What is Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage as the name suggests is massage that works on the muscles of the body at a deep level. The tissues of the body are manipulated using various techniques. These can include gentle stretching of the fibres or deep frictions to interlink any scar tissue that may have formed from torn fibres etc. The outcome is a more balanced body.
How Does Deep Tissue Massage Help?
One of the easiest ways to understand how deep tissue massage works is by visualising the muscle tissues of the body like the fibres of a jumper. If you imagine a jumper shrinking in the wash, we automatically try to stretch the jumper by pulling it horizontally and then vertically to help return it to its normal size. This is very similar to what happens in the body when a muscle becomes tight. Muscle imbalances will then occur, with some muscles shortening and others lengthening. A deep tissue massage will work by an experienced therapist feeling for fibres that are unbalanced and consequently stretching them, not only the length of the muscle but also against the grain as well. Most of the treatment is concentrated on treating the tight areas to restore them to their natural length, with a little work also being done on the already over lengthened muscles, helping to gently pump blood through the area, bringing fresh blood and nutrients and draining away waste products.
Deep tissue massage can also help with scar tissue within the body, caused from muscles tearing. During exercise and in everyday activities muscle fibres will tear when used, this can consist of micro and macro tears depending on the extent of the damage. Muscle tears are repaired by the body generating fibrous tissue. Fibrous tissue is not the same structure as normal muscle tissue; it is not tensile, therefore it does not have the ability to stretch or contract like normal muscle tissue, as the elasticity is tougher. This is where deep tissue massage can really make a difference to the individual. A qualified therapist performing a deep tissue massage will feel for those striations within the muscle fibres and gently interlink them together so the muscle can work as one motor unit, rather than the striations lying across each other and constantly tearing each time the muscle is contracted.
Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
The use of deep tissue massage is favoured by many sports individuals as the massage assists to integrate pockets of fibrous tissue within a muscle, thereby improving muscle function. Blood is said to flow three times quicker through a massaged muscle, ensuring vitamins, minerals and oxygen are distributed around the body. It also aids in the clearing of waste and debris from the body, this will in turn reduce fatigue and atrophy of the muscle tissues and help keep muscle tone. The massage also helps to stimulate the lymphatic system improving the overall immune system of the client.
Large contracted postural muscles can also have a detrimental effect on the joints of the body. The compressive force of the muscle weighs on the joints and when muscles are so tight they can pull joints out of line. Subsequently this can result in the force of gravity going through the joint at the wrong angle and causing further knock on injuries to other areas. Sometimes the tension in the muscles are so tight that stretching on its own is not enough, in these cases the massage will assist in creating a more elastic muscle and assist the person in being able to gain a more flexible body,
Overall the benefits of deep massage are huge, with it improving the muscular, circulatory and lymphatic systems. It helps to create a more balanced body with hopefully less aches and pains.
Thank you for reading.
Article written by J Lane - Shropshire
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