Camilla, deep tissue massage therapist extraordinaire, at Back 2 Balance, gives us some more insight into deep tissue massage and why we all love it so much!
What is deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage is a technique which can aid in releasing muscle discomfort, tightness, muscle knots and loss of range of movement. It is designed to work deep within the tissue which can increase blood flow, break down scar tissue, release muscular adhesions, flush out toxins, and increase flexibility enabling the body to work more efficiently. Direct pressure with fingers, knuckles, forearms and even elbows are used for deep tissue massage so the deep tissue is reached. Friction applied across the grain of the muscles irons out the knots and tension points. It can help in sciatic pain, repetitive strain injuries, neck pain, posture difficulties, back aches, muscles and joint spasm and other muscular symptoms.
What other physiological effects can deep tissue massage give you?
Effects on the Skeletal System– increase joint mobility by reducing any thickening of the connective tissue and helping to release restrictions in the facia. As a result it can help to restore range of motion to stiff joints, especially used in conjunction with chiropractic care.
Effects on the Muscular System- relieves muscular tightness, stiffness, spasms and restrictions in the muscle tissue.It increases blood circulation bringing more oxygen and nutrients into the muscle. This reduces muscle fatigue and soreness. It promotes rapid removal of toxins and waste products from the muscle.
Effects on the Cardiovascular System– improves circulation by mechanically assisting the venous flow of blood back to the heart. It dilates blood vessels helping them to work more efficiently. By producing an enhanced blood flow; delivery of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissues is improved and the removal of waste products, toxins and carbon dioxide is hastened via the venous system. It helps to temporarily decrease blood pressure, due to dilation of capillaries . It can decrease the heart rate due to relaxation hormones. All of this can help reduce ischaemia.
Effects on the Lymphatic System– reduce oedema by increasing lymphatic drainage and the removal of waste from the system. Regular massage may help to strengthen the immune system, due to increase in white blood cells.
Effects on the Nervous System– it stimulates sensory receptors: this can either stimulate or soothe nerves depending on the techniques used. It also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping promote relaxation and the reduction of stress. Massage helps to reduce pain by the release of endorphins (endorphins are also known to elevate the mood).
Effects on the Skin– improved circulation to the skin, increased nutrition to the cells and encouraging cell regeneration, increased production of sweat from the sweat glands, helping to excrete urea and waste products through the skin. It improves vaso-dilation of the surface capillaries helping to improve the skin’s colour. Improved elasticity of the skin and increases sebum production, helping to improve the skin’s suppleness and resistance to infection.
Effects on the Respiratory System– it deepens respiration and improves lung capacity by relaxing any tightness in the respiratory muscles. It also slows down the rate of respiration due to the reduced stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system
Effects on the Digestive System– increase peristalsis in the large intestine, helping to relieve constipation, colic and gas. It also promotes the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates digestion.
Effects on the Urinary System– increases urinary output due to the increased circulation and lymph drainage from the tissues.
But what is it that makes us feel so good after massage?
Simply, it is the act of giving your body the time to rest and relax. The simple act of turning up to your massage and surrendering to the hands of the experienced therapist at Back to Balance is rewarding enough. Moreover the soft tissue manipulations, deep strokes and pressure points techniques works deeper than just the muscles and has been shown to decrease the amount of the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol, and increase our ‘happy hormones’ dopamine and serotonin. Additionally the ‘excitable hormones’ like adrenaline are decreased which help in easing anxiety. Hence massage ca reduce stress and anxiety by relaxing both mind and body and create a feeling of well-being and enhanced self-esteem to
promote positive body awareness and an improved body image through relaxation! Massage would also ease emotional trauma through relaxation. So it is no wonder you feel so great after our massages!
Deep tissue massage works holistically to aid in maximum recovery.
Why not schedule a session with one of our experienced and highly trained massage therapists at Back 2 Balance?