You may be an athlete preparing to ramp up summertime fitness, placing a high level of demand on your body. On the other hand, you may be trying to rest and recover from an injury. Either way, see below all the different massage therapy benefits that we discovered here at Massage Lee’s Summit!
Of course, massage has been used for centuries across the world to lower stress – both physical and psychological. Today, massage continues to be utilized alongside other treatments. Massage therapy is a proven method for treating stress and pain conditions like anxiety, arthritis, and back pain.
Reducing pain and chronic discomfort is the primary goal of the deep tissue style of massage therapy. It’s not only a good way to relax, but another deep tissue massage benefit is that massage therapy also elongates muscles that oftentimes become tense and uncomfortable.
Deep Tissue Massage – What Is It?
Unlike Swedish massage that stimulates the skin with light pressure, offering a certain peaceful relaxation, deep tissue massage actually manipulates layers of muscle tissue. Fascia and other tissue in the muscles and joints are massaged and manipulated. The deep tissue method of massage involves a much slower and firmer technique.
Patients who receive deep tissue massage lie in one position on their stomach (and sometimes on their back) while a therapist applies deep pressure to specific body parts. Deep tissue massage relieves tense muscles and improves blood flow. All the while, deep tissue massage benefits include lowering psychological symptoms and releasing two important hormones – serotonin and oxytocin.
A therapist giving a deep tissue massage will typically focus on a certain area of muscles like shoulders, neck or low back. They will also work to alleviate any joint and tendon pain. For stressed and tense muscles, deep tissue treatment is generally located in the neck, shoulders, and hips. Sports massage requires the deep tissue technique for treating disability and pain, muscle recovery and further injury prevention.
Deep Tissue Massage – The Benefits
Chronic Back Pain Treatment
A research study by Studies in Health Technology and Informatics looked at how effective deep tissue massage (“oblique pressure and a combination of lengthening and cross-fiber strokes”) compared with therapeutic massage. Over a time span of just ten days, chronic back pain was significantly improved with deep tissue massage vs. therapeutic massage.
Other studies have shown similar findings regarding deep tissue massage benefits. A research study published in a 2014 issue of Scientific World Journal found similar results. Deep tissue massage had a positive effect on chronic pain reduction compared with a therapeutic massage or prescription painkillers.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Deep tissue massage can also have positive effects on blood pressure readings in adults (diastolic, systolic, and arterial).
A study involving 263 people (48 as the average age), whose muscle spasms and strain was described as moderate to severe, found that just 45 minutes of deep tissue massage had significant positive systolic blood pressure results.
Anxiety, Stress, and Muscle Tension Reduction
Muscle tension and stress can cause inflammation and eventually lead to declining health, a reduction in immune function, and significant cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure.
Deep tissue massage can increase the body’s level of oxytocin, which aids in the body’s ability to relax and remain calm. Oxytocin is also responsible for allowing humans to bond socially and cooperate with one another. Oxytocin is often referred to as the “cuddle hormone” due to its relationship to hugging and the power of touch.
Deep massage therapy benefits can include dilatation of blood vessels and the lowering of activity in the limbic system, responsible for nervous system performance and the secretion of cortisol. Massage therapy has improved relaxation by raising the activity in the nervous system, according to measurements in blood pressure and heart rate.
Scar Tissue Break Up
Deep tissue massages are often used after an injury. Massage therapy works to break up scar tissue that oftentimes causes stiffness and makes recovery difficult. By further stimulating the flow of blood and increasing oxygen levels in the nervous system, massage can reduce muscle tightness, spasms and other types of inflammation.
Inflammation prevents blood flow from improving any damaged tissue and deprives the body of nutrients. As a result, harmful toxins build up in the damaged tissue, which increases pain and swelling. Even self-massage can help to alleviate pain and swelling.
Athletic and Performance Improvement
A research study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found favorable trends showing that deep tissue massage improves athletic performance recovery from athletic injury. Sports massage helped to keep an athlete’s muscles warm and limber.
The report also revealed that the art of sports massage is a growing practice among athletes, coaches, and sports trainers. Trainers insist that deep tissue massages help to counter lactate blockage, allowing for the recovery from muscle soreness.
There are equally positive psychological benefits, as well. Athletes have identified improvement in focus, concentration, and confidence after receiving deep tissue massage. Both the physical and psychological benefits of deep tissue massage therapy appear to be promising for athletes – professional and recreational.
Childbirth and Delivery
Expectant mothers are now turning to various alternative methods for the easing of labor pain and for accompanying natural childbirth. Studies have revealed that common therapies during pregnancy are acupuncture, chiropractic care, and deep tissue massage.
During pregnancy, labor massage can result in the lowering of depression and fewer episodes of leg and back pains.
Women who receive massage therapy during labor have less pain and discomfort. In addition, their labors are shorter and require fewer pain medications. Cortisol decreases after a massage, improving blood flow and better protecting pregnant women from the risk of premature delivery.
Arthritis Pain Reduction
The Arthritis Foundation reports that massage can be used for the relief of arthritis symptoms, stiffness, anxiety, limitations in range of motion, sleep disorders, and other chronic joint pain. Deep tissue massage benefits provide arthritis relief, no matter if it is delivered by a professional therapist or by the patients themselves.
Deep tissue massage results in the reduction of joint pain when compared with a light massage. Light massage arouses instead of relaxes, causing a faster heart rate. Moderate pressure, however, results in the lowering of blood pressure and generally brings about relaxation.
Deep Tissue Massage – Final Thoughts
Deep tissue massage is a firm and manipulative therapy which releases tissue, tendon and fascia pain. When compared to Swedish massage, the deep tissue method includes pressure and firmness, allowing for a longer-lasting period of relief.
The benefits of deep tissue massage are many and should be a serious consideration for chronic pain, arthritis symptoms, sports conditioning, the lowering of blood pressure and overall health improvements. Contact Massage Lee’s Summit if you have any questions regarding massage therapy and to book an appointment today!
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