One of the most types of massage therapy used by our Massage Therapist at Reaves Chiropractic is deep tissue massage. Emma uses this massage technique applies slow strokes and firm pressure, reaching deeper layers of muscles and fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles). Deep tissue massage is used in the treatment of chronic aches and pains. It is also used in treating conditions as stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, sore shoulders. Deep tissue massage is quite similar to Swedish massage therapy particularly in the area of the strokes. However, it is different from the regular massage, especially as it applies deep pressure as the name suggests. Deep tissue massage therapy is also used in breaking up scar tissue and muscle “knots” or adhesions, which are bands of painful and rigid tissue that could inhibit proper circulation in the body, subsequently causing pain, inflammation and restricted range of motion.
Techniques used in Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage in treating different physical condition employs different techniques. The massage therapy would usually begin with the application of light pressure on the affected areas by the therapist. This is done to warm up the muscles and prepare them for the session. This preparatory session is subsequently followed by the application of specific techniques depending on condition of the patient. Two of the commonest techniques used in deep tissue massage are stripping and friction, and they are briefly highlighted as follows:
As mentioned earlier, this is one of the treatment techniques used in deep tissue massage. Stripping is done by the application of deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers in the affected area of the body. The technique is usually done using the forearm, knuckles, elbow and thumbs. Patients have been discovered to experience almost instant relief after a stripping deep tissue massage session.
Friction is another deep tissue massage technique used by our massage therapist to treat physical pains. This technique is usually applied in the treatment of adhesions and for the realignment of tissue fibers. With friction, pressure is applied across the grain of a muscle, facilitating the release of adhesions and helping to realign tissue fibers.
Improved flexibility and range of motion
Aging can lead to tightened joints, which subsequently reduces flexibility and range of motion. With massage therapy, however, flexibility and range of motion can be significantly improved. For such treatments, the therapist focuses on kneading ligaments, muscles, joints, connective tissues and tendons, helping to enhance comfort.
Improved blood flow and circulation
Poor circulation of blood in the body leads to various maladies which include fatigue, tense muscles, and pain. The kneading motions in massage therapy apply pressure on different regions of the body, helping to improve blood flow and circulation. The pressure from the kneading movements has also been discovered to help in flushing out lactic acid from tired muscles.
Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
The benefits of massage, especially deep tissue massage sessions are immense. This has subsequently led to increasing demand for massage sessions especially with patients realizing its effectiveness and the lack of negative side effects unlike many orthodox treatment options. Deep tissue massage is particularly used in the treatment of physical conditions. One of the unique attributes of deep tissue massage is the focus on a particular condition which could be injury rehabilitation, chronic muscle pain, and other conditions that inhibit physical activities and movement.
Other benefits of massage therapy are listed as follows
- Detoxification of the body by propelling toxic waste products through the lymphatic system
- Stimulation of the release of natural endorphins in the body, helping pain control
- Lowering of blood pressure
- Stress relief and promotion of sense of well-being
- Provision of increased exercise stretching for atrophied athletes
- Relaxation of injured muscles, reduction of cramps and muscle spasms
Myofascial Release Therapy
Otherwise known as MFR therapy, this treatment option focuses on the release of muscular tightness and shortness. MFR therapy is used in treating different conditions and symptoms. Many patients have consulted their masseuse due to loss of function or flexibility resulting from an injury. Others have opted for MFR therapy in treating pains in shoulder, hip, back and other areas in the body that contain soft tissue. Other conditions and symptoms have also been treated with MFR therapy and they include Temporo-Mandibular Joint disorder otherwise known as TMJ disorder, possibly fibromyalgia or migraine headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome.One of the common symptoms reported by patients requiring this treatment option includes tightness of the tissue. This leads to the restriction of motion, pulling the body out of alignment and consequently making patients to overuse a particular hip or shoulder. The eventual result of this condition is excessive pressure on the joints and muscles of the affected region, leading to pains.Headache, back pain or pains in any other parts of the body is also a signal of myofascial pain, requiring patients to visit a professional deep tissue massage therapist.
Causes of Myofascial pain
Basically, Myofascial pain has two sources – skeletal muscle or connective tissue and damaged myofascial tissue.While pain generated from the skeletal muscle or connective tissues come from binding down by tight fascia, pain from damaged myofascial tissue results from the contraction of muscle fibers. Both cases usually lead to restriction or inhibition of blood flow to the affected areas, consequently accentuating the contraction process until the area is treated.
Myofascial therapy is designed to help stretch and loosen the fascia, facilitating the free movement of fascia and other contiguous structures and subsequently restoring motion of the patient. Therefore, the treatment option is sometimes called 'myofascial release' therapy or 'myofascial trigger point therapy'.
To get started with your personalized massage therapy, consult a Reaves Chiropractic professional and experienced massage therapist. This helps you define your treatment goals and the techniques to be employed in achieving these goals. It is also worth noting that chiropractor or massage therapist might decide to combine a number of massage techniques to achieve the desired goals. The efficiency of massage therapy cannot be overemphasized, especially when dealing with illnesses that have been linked to stress. For more information about our massage therapy options contact our River North, Chicago location.