Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Therapy
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage, as the term suggests, works deep into the muscles to help relieve tension and help with muscular pain. It’s especially effective on chronic aches and pains, as well as areas of the body which have contracted because of long-term tension in the body, for example shoulders, leg muscles and the back.
Much of a deep tissue massage will be similar to the more popular Swedish massage because therapists must warm up and relax the superficial muscles first. They will then use deep finger, knuckle, forearm or elbow pressure and slow, firm strokes which focus on the deeper muscles, tendons and tissues.
The process of the deeper work may well be uncomfortable or even painful and you can expect the areas worked on to be sore for a couple of days afterwards. Everyone is individual and the pressure will vary throughout and is completely guided by you.
Sports massage is more focused than deep tissue massage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the deepest. The techniques used in a sports massage vary greatly and depend on what issues the client needs to address. Sports massage techniques are geared specifically towards helping improve athletic performance, whether that be improving range of motion, increasing flexibility, preventing injury during training, helping with recovery after an event or injury, or warming up before an event just to name a few. These goals don’t always call for aggressive, deep massage which can often be counterproductive.
How Will a Massage Feel?
Massage on healthy tissue feels good. Working on an area of injury or chronic pain may cause some amount of pain or discomfort, which will usually lessen during treatment. Always tell me if you feel any discomfort or pain so I can adjust treatment.
After massage you should feel relaxed. Give yourself time to slowly get up. Many people experience freedom from pain and aches that have built over months of tension. After an initial period of feeling very relaxed, many people experience an increase in energy that can last for days.
How Often Should I Have a Massage?
At the beginning, two to three session’s one week apart is best to give maximum benefit, as every massage session builds on the gains from previous sessions. After that about once a month seems to be the most beneficial for massage to keep its positive effects.