help remove inflammation factors such as cytokines from the muscle which may play a role in better recovery.
While deep tissue massage can help improve recovery time, it is important to have your injury properly assessed. You need to make sure that this kind of treatment will be effective and not cause more damage.
4. Deep tissue massage for lowering blood pressure
While most of our clients understand that deep tissue massage is great for problems such as sports injuries and pain relief, few realise that it can also potentially help reduce blood pressure.
A study in 2008 found that regular massages reduced systolic BP by 10 mm of mercury and about 5.3 mm of mercury for diastolic pressure. Of course, massage in general is a good way to relax and can many techniques can have a beneficial effect on blood pressure.
5. Deep tissue massage for breaking up scar tissue
One of the big benefits of deep tissue massage is in helping to break up scar tissue. We develop scar tissue after an injury and it can either be visible on the surface of the skin or found deeper in the body.
A systematic review of research found that several studies demonstrated how massage therapy can help improve scar tissue, including reducing thickening and pigmentation.
6. Deep tissue massage for relaxation and stress relief
While deep tissue massage is often used in our clinic for relief from pain and musculoskeletal issues, it is increasingly being employed as a way of relieving stress and relaxation.
When we are constantly stressed out, many muscle groups can become knotted and tense, especially around the shoulders and neck. Stretching and spreading the muscle fibres can certainly help relieve all that tension.
One study showed that even a brief massage can ‘jumpstart’ the parasympathetic nervous system and help restore balance to the body.
7. Deep tissue massage for improving flexibility and mobility
If you suffer from poor mobility and lack of flexibility, it can often be due to the tightness of the muscles. A deep tissue massage improves circulation and helps break up knotted tissue which should, in turn, improve flexibility. It’s an approach that is often used by sports therapists and physiotherapists to help with the range of movement.
Who Shouldn’t Have a Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage benefits are wide-ranging and include recovery from injury, pain relief and even the reduction of stress. There are some people, however, who may not be suitable. These include:
- If you have an injury that would be made worse by using a more physical technique such as deep tissue massage.
- If you are pregnant. Gentler options such as Swedish massage will be more appropriate.
- If you have a condition such as blood clots or are taking medication like blood thinners.
- If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy.
At our massage clinic in Crawley, we always assess our clients before applying any massage technique.Want to find out more about the benefits of deep tissue massage? Book an appointment with our team today.