When it comes to kneading relief from a massage therapist, deep tissue massage is perhaps the most intense type of massage you can receive. If you haven’t checked out our blog overviewing the five different massages our therapists are trained to perform, be sure to familiarize yourself with them. If you’re wanting a deeper understanding of the practice of deep tissue massage and how it may benefit you, keep reading!

A Refresher

If it’s been a while since you’ve read our blog about the different styles of massages or you don’t know what deep tissue massage is, this style is meant to target knotted muscle groups that are hidden in deeper layers of muscles and tissue. This technique uses deliberate, small strokes to apply pressure to these tensed groups, called adhesions.

Though this massage is ideal for people suffering from recurrent muscle tightness and pain, it is also great for achieving deeper levels of relaxation as well.

The Rub Down

Deep tissue massages can be slightly uncomfortable because the technique targets deeper layers of muscle and tissue. That being said, the massage can also reduce levels of stress hormones and lower heart rate while also releasing oxytocin and serotonin, hormones associated with increased human connection and feelings of well-being. This allows you to feel completely relaxed.

Your massage therapist will start with what feels like a traditional Swedish massage. They will apply light pressure to the areas that require more relief in order to warm up and prepare your muscles.

Once your muscles have been warmed up, your massage therapist will apply stripping and friction, two types of massage strokes commonly associated with deep tissue massage. Stripping involves your massage therapist gliding their elbow, forearm, knuckles, or thumbs across the length of your muscle fibers using deep pressure. Friction applies similar pressure across the grain of the muscle in order to relieve adhesions and realign the fibers of muscle tissue.

Who Can Benefit?

Deep tissue massage is designed to alleviate and treat the discomfort associated with chronic muscle pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even osteoarthritis. It’s also known to help ease the pain associated with fibromyalgia, and patients can experience an increased range of motion immediately after the massage.

Who Should Avoid It?

If you’re prone to blood clots, are recovering from surgery, receiving chemotherapy or radiation, or are suffering from osteoporosis, you should consult with your doctor before trying deep tissue massage. The pressure can move and dislodge existing blood clots, and high amounts of pressure should not be applied to rashes, wounds, tumors, or hernias. If you’re pregnant, read our blog about prenatal massage therapy and how it can help you.

The Overall Effect

Though the pressure applied during deep tissue massages can cause some discomfort, you should never be in pain. This will cause your muscles to contract and make any effort to massage them ineffective. Deep tissue massages work over time to unknot and realign muscle groups, so don’t be surprised if you experience immediate relief but still have some issues. If this style of massage, or any of our other massages, sounds right for you, contact us at Core Chiropractic and Wellness in Bakersfield to schedule an appointment.