If you’ve ever considered massage as a solution to some physical health problem or good, old-fashioned relaxation, you may be wondering if any specific kind is suitable for you. After all, different massage types purport to offer specific benefits. For many, deep tissue massage is the solution to their aching muscles while providing a much-needed avenue for managing physical and mental stress. But is it right for everyone? Should you make an appointment with the first deep tissue massage therapist you come across or are there other considerations beforehand? This guide explains this in more detail.
What Does Deep Tissue Massage Involve?
Like a regular massage, deep tissue massage involves the manipulation of muscles to achieve relaxation or other therapeutic benefits. The major difference is that such muscle manipulation involves much more pressure that’s more targeted. While relaxation might be achieved later on, there is little of it during the actual massage as hard bands of adhesions within the muscles ( called “knots”) are broken down using sustained pressure. A typical deep tissue massage session involves the therapist using their thumbs, knuckles, elbows, and forearms to knead the different muscle groups. This usually involves slow, firm strokes that can be varied according to the muscle groups being worked on or the client’s request.
In addition to reducing muscle pain, tension, and inflammation, deep tissue massage also helps with the following conditions:
i)Lower back pain
- ii) Muscle spasms
iii) Limited mobility due to physical trauma
- iv) Postural issues like a hunched back
- v) Tension headache
- vi) Post-surgical recovery
Do You Need a Deep Tissue Massage Therapist?
Knowing whether or not deep tissue massage is right for you may not be a straightforward thing. If you’re considering a massage for the first time, you may not know what to expect. Given the plethora of information available on this subject, you may not know where to begin.
If you’re simply looking for a relaxing massage to ease some muscle tension and help you unwind, a deep tissue massage therapist shouldn’t be your first choice, at least initially. The human body is mostly muscle. Muscles require regular exercise to stay healthy. The rigors associated with daily activities ensure that a significant number of the body’s muscle groups get some exercise. However, deep tissue massage is targeted. More pressure will be applied per surface area of a muscle group than what regular, everyday activities can confer. As anyone knows, giving muscles a thorough workout having not done so for a while will result in some soreness. In the case of a deep tissue massage, you can expect a noticeable degree of this soreness afterwards. Yes, you will feel the benefits hours (or even days) after the deep tissue massage session. However, expect some discomfort in its immediate aftermath.
It’s always best to ease into deep massage therapy if you’re considering it for the first time. When you do, it’s best to consult with the deep tissue massage therapist beforehand. This will allow you to have your concerns addressed. The therapist, being a professional, will take you through what’s involved and what you expect. Of course, if you’re seeking deep tissue massage for therapeutic purposes, a doctor or some other medical professional likely recommended it.
If deep tissue massage is a mainstay of your regular relaxation activities, you shouldn’t have any reservations about contacting a therapist to perform it on you.
Should You Seek Medical Advice Before Contacting a Deep Tissue Massage Therapist?
While deep tissue massage offers numerous benefits, it also poses some risks for certain individuals. That’s why it’s always best to check in with your doctor if you’re considering an unprescribed deep tissue massage. This is especially true for individuals past middle age or those with a history of chronic illnesses and conditions. For example, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition in which a blood clot forms inside one of your blood vessels. This is something that shouldn’t happen under normal circumstances. Such clots tend to form in the deep veins of the legs. When such a clot (or a portion of it) breaks off and moves through blood circulation to another organ, it can cause serious health problems. Intense physical pressure, the kind that is applied on muscles during deep tissue massages, can increase the likelihood of such clots breaking off and traveling to distant body organs to cause health problems. Similarly, some medications like blood thinners can increase the risk of internal bleeding if those taking them go for deep tissue massages.
Ultimately, the decision to seek out a deep tissue massage therapist is yours. As long as you consult your doctor first, you should have a good idea of what to expect.