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Deep Tissue Massage
Due to their daily activities, which usually include sitting on a chair in front of a PC all day long, many people complain about pain and other related issues, seriously affecting their musculoskeletal system.
As previously, discussed, deep tissue bodywork is a great way of getting rid of such problems. Anatomically speaking, the body’s soft tissues include not just the muscles, but also the connective tissue and nerves that support the skeleton and enable movement. These tissues go layers-deep beneath the skin and sometimes can be relatively difficult to isolate. However, this is where deep tissue bodywork comes in.
This type of massage pinpoints exact soft tissues and treats them, eventually getting rid of pain and restoring all functions of the musculoskeletal system.
Over the past years, a few deep tissue methods have proven to be the best choices for various problems, becoming very popular. Let’s take a few moments and find out more about each of these methods.
Active Release Technique
This method of deep tissue bodywork is considered the gold standard for treatment of athletic injuries, but it has a wider spectrum of users. The technique addresses the whole ‘package’ surrounding an injury: muscle, tendon, ligament, nerve, and fascia.
Massagists use this method to promote smooth tissue movement, restricting the breakup of a scar tissue, as well as the restoration in function in the shortest time possible.
Moving on, we have another deep tissue bodywork technique which recognizes the musculoskeletal system as a seamless network of interactive tissues, instead of a collection of distinctive parts.
A rolfing technique mostly focuses on optimizing the connective tissues, in order to have them released and realigned, balancing the entire body. There are situations in which the fascia surrounding your musculoskeletal structures can become imbalanced, resulting in over-stretched or overly shortened tissue.
After applying this technique, the balance in your musculoskeletal system is restored, thus promoting a better posture, as well as coordinated movement and significantly less pain in the muscles.
Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy
Developed by Therese C. Pfrimmerr, this method’s aim is to change the muscular structure – only at a cellular level – through cross-fiber strokes. Besides this, it’s designed to stimulate lymphatic and circulatory systems, in order to promote cellular repair, but also get rid of all the toxic waste from muscle cells.
Visceral Manipulation Therapy
Finally, we also have one more deep tissue bodywork method, directed at the body’s visceral organs, supposed to work in full harmony.
Back to the method, it claims that when one organ starts developing an abnormal tone, as well as adhesions or displacement, it may start working against other organs, soft tissues, and bones, resulting in abnormal points of tension and chronic irritation. This type of therapy wants to restore this lost harmony and it’s usually used in cases of pelvic and back pain, but also headaches caused by migraines and other health issues.
Image credit: Toa Heftiba
A massage session can have way more benefits than relieving back pain after a hard day at work! However, nowadays, things have been taken to a whole new level, as more and more people are trying massage therapy, a concept with some exceptional benefits. Let’s find out exactly how it works and why it’s actually so good for you!
What is massage therapy?
During a therapy session, a specialist manipulates your muscles, as well as other soft tissues, in order to enhance their function, but also induces relaxation. It’s not a new practice, though, as it has been used in China for more than 3,000 years, a lot of people revealing that it even help them get rid of depression, in a certain extent.
The truth is that a great massage has beneficial effects on our bodies, releasing hormones which create a sense of an emotional connection, thus calming your mind and improve your mood significantly.
How can massage therapy help relieve depression?
Let’s put things straight: if you’re suffering from depression, massage therapy probably won’t help you get rid of it completely. However, it can have a major impact on helping you relieve some of the physical symptoms associated with it.
To be more specific, we’re referring to sluggishness, back pain, joint pain, as well as muscle aches. Besides this, it’s also great against fatigue and other sleep problems.
What does massage therapy involve?
Now that we are aware of its benefits, let’s take some time and see what massage therapy actually involves. After all, it’s far from being just your average back rub.
During the therapy, your therapist will perform various moves, like rubbing, stretching, and applying pressure to the muscles in your body. However, there are various styles of massage, some of them including over-the-clothes touching, while others involve direct contact with the skin. Usually, the latter is made using scented oils, acupuncture needles, warm stones, or even some complex twisting poses.
Currently, these are the styles which can be encountered the most across the United States:
Swedish massage: By far the most common form. The therapist applies smooth and circular actions to your muscles, helping them relax.
Chair massage: Unlike most styles, this one doesn’t require sitting on a massage bed, but on a special chair, then leaning forward into a headrest. It consists of short sessions and you don’t need to remove any clothing.
Deep tissue massage: Preferred among athletes and not only, this type of massage therapy focuses on the muscles that are the closest to your bones, but their connective tissues as well.
Shiatsu: Expect some firm pressure during a therapy session including this massage, as it’s very similar to acupuncture. Compared to other types of massage though, Shiatsu massage implies more pressure, but it doesn’t produce any stiffness shortly after.
Reflexology: The therapist applies pressure to specific areas of your body, believed to correspond with the most important systems and organs in your body.
Aromatherapy: The main ‘attraction’ of this type of massage therapy is that it also implies scented oils, these being great for reducing stress and boosting your energy.
Hot stone massage: Your therapist places warm flat stones on your body, in an attempt to relax your muscles and relieve tension.
Benefits of massage therapy
Obviously, if performed by a professional, massage therapy is safe and provides immediate gratification, helping you feel relaxed and calm. As for its ability to combat depression, combined with a more conventional treatment, like medication or psychotherapy, it can deliver some great results.
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A good massage therapy can always perform a miracle on your body. Reduced pain, stress relief or a general feeling of happiness are just a few benefits of a deep tissue massage. For you to know more and be informed, we’ve prepared a list of advantages this treatment can have for you and your body.
1. Helps in lowering high blood pressure
A deep tissue massage is ideal for people who have to deal with high blood pressure. 45-60 minutes of such threat and you’ve got yourself a viable solution to treat hypertension.
2. Prevents scar tissue
It’s always hard to recover after an accident, both physically and mentally. And the fact that a scar tissue may develop, causing stiffness and uneasiness followed by pain doesn’t help you get back on track. Fortunately, we know a type of massage which can speed up the recovery by reducing inflammation in the affected area.
3. Reduces arthritis symptoms
Arthritis is something that eats you piece by piece, causing chronic joint pains and stiffness. To remove the pain, a firm massage is highly recommended.
4. Treats back pain
In the modern era, where people often spend up to 10 hours sitting at a desk, back pain has become something very common. But with deep tissue massage significantly reducing chronic lower back pain, there’s always a solution. A pleasant one, we would add.
5. Handles labor pain
We don’t need to tell how much pain pregnant women experience, especially if you are or have been in this category. Depression, anxiety, and leg, back pain, you name it. But a deep tissue massage comes like Tom Brady to save the day. Just like the superstar, it can’t always perform a miracle, yet it has enough super powers to make things better.
6. Diminishes fibromyalgia symptoms
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common disorder that feels like a widespread pain. On short-term, deep tissue massages can ease the pain, but if the symptoms are getting worse, you should consult a specialist.
7. Aids recovery in athletes
Deep tissue massages can do wonders for the body, such as increased blood flow, reduced muscle tension, and an increased sense of well-being. Therefore, it becomes a veritable Fountain of Youth for athletes, with positive effects on recovery and on the severity of muscle soreness.
8. Reduces stress
Starting with our job, friends or even family, everyone and everything can become a stress factor. A deep tissue massage can represent the perfect solution for you to increase the production of a hormone called oxytocin. Why? Because it creates positive emotions, and your social interactions will change for the better.
Our lives have become more stressful and it’s essential for our well-being to find solutions to relieve the pressure that comes with such feelings. Combining professional massage training with Asian heritage, Maria can provide a unique massage experience, one that can help you obtain a healthier body and a fresh mind. Regular massage therapy sessions with her can even change your life in a lot of good ways!
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Deep tissue massage is growing in popularity as people around the world discover its utility in improving physiological wellness. The technique consists of deep pressure from the fingers and slow strokes that affect the deeper layers of muscle that traditional massages may not have much impact upon. There is a growing body of scientific literature that shows the clinical impact of deep tissue massages, including in patients suffering from certain disease states.
The University of Maryland Medical Center uses the technique in some patients with chronic pain, reporting favorable results without the side effects and abuse risks associated with opioid medications. The thinking is that the massages may be improving blood flow to the muscles, allowing for a reduction in inflammation and pain. They may also help in reducing muscle tension which can be a source of discomfort in those suffering from chronic pain.
Beyond pain and inflammation, massages are culturally known to be relaxing and for good reason. They can help reduce stress as one completely relaxes and lets it all go during a session. Many people report getting regular massages in order to keep stress levels low and this often ends up correlating with important physiological markers including blood pressure. Studies have supported this with evidence- those who meditate and get massages tend to have lower blood pressures (or the same patients have blood pressure reduction before and after the fact).
Deep tissue massages may also allow for better circulation of the blood, which has numerous downstream effects. This includes better healing as the body can more efficiently transport needed resources to the site of injury and transversely, get rid of waste products. This can go well beyond the time of initial injury as the process is still vitally important to getting rid of scar tissue. The particular mechanism may involve the lymphatic circulation. The benefits in this regard are recognized in some patients who undergo major surgery and go on massage regimens afterwards in order to quicken the recovery process.
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