Deep tissue massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue in your body by using firm pressure and slow, deliberate strokes. People who suffer from chronic pain, high blood pressure, or muscle injury and overuse tend to benefit most from deep tissue massage.
Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
Even if you don’t suffer from a chronic condition or serious injury, you can experience numerous benefits from regular deep tissue sessions. These benefits include:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced stress hormone levels
- Enhanced mood
- Better relaxation
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that lower blood pressure occurred after only one 45 to 60-minute deep tissue session. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, deep tissue massage increased levels of naturally occuring oxytocin and serotonin, powerful chemicals that help a person cope with stress and enhance their feelings of well being.
Additionally, deep tissue massage helps to break up scar tissue, which is often the cause of continuous pain and stiffness after surgery.
What to Expect During a Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue is similar to Swedish massage, but uses slower, deeper strokes. The massage professional may even use specially designed massage tools or their elbow in certain areas to apply pressure.
Be sure to communicate openly with your massage therapist about the pressure they’re using and your comfort level. Some pain is to be expected, but it should be manageable and should never feel like you’re “bracing” your muscles.