Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that uses firm pressure and slow strokes to reach deep layers of muscles and the connective tissues that surround those muscles. To start a deep tissue massage therapy, light pressure is used to prepare muscles. After prepping the muscles, a massage therapist will apply deep pressure using his or her elbow, forearm, knuckles and thumbs.
During a deep tissue massage, you may feel discomfort or even some pain. Pain may cause your body to tense making it harder for your massage therapist to reach the deeper layers of muscle. So, if you feel any pain let your massage therapist know. That way he or she can adjust their technique or further prep your muscles before continuing with the deep tissue manipulation.
Benefits of deep tissue massage therapy
1. Relieves pain
Deep tissue massage therapy can be used to treat chronic pain affecting the neck, shoulders, legs and upper and lower back.
2. Lowers blood pressure
People who receive a deep tissue massage for 45 to 60 minutes have a significant dip in their blood pressure readings. For this reason, deep tissue massage therapy may be used as part of a holistic approach to treat hypertension.
3. Reduces stress and anxiety
Deep tissue massage therapy can cause an increase in the production of oxytocin which creates positive emotions. It also causes lower levels of cortisol—the stress hormone.
4. Breaks up scarred tissue
When a person is injured or has a surgery, bands of painful, scarred tissues sometimes form. A massage therapist will apply pressure that will help to break up these bands and realign tissue fibres.
Is it safe?
Deep tissue massage therapy is not safe for everyone. People who have blood clots should speak with a physician before booking an appointment for a deep tissue massage. You should also consult a doctor if you’ve just had a surgery, radiation treatment, chemotherapy or any other major medical procedure.
If you have osteoporosis or other diseases that cause your bones to easily fracture, it is best to avoid deep tissue massage therapy. Additionally, you should not have a massage done directly over bruises, rashes, unhealed wounds or tumours. If you are pregnant, you should not have a deep tissue massage. Instead, see someone who is trained in pregnancy massage therapy. But speak with your doctor before doing so.
Are you looking for a registered massage therapist in Burnaby?
If you are in Burnaby and want to have a deep tissue massage, come see the experienced team at Pacific Health and Sports Therapy. We operate a massage, sports therapy, and chiropractic clinic that uses multiple treatment strategies. These strategies focus on optimal recovery, improved health and resilience, stress reduction and more. So, call us today to book an appointment with one of our registered massage therapists.