A light massage might be great to be energized and get your muscles feeling relaxed, but if you have deep muscle knots and chronic pain in your muscles then you probably need a deep tissue massage. This type of massage goes deep into the muscle and kneads away at muscle knots and other problem areas.
Luckily, the massage world has come up with a few techniques to get the job done. These concentrate on massaging the muscle fibers using slow deeper strokes than the traditional effleurage massage. With a deep massage, the goal is to stretch out the muscle fibers and restore them to their natural balance.
In order to achieve this, the massage therapist will need to look for muscle fibers that are shortened. This happens a lot in the neck and shoulder areas and is a result of chronic tension that can happen if you sit in one position too long and is very common among computer users. In fact, anyone that sits in an office probably has some sort of shortening of the muscle fibers due to improper posture as well as work-related stress.
Another way that your muscles can become shortened or tense is as a result of injury. If you’re muscle has had a trauma to it, it can tense up in order to protect itself from further injury. Sometimes this causes adhesions which hinders circulation, therefore limiting movement in creating pain. Releasing this tension with massage can help restore your muscle back to health.
A deep tissue massage focuses on these problem areas and uses higher pressure with more pinpointed “tools” such as fingertips and elbows as opposed to using the palm of the hand. It works over a smaller area producing a higher pressure in that one spot. Different people react to this differently, some like you to really dig in and work the spot while others want a lighter pressure because it can actually be quite painful.
Using this deep massage, the affected area can be realigned and knots are literally worked out. This improves blood flow which helps to replenish nutrients in the muscle as well as remove toxins. It’s amazing how quickly the affected area will feel better once than knot is “worked out”.
Deep tissue massage therapy has a different goal than classic massage therapy. The classic massage is used to relax the client but the deep tissue work is used for treating chronic pain. Many doctors now feel that a massage is an important part of health care and in fact, the deep tissue work is often used by people with osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. If you have any of these conditions or other medical conditions that cause you pain, seek the advice of your physician to see if deep tissue massage should be a part of your treatment