Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle and fascia in the body. It is used to treat muscle pain and tension, as well as to reduce stress and improve blood pressure. This type of massage has been found to improve muscle function and range of motion, break up scar tissue and adhesions, and reduce pain. It can also increase serotonin production, which promotes good feelings and happiness.
Athletes are at greater risk of developing muscle pain and injury, and deep tissue massage can help reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow. Although no specific research has yet been done on the benefits of deep tissue massage in the rehabilitation of joints and muscles, studies show that massage therapy generally helps with performance, the prevention of muscle injuries and recovery. Research has also shown that massage helps lower levels of stress hormones and, at the same time, increases neurotransmitters that “feel good”, such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. A study has found that deep tissue massage has a positive effect on adults who experience symptoms of high blood pressure.
In addition to the benefits of regular massage, most people don't allow enough time for each massage session, especially if that massage is for deep tissue. People have different pain thresholds, and deep tissue massage can cause discomfort or even be a little painful. Unlike other massage techniques that focus on relaxation, deep tissue massage helps treat muscle pain and improve stiffness. It uses many of the same movements and techniques as a more classic superficial massage.
Massage therapies can also help increase the production of oxytocin, which is a hormone with calming and relaxing effects. Studies have shown that massage therapies can help calm and relax the body, as well as reduce levels of cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. While other types of massages rejuvenate the body and make you feel relaxed, a deep tissue massage provides therapeutic effects that can help heal or repair the body's tissues, muscles, and joints. Experts say that there is an overlap between deep tissue massage techniques and Swedish ones, but the biggest differences are the depth of pressure used and the perceived intensity. If your muscles are desperate for relief, a deep tissue massage focuses on the deeper layers of the muscle fascia, tendons and tissues.
Although massage therapy is generally safe, deep tissue massage uses very firm pressure and may not be safe for everyone. Montia says massage guns can work to eliminate knots and muscle pain, especially after intense exercise, but they're not a perfect substitute for true massage therapy.