Massage – Deep Tissue
What Deep Tissue massage is and how it works
Deep tissue is a type of massage therapy that is used to treat chronic tension and injuries from overuse, such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome. Whilst some of the strokes are the same as in classic (Swedish) massage, the pace tends to be slower and pressure is applied more strongly, concentrated on problem areas. Practitioners may use their forearms, elbows, fingertips and knuckles as well as their hands in order to break-up adhesions. These bands of rigid tissue can cause pain and inflammation, and restrict movement and circulation in muscle tissue. You might have a stiff neck and upper back, lower back pain, tight legs or sore shoulders. Deep tissue massage works to realign the different layers of tissue, treating the tendons, ligaments and fascia (the protective layer of tissues which surrounds the bones, joints and muscles) as well as the muscles to release tension and provide pain relief.
Deep tissue massage offers both physical and psychological benefits. Unlike other massage techniques that focus on relaxation, deep tissue massage helps to treat muscle pain and improve stiffness. But it can still help to you unwind mentally, too.
A 2014 study involving 59 participants found that deep tissue massage helped to reduce pain in people with chronic low back. The authors likened its effects to those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil).
People have also reported that deep tissue massage helps with:
- sports injuries
- plantar fasciitis
- high blood pressure
- tennis elbow
Regular therapeutic massage sessions provide significant benefits beyond the immediate relaxation we enjoy. People who experience high levels of stress tend to get sick more than others. Combine stress with lack of sleep and poor nutrition, and our immune system’s ability to naturally protect itself against bacteria and infection is greatly reduced. So the question is: What are the benefits of massage on immune system?
Clinical studies have indicated that regular massage not only helps alleviate stress, but can naturally increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and decrease the number of T-cells, which improves the body’s immune functioning overall. In one study by Gail Ironson, M.D., HIV positive men were given 45 minute massages five days a week, for a month. They showed an increase in serotonin and an increase in cells that are viewed as the first line of defense in the immune system.
Benefits of Strengthening the Immune System
- Increases the body’s natural killer cells
- Aids in the fight against bacteria and infection
- Naturally enhances the body’s ability to get nourishment to important areas
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