Deep tissue massage can help alleviate muscle adhesions, or “knots” as they are commonly known. Dehydration, injury, and overuse of a muscle can cause adhesions to form. An adhesion is comprised of continually contracting muscles. Muscles may become “too tight” in this way when we use them repetitively.
Like all contracted muscle, adhesions suffer poor circulation of lymph and blood; waste removal is also restricted as circulation decreases. Deep tissue massage works on the sub-layers of muscle and connective tissues that may feel “frozen” in place through repetitive movement or injury. By breaking up scar tissue, deep tissue helps release waste toxins, reviving the muscle’s health and alleviating pain. Plenty of water is needed for proper circulation and waste removal, so be sure to hydrate generously after a deep tissue massage.
Deep tissue massage can help relieve:
It’s also an excellent modality for recovering from injuries. Specific disorders, such as sciatica, fibromyalgia, and piriformis syndrome can also be assuaged through deep tissue work.
Our Portland massage therapy program includes in-depth education on the whys and hows of deep tissue massage. To perform this style of massage, therapists use their hands, forearms, elbows, and tools to penetrate deep into muscles. The deep pressure breaks up adhesions. In general, deep pressure massage strokes are slower than in other styles. For especially tight spots, therapists may hold pressure for a minute or two.
The deep nature of this approach means there may be muscle soreness following the massage. After receiving a deep tissue massage, avoid strenuous activity for a day or two, to allow your muscles time to rebuild. Be sure to drink plenty of water as well. A warm Epsom salt bath is a great way to care for yourself following a deep tissue massage. The warm water allows the muscles to relax, while the Epsom salt helps draw toxins out of muscles, into the bath water.
As part of our massage therapy training program, East West College students practice their techniques (including deep tissue massage) in our on-campus clinic. If you’d like to receive a deep tissue massage, request it at your next alumni or student massage session.