Cloud Massage – What Is Deep-Tissue Massage, and What are Its Benefits?

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A massage, whether you need to massage away a muscle spasm or you’re looking for muscle recovery options following a tough workout, can make a huge difference in your overall recovery and performance. Choosing the right kind of massage for your needs, however, is essential, whether you’re looking for a percussion massage tool that can help ease away muscle soreness or you’re looking for a massage from a loved one. Deep-tissue massage is one common type of massage used for a variety of purposes.

What is a Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep-tissue massage is a massage technique that uses sustained pressure and slow, steady strokes to target deep in muscles and connective tissue. It can help offer significant tension reduction nada make it easier for you to recover following a workout. Deep tissue massage can also be helpful when dealing with sports injuries.

Deep Tissue vs. Regular Massage

Deep tissue massage vs. Swedish massage: what’s the real difference? When most people think about massage, they imagine a Swedish massage, which uses long strokes and light to firm pressure. A deep tissue massage, however, may seem a little different.

Deep Tissue Massage is More Forceful

Deep tissue massage uses deeper pressure and a more forceful technique. The deeper pressure and intensity helps the massage therapist reach the deeper layers of the muscles and connective tissues.

Deep Tissue Massage Uses More Pressure

For some people, Swedish massage is extremely relaxing. In order to massage deep tissue, however, the massage therapist must apply considerably more pressure, which may be more beneficial to some patients.

Swedish Massage is Intended for Relaxation

Swedish massage is, at its heart, intended for relaxation, and uses a light-to-hard pressure technique to help achieve that deep relaxation in the patient. Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, is intended or working out tension deep in the muscles or aiding in recovery from minor muscle strains and sports injuries. As a result, the patient may experience some discomfort during a deep tissue massage.

The Two Techniques May Focus on Different Areas

Swedish massage generally targets the superficial layers of muscle. Massage therapists will generally focus on the places where you most often hold tension in your body, including the neck, shoulders, and back. Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, aims to target the deeper levels of your muscles, and it  may focus on the areas where you have suffered injury or have significant stiffness.

Deep Tissue Massage: Benefits, Risks, and What to Expect

Are you considering going in for a deep tissue massage? Make sure you know what to expect ahead of time.

Deep Tissue Massage Benefits

Deep tissue massage can offer a number of benefits. It:

  • Helps reduce several forms of chronic pain and muscle tension
  • May lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Helps break up scar tissue from injuries, which can make many types of movement easier
  • May reduce stress, including the physical impact of high stress levels
  • May help with rehabilitation following an injury

Deep tissue massage has also been used for pain control during labor and delivery. Furthermore, many people find deep tissue massage highly relaxing, since it may release oxytocin and promote overall feelings of wellness.

Risks Associated with Deep Tissue Massage

Massage is intended to promote an overall sense of health and wellness as well as aiding in relaxation. However, as with any practice, some people do find that they suffer from side effects after a massage.

  • Done incorrectly, deep tissue massage may aggravate existing injuries and chronic pain.
  • Some patients may have lingering pain after a massage.
  • Incorrect techniques can cause bruising and nerve lesions, which may cause additional pain.
  • Some patients suffer from nausea following a deep tissue massage.

In addition, seeking out deep tissue massage for a strain or stress injury could cause patients to avoid more traditional medical treatment, which could cause injuries to go untreated and prolong recovery time. Any time you have an injury, you should have a doctor oversee your care.

What to Expect During a Deep Tissue Massage

Most people visit a massage therapist to have a deep tissue massage. While deep tissue massage benefits can be significant, it’s important to work with a professional to get maximum benefits and minimize the risk of injury.

Prior to your massage, you will talk to your therapist about specific areas where you might be experiencing a problem: the areas you most want the therapist to work on. You may want your massage therapist to work on your entire body, especially if you have suffered from significant stiffness and soreness; or, you may want your massage session to target a specific area where you are having problems.

Your massage therapist will give you a chance to get undressed to your personal comfort level and lie on the table. Generally, areas your therapist is not currently working on will be covered by a sheet.

Next, your massage therapist will use a light touch to help warm up your muscles. That light touch can prove incredibly beneficial in getting you warmed up and ready for the massage.

Finally, the massage therapist will start using varying amounts of deeper, more intense pressure ceto work on the problem areas you identified during the early consultation. Intensity and pressure may vary based on your comfort levels and the type and amount of work you need to have done. Your massage therapist may ask for feedback regarding pressure, especially if you start to feel any pain. You can stop the massage or go back to a lighter level of pressure if needed.

Is Deep Tissue Massage Right for You?

Deep tissue massage offers a number of benefits to a number of people. It can help with anything from ongoing foot pain to pain related to standing. Fortunately, you do not always have to visit a massage therapist to get the relief and benefits that come along with deep tissue massage. With tools like Shiatsu foot massager machines or percussion massage guns, you can work deep into your muscles to relieve stress and tension and aid in healing, with or without assistance from a partner.

Tonia Nissen
Based out of Detroit, Tonia Nissen has been writing for Optic Flux since 2017 and is presently our Managing Editor. An experienced freelance health writer, Tonia obtained an English BA from the University of Detroit, then spent over 7 years working in various markets as a television reporter, producer and news videographer. Tonia is particularly interested in scientific innovation, climate technology, and the marine environment.