Relaxation and Deep Tissue Massage
Massage therapy can be broken up into two categories: deep tissue massage and relaxation.
Deep Tissue Massage
There is nothing like a deep tissue massage treatment when you are stiff and sore. This style of massage therapy is great for general maintenance of the body, for those with physically demanding jobs, a tough session at the gym, or long hours spent at the computer. Deep tissue is best suited to general aching and overall tension of the muscles rather than acute pain in certain regions with a lack of mobility caused by the pain. in these cases, a remedial massage or musculo-skeletal treatment may be a better option for you. Deep tissue massages will flush waste from the body, increase circulation and encourage the flow of nutrients to tissue. Additionally, it will break down scar tissue and fibrous tissue areas formed due to injury or repetitive use.
So What is Deep Tissue?
The phrase “Deep Tissue Massage” comes from a Swedish Massage with the application of deeper pressure on muscles and often use of trigger points techniques to release muscle tension. Cross fibre friction and tendon mobilisation as well are techniques of Deep Tissue Massage.
Trigger points are areas with muscle tissue that has contracted and banded together. As the chart above demonstrates, Trigger Points can be either Active or Latent.
- Active points can even direct pain to other areas of the body, even those that are not aligned with the trigger point itself. Trigger points can also encourage the release of sensitizing chemicals into muscles, thus increasing pain even more.
- Latent points are trigger points that are present but don’t cause any noticeable pain. They do, however, cause tension, stiffness and weakness and need to be treated with a deep tissue massage.
How do we treat Trigger Points?
A massage therapist can find a trigger point manually as it will either be an already painful area indicated by the client or they will feel sharpness when pressure is applied to the sensitive area. They will hold the point until the pain subsides. Using a Pain Scale of 1 to 10, The trigger point is held until it drops to a 2 or 3. Often a pulsing will be felt by the therapist and the tissue can be felt relaxing under pressure.
What causes Trigger Points?
The main reason why trigger points occur is due to poor posture, and this in turn is due to our lifestyle and work environment that demands us to hold positions where certain muscles are overstressed while others are not used in balance. It is also believed that hormones may be a factor, as women tend to be more prone to this than men. Regardless of the reason, massage therapy is a very effective way to treat trigger points and increase mobility and relaxation.
Relaxation massages are for those looking for a decrease in stress levels. Life becomes busy, and the body experiences a lot of wear and tear due to lifestyle demands. Relaxation massages work to relieve the body of stress, increase blood circulation, relax sore and tired muscles, and help to maintain general well-being. These massages can target any part of the body, or even the whole body.