A Good Massage is More Than Just a Back Rub
It is estimated that 90% of chronic pain is muscle related.
Massage is an effective tool for pain relief. It can:
- Improve range of motion.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—our natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
We offer therapeutic massage for pain relief that includes deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy.
Deep tissue massage therapy is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints). The goal is to release tight muscles, break up adhesions and increase blood flow and range of motion. This can resolve underlying problems that lead to chronic pain and stiffness. It differs from regular massage treatments; in that it addresses deeper, more rooted issues in the muscles, and allows treatments to be more vigorous, successful and long-lasting.
A trigger point is a tender, tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. Receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries.
Benefits of a Therapeutic Massage
If you experience ongoing stiffness, tension, or sustained muscle injury, you may have rigid, inflexible tissues called adhesions (known as “knots”). While most adhesions are relatively minor, extreme cases can block circulation, limit movement and flexibility, and be extremely painful. Often, the only way to address these adhesions is through deep tissue massage treatments.
How to Prepare for Deep Tissue Treatment
If it is your first time receiving a deep tissue treatment, there are a few things you may want to do before your appointment. First, ensure that you’re well hydrated and have eaten a meal (nothing too heavy). Consider stretching before to ensure you get the most out of your treatment — this promotes blood flow and flexibility. If it is your first time visiting a massage therapist, relate all the issues you may be facing—after all, stiffness and chronic pain may be related to other injuries, poor posture, etc. The more your massage therapist knows, the more he/she can assist you during the session.Try to arrive a few minutes early for your first appointment. This will give you time to fill out forms and ask questions.
When receiving a deep tissue massage, you’ll be asked to lie down and breathe deeply, relax and prepare for the massage. Deep tissue treatments differ in that the movements tend to be longer, deeper, more intense and focused. Massage therapists may use their elbows, forearms, fingertips and muscles to access the deeper layers of your muscle tissues. Since your therapist will be massaging the innermost layers of your connective tissues and muscles, there are parts of the treatment that may be uncomfortable or almost painful. Some level of discomfort is normal as the deeper knots, adhesions and injuries are being addressed, however, if you find yourself holding your breath, it is probably too much. It is important that you communicate this to your therapist. Treatments generally last about an hour, and the massage will tend to focus more on problem areas. As a result, make sure you are engaged and communicative with your massage therapist throughout your session to ensure you get the full benefit of the visit.
What to Expect After a Deep Tissue Massage
After receiving a deep tissue massage,you may feel sore or stiff for a day or two. Make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous exercise the day after your massage in order to help your muscles heal. Your massage therapist may recommend that you ice certain areas of your body, or that you take a hot bath—depending on what you’re being treated for. Depending on the severity of the issue you’re trying to address, you may find that you feel a whole lot better after your first visit—with increased flexibility and blood flow. But, if you are attempting to resolve a chronic condition, injury, or a condition such as extreme muscular adhesions, you may have to have a few treatments before you begin to feel well. Make sure you discuss how you feel and follow your therapist’s recommendations before and after every visit!
Research tells us that massage therapy is a valuable component of a well-rounded healthcare regimen, combating everything from chronic pain to the negative effects of stress. – Lee Picciuto