Deep tissue massage works on the deeper layers of muscles and fascia (the connective tissue around the muscles) and uses slow, firm movements to apply deep pressure. Because it works on a deeper level than many other types of massage, it has therapeutic effects and can tap into the body’s natural healing abilities.
The effects of deep tissue massage have been examined in studies, with favorable results. From chronic pain to sports performance, deep tissue massage can have a significant role to play in improving health and wellbeing.
How Deep Tissue Massage Gets the Job Done
Research has shown that deep tissue massage can be more successful in treating chronic pain than traditional medical treatments. By improving blood flow around the body, it can decrease inflammation linked to pain. It can also reduce muscle tension that can occur because of chronic pain.
Upper and lower back pain can be improved through deep tissue massage, as can neck and shoulder pain. It can also help with chronic tension headaches. Research published in the American Journal of Public Health found that people who had been experiencing at least two headaches per week for at least 6 months reported fewer attacks that were shorter in length.
In research published in Consumer Reports magazine, respondents felt that deep tissue massage was more effective in reducing pain from osteoarthritis compared to treatments, such as physical therapy, diet and over-the-counter medications. In the same study, deep tissue massage was also an effective treatment for fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
Deep tissue massage can also have positive benefits for blood pressure. Working on deeper layers of tissue effects blood flow and blood pressure can be reduced as a byproduct. In a study from the University of Maryland Medical Center, systolic blood pressure fell by an average of 10.4mm Hg and diastolic pressure by an average of 5.3mm Hg.
In a 2008 study of 263 volunteers with muscle strains, most showed a decline in their blood pressure compared to the readings taken before deep tissue massage was performed.
Deep tissue massage has also shown promise for breaking up scar tissue and reducing the associated pain and stiffness. It can support lymphatic circulation and blood flow around scars, which is often lacking. Studies on burn scars have found that massage can reduce pain and itching and decrease scar thickness.
For arthritis sufferers in general, massage therapy has been shown to reduce pain and stiffness while also improving range of motion, hand grip strength and joint function, especially when it is done alongside other treatments.
Injured muscles can be rehabilitated through deep tissue massage and it is often used to treat sporting injuries for this reason. Sporting performance can also be improved with deep tissue massage and the effects can include reduction in muscle soreness, less muscle fatigue and fewer injuries.
Call us today to schedule your next Massage with us at Preferred Chiropractic of Midland. 989.837.5998