Thoughts on Deep Tissue Massage

Photo by Andrew Stamm

On July 21, 2011, results from a Consumer Reports survey showed that hands on treatments, such as deep tissue massage therapy, were more effective than prescription drugs for ailments such as neck pain. The survey even shows that deep tissue massage was found to be as effective as drugs for fibromyalgia.

The following are some more thoughts on deep tissue massage:

Many people I’ve encountered feel that deep tissue massage is a “no pain, no gain” experience where they “should” be feeling like they want to jump off of the table because the pain of the massage is so intense. While, deep tissue massage may not be the most relaxing form of hands on treatment, it certainly does not have to be a “no pain, no gain” experience.

The school of thought my work comes from teaches that it is important to relax surface muscles before releasing the deeper musculature and fascia (connective tissue that holds muscles together) with deep tissue techniques. If the surface muscles are not relaxed, it is very challenging to release deeper layers. So in order to effectively do this, deep tissue massage is often integrated with other massage techniques to help with relaxation of the body. It is also very important for the practitioner to have a thorough understanding of anatomy, kinesiology and physiology because deep tissue massage is also often a muscle specific massage.

Below are some of the benefits of deep tissue massage:
* Helps with chronic muscular pain
* Aides in injury rehabilitation
* Reduces pain caused by arthritis and or tendonitis
* Increased blood flow
* Stress relief

So the next time you choose to schedule a deep tissue massage, remember that a bit of relaxation will be involved and will go a long way!

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