(DTM) Deep tissue massage, a type of massage therapy, is employed to treat various medical issues such as high blood pressure, low back pain, and limited range of motion. A variety of methods are used in this form of massage to target areas of concern and improve one’s overall wellbeing.
In this blog, we’ll be Exploring the Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage and discussing the approaches employed by registered massage therapists, what types of conditions it can address, and the physical advantages that accompany deep tissue massage.
- Definition of deep tissue massage
- Techniques used in deep tissue massage
- Advantages of deep tissue massage
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The Basics of Deep Tissue Massage
Rather than concentrating on relaxation like a Swedish massage, deep tissue massage is a treatment that targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. It is a therapeutic technique that works on the deeper musculature and fascia of the body.
Areas of the body associated with pain, such as the shoulder, neck and waist, are often the target of DTM. The purpose of this form of therapy is to reduce adhesions, ease tension, enhance blood flow, and restore proper functioning of the musculoskeletal system.
Techniques for Deep Tissue Massage
Various strategies are used by deep tissue massage therapists in order to target areas of tension and distress. A few of the more popular techniques are:
- Using gentle strokes to create tension in the muscle fibers.
- Keeping a firm pressure to reach the deep tissues.
- Reliance on body weight to apply pressure through hands, knuckles, or elbows, allowing gravity to reduce fatigue for the massage therapist.
- Extending or activating the muscle to enable the brain to control the movements.
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The application of massage techniques should be conducted in such a way that the client experiences only a minimal amount of discomfort or none at all, as the deeper muscle layers may be more sensitive than the skin’s surface.
Advantages of Deep Tissue Manipulation
One of the key advantages of deep tissue massage is that it helps to reduce muscle tension. By using sustained pressure on the affected area, it can help to relieve chronic pain and tension in the muscles. It can also increase flexibility and range of motion, as well as improve posture. Additionally, deep tissue massage can be beneficial for reducing inflammation and soothing sore muscles. In addition to these physical benefits, deep tissue massage can also improve mental wellbeing. By reducing stress, it can help to reduce anxiety and depression.
Research into the physical advantages of deep tissue massage has been conducted extensively. A few of the main benefits of this type of massage are listed below:
1. Lowering Blood Pressure
Lowering one’s blood pressure can be achieved through a variety of methods. These can include dietary changes, physical activity, and weight loss. Additionally, certain medications may also be prescribed to help reduce blood pressure.
A study with 263 subjects revealed that deep tissue massage had a notable impact on lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The systolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating, while the diastolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting in between beats.
The average blood pressure of a person during a single cardiac cycle (MAP) and the heart rate (HR) per minute both decreased after a deep tissue massage (DTM).
2. Enhancing Range of Motion (ROM)
A study was conducted on a group of individuals who were experiencing neck pain. Those who underwent 10 sessions of Rolfing (a form of deep tissue massage) showed an improvement in their active range of motion (AROM).
Subjects showed an average increase of 13 degrees in their ability to rotate their neck in both directions. Furthermore, there was a notable gain in range of motion in all categories, including left and right rotation, left and right flexion, extension, and flexion in general. Moreover, the participants experienced a significant decrease in average pain levels.
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3. Alleviating Pain
- Cesarian – Mothers who have undergone a Cesarian section can experience significant pain, which may lead to discomfort and anxiety. A study was done to explore the potential of deep tissue massage to address this. Results showed that those who received the massage treatment reported greater comfort levels and lower pain scores compared to those who did not.
- Decreased Low Back Pain – A research team assessed the effects of deep tissue massage on non-specific back pain. Results indicated that the massage technique was able to improve pain tolerance and reduce subjective pain ratings on the VAS scale, similar to the findings from the Cesarian section study.
- Decreased Plantar Heel Pain – Plantar heel pain is a common condition that affects 10% of the population. The researchers conducted deep tissue massage treatments on the calves of individuals with this kind of pain and found that it reduced pain and increased pain tolerance, particularly when the massage involved heavy rolling and manual massage on the plantar flexor muscles of the calf.
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A therapeutic approach to better one’s health can be achieved through deep tissue massage. This method of massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues, leading to a range of benefits such as reducing pain, providing more flexibility and even enhancing physical capabilities. All in all, this massage therapy is an excellent way to restore balance and improve overall wellbeing.
At Propel Physiotherapy, our registered massage therapists are highly qualified and well-versed in multiple treatment approaches. You can reach out to us and schedule a free assessment with one of our therapists to understand how DTM can be combined into your treatment to minimize discomfort and enhance your movement.