Are you someone who has a regular workout routine — but occasionally, or not at all — gets a massage?
If so, unfortunately, you are doing your body and workout routine a disservice. If you work out four or more times each week, you should consider including deep tissue massage in your schedule.
If not, your muscles will be tight, and massage could affect your workouts. In addition to missing out on many health benefits, most people wait too long between massage sessions. Many people don’t allow enough time for each session, especially if that massage is for deep tissue.
Massage therapy has been used for thousands of years to relax muscles and promote a healthy lifestyle. Hindus, Persians, Egyptians, and many other ancient cultures have documented using massage to cure many types of illnesses and ailments.
Today, massage is used as both a tool for relaxation, stress relief, pain reduction, arthritis treatment, and fatigue, among other health conditions. Deep tissue massage is one type of advanced massage technique that addresses these types of health issues and has many long-term benefits if deep tissue massage therapy is used regularly.
What is a Deep Tissue Massage?
The process of deep tissue massage therapy begins with getting your muscles to relax so your massage therapist can get to the lower layer of connective tissue. Unlike Swedish massage, deep tissue massage involves deeper strokes and harder pressure. Deep tissue massage therapy uses firm pressure and slow strokes to massage deep layers of muscle and facia, the connective tissue surrounding your muscles.
Deep tissue massages are used to break down muscle adhesions — commonly referred to as “knots” that we feel — that forms in the body. Muscle knots are rigid and painful muscle tissue bands that can inhibit your circulation and cause your body pain and inflammation over time.
Deep tissue massage starts with your Optimal Wellness massage therapist applying lighter pressure to warm up your muscles and then begins to work in deeper pressure to your muscles. Standard deep tissue massage techniques can include stripping, which is applying deep pressure that glides along the length of your muscle fibers and friction. This deep pressure technique applied across your muscle’s grain breaks up adhesions and aligns your tissue fibers.
How is Deep Tissue Massage Different from Other Types of Massage?
Most other types of massage focus on relaxation and take a whole-body approach rather than focusing on a specific area of the body. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, in 2020, 30% of consumers who got a massage was for health and wellness reasons. Many study consumers stated their massage routine was part of a treatment plan from a doctor or medical provider.
Comparatively, Swedish massage uses the same long-stroke techniques, but this type of massage uses different pressure amounts on the body. Other gentler massage techniques follow a set pattern of stroke techniques and are not designed to focus on treating problem areas of your muscles.
Health Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massages have many benefits for both your physical and mental well-being. This type of massage is a simple way to relace and treat your medical issues. Some of the top benefits of deep tissue massage include stress and pain reduction, better circulation, arthritis relief, and better sleep. Let’s take a deeper look into these deep tissue massage benefits.
1. Stress Relief
Massage therapy, including deep tissue massage, has been proven to help lower stress levels. Whether you are experiencing stress due to work or at home, getting a massage is a great way to relax for an extended period.
For example, several weight lifters tend to exhibit a hard-driving type-A personality, making relaxation hard to achieve. Deep tissue massage can help increase muscle relaxation levels for lifters when a weight lifting situation can be stressful and better for the athlete.
Deep tissue massage helps reduce stress hormones in the body while also boosting your “feel good” neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. The increase of your oxytocin level relaxes your body and helps produce soothing effects.
Deep tissue massage can also help with physical symptoms of stress, such as tight muscles, shoulder pain, and tension headaches. Deep tissue massages can address these types of physical issues and overall help your body relax.
2. Pain Reduction
As discussed above, deep tissue massage techniques work out the knots from stressed, overworked muscles and connective tissue to help alleviate pain. Research revealed that 57% of consumers got massages because they were concerned with pain relief or pain management.
Deep tissue massage can also reduce chronic joint and muscle pain with an active massage routine. Massage can alleviate muscle pain and scar tissue especially for athletes that may be overworked or injured. For example, an athlete with a sports injury will not approach maximum exertion if the muscles experience chronic or acute pain.
Muscle tension usually occurs with chronic pain. Over time, deep tissue massage can promote a faster healing process for your body by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation. Deep tissue massage loosens the tight tissue clusters that are a primary cause of pain in your body.
Deep tissue massage can be more effective at relieving pain compared to medication or other medical treatments. It also tends to be a cost-effective solution for pain relief. Pain is a sign that something is wrong, so seeking help from a massage therapist is one option to help manage your pain.
3. Improves Circulation
Deep tissue massage can help you improve your circulation. Better circulation can benefit your breathing and help make movement easier.
During regular exercise, your muscle and fascia tissue can become damaged. That damage needs to be restored to help increase your blood flow. Deep tissue massage helps improve blood flow, so in turn, therapeutic massage techniques can help improve your circulation and enhance your exercise performance levels.
Deep tissue massage has a significant impact on your lymphatic and blood circulation. Muscle movement influences waste removal from muscle areas experiencing issues and replenishes the oxygen supply to the area with decreased circulation.
Overall, deep tissue massage can improve your circulation and lead to a faster recovery of aching muscles in the body.
4. Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
Deep tissue massage therapy can be used to treat many different symptoms of arthritis. Some arthritis symptoms include limited range of motion in joints, stiffness, joint pain, and sleep issues caused by your arthritis.
Deep tissue massage techniques apply moderate to deep pressure to the muscles, which can help ease tension and pain caused by your arthritis. Deep tissue massage research has shown that stimulating pressure receptors — or nerves under the skin that produce pain-reducing signals to the brain — massage pressure techniques lead to a reduction of symptoms.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, a 2018 study found that patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) that received a one-hour deep tissue massage weekly experienced a significant improvement in arthritis pain and mobility after eight weeks of treatment.
There are many over-the-counter treatments for arthritis symptoms, but many people choose a holistic approach to managing arthritis pain. The bottom line is that although there are many natural remedies for arthritis symptoms, deep tissue massage techniques are among the most promising for relieving pain caused by arthritis.
5. Improves Sleep
While good nutrition and exercise are often recommended as the foundation of good health, research shows that quality sleep should be a significant part of any healthy holistic lifestyle. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, it is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans experience some level of sleep issues that negatively impact their overall health.
Deep tissue massage has the power to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. Not only will regular deep tissue massage help you feel good, but you’ll also have improved sleep due to less pain and an increase in serotonin.
Over time, more sleep and deeper quality sleep help you have a better performance in your everyday activities, even your exercise routines. If you are going to bed in a high-tension state, not only will it be more challenging to get to sleep, but it may also cause you to wake up during the night. Waking up throughout your sleep cycle can compromise your overall health.
We all understand that sleep is a big part of improving your overall health and can aid recovery. Deep tissue massage can reduce tension in your body to promote a longer and deeper night of sleep.
Schedule Your Deep Tissue Massage in Boulder or Longmont Today
Whether you are an athlete, suffering from arthritis, need pain relief, seek mobility management, or just want to relieve stress, there are many benefits to working with an experienced Colorado deep tissue massage therapist at Optimal Wellness.
Learn more about the benefits of deep tissue massage and other movement therapies to promote better overall wellness at our two Colorado massage locations in Boulder and Longmont. At Optimal Wellness, we offer a variety of services to help you perform better and improve your quality of life. Learn more about our wellness services on our website or book your appointment with our skilled Colorado massage therapist to get on the road to optimal wellness.
Our team of professionals is the perfect choice for you if you are looking for safe and effective massages that will help you feel more recovered even after one session. If that is something you are looking for, contact us right away and book a session now.