What is a Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles to relieve chronic aches and pains in the body. The pressure is deep in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles.
Deep tissue massage involves manipulation of the deep layers of tissue in the body, including the fascia and other supportive tissue that make up the muscles and joints. Compared to other popular massage techniques deep tissue massage is usually slower and firmer. Most deep tissue massages normally focus on major muscle groups — such as the neck or lower back — along with joints and tendons that are susceptible to straining or injuries. Certain areas of the body that tend to tense up in times of stress, including the shoulders, neck and hips, can often benefit the most from this type of deep manipulation.
Common strokes of Deep Tissue Massage
- Stripping: Deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs.
- Friction: Pressure applied across the grain of a muscle to release adhesions and realign tissue fibers.
Benefits of a Deep Tissue Massage
The top benefits of deep tissue massage include the reduction of anxiety, alleviation of muscle tension, and improvement of athletic recovery and performance, among others.
Helps Lower High Blood Pressure
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that deep tissue massage had positive effects on systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure readings in adults with pain and high blood pressure symptoms.
Stress and Anxiety
When deep tissue massage is underway, oxytocin and serotonin is triggered and further ignites feelings of relaxation while boosting mood. Stress hormones have also been shown to reduce following deep tissue massage and other forms of massage techniques.