In addition to the great relaxation experience of deep tissue massage, it also has a multitude of great health benefits. For this reason, many medical providers refer patients to therapeutic massage therapists for deep tissue massage treatment throughout the recovery process following a muscle injury, such as a car accident or sports injury, or for treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. To fully understand the benefits of deep tissue massage, we should go over exactly what deep tissue massage entails.
What is deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage therapy is a method of therapeutic massage that focuses on stimulating specific trigger points in the body to reach deep tissues, which helps ease tension and improve healing. Some of the key health benefits of therapeutic massages that incorporate deep tissue massage include:
- Relief From Stress and Stress-related Illnesses
The fast-paced world we live in is not conducive to minimizing stress. The stress that we are subject to through work and general life causes our muscles to constrict, and that tension impacts our entire bodies. The negative impact of stress on the muscles is a factor in both physical and mental health issues. According to a study released by the Journal of the National Medical Association, as many as 60% to 80% of medical visits are a result (or at least aggravated by) unresolved stress.
Deep tissue massage is designed to loosen and release the tension that the muscles build up through stress over time. This helps the body process stress in healthier manners, that don’t have a negative impact on the our health.
- Improved Pain Management
The process of relieving the tension built up in the muscles contributes to reduced pain levels that are a result of both injury and illness. Deep tissue massage is effective for reducing pain as a result of traumatic injuries and illnesses, such as fibromyalgia. This is an extremely valuable aspect of deep tissue massage, since one in three working adults live with ongoing lower back pain. Many times, back pain is treated with pain killers that have negative side effects, and only ease the pain while the patient is actually under the influence of it. Deep tissue massage is a non-invasive and non-habit forming treatment that can actually ease the source of the back pain, not just the pain symptom itself.
- Reduced Risk of Disease Associated with High Blood Pressure
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine demonstrated that systolic and diastolic blood pressure of patients was lower following an hour-long therapeutic deep tissue massage. Having high blood pressure contributes to cardiac disease, heart attacks, and stroke. Being able to naturally lower high blood pressure with a non-invasive method such as regular deep tissue massages provides a potentially life-saving treatment to high-risk patients.
- Better Range of Motion
When a person incurs an injury either above the skin, or to the tissue deep within the body, the scar tissue that forms around the muscles is tighter than the healthy tissue and inhibits movement. Many physical therapists and physicians have found that incorporating deep tissue massage into the patient’s treatment plan helps the scar tissue gain elasticity similar to the healthy tissue around it, and improves the range of motion. This is also effective for improving movement in patients who have old injuries that healed improperly.
- Improved Healing
Human body’s ability to heal itself is incredible. The one ingredient the body needs to heal damaged tissue is oxygen. Sometimes, the injury is in a part of the body that doesn’t get good blood circulation, which impairs its access to oxygen and limits its ability to heal itself. By gently invigorating the damaged muscles with deep tissue massage, the body increases oxygen-rich blood flow to the injury, which promotes healing.
Everyone loves to be pampered, and getting a nice massage is one of the best ways to pamper yourself. However, in addition to the spa-experience of a deep tissue massage, it has many great health benefits. As more people (and their doctor’s) recognize the health benefits of deep tissue massage, we will quickly see the waiting rooms to doctor’s office empty out.