massage

At Affordable Chiropractic, we offer a variety of therapeutic massages including deep tissue.

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas such as stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders. Some of the same strokes are used as classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles).

Does Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?

At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort and pain. It is important to tell the massage therapist when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range. There is usually some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so. The massage therapist may recommend applying ice to the area after the massage.

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, and the following conditions:

How Does It Work? Techniques

When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist uses massage oil and often uses direct deep pressure. Muscles must be relaxed in order for the therapist to reach the deeper musculature.

Other Types of Massages Offered

Lymphatic Massage

Lymphatic massage, also called lymphatic drainage or manual lymph drainage, is a massage technique intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart. It is commonly used in the treatment of lymphedema, an accumulation of fluid that can occur after lymph nodes are removed during surgery, most often a mastectomy for breast cancer.

Connective Tissue Massage

Connective tissue massage is similar to myofascial release in that it involves working with the body’s fascia, or soft tissue, to relieve pain, tightness, and discomfort. The concept behind this type of massage is that restriction in one area of the body negatively affects other areas of the body. Therapists using this technique “hook” their fingers into the connective tissue and utilize pulling movements to lengthen the area. Benefits include pain reduction, tension relief, improved mobility and stress reduction.

Myofascial Release (MFR)

Myofascial release deals with the fascia, or connective tissues of the body. The fascia is interconnected to every other part of the body and actually helps to support the body’s very structure, including the musculoskeletal system. When injury, inflammation or physical or emotional trama occurs, the fascia can become tight and cause pain and or restricted range of motion. As its name suggests, myofascial release aims to release the fascia to its normal state by applying gentle pressure to the restricted areas. MFR can help with a number of conditions including chronic pain, headaches and stress related illnesses.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage utilizes slow strokes, direct pressure and or friction across the grain of the muscles with the fingers, thumbs or elbows. Deep Tissue massage works by working deeply into the muscles and connective tissue to release chronic aches and pains. It is designed to reach the fascia beneath the surface muscles.

Practitioners, like Kathy, must have a thorough understanding of the human body and have been trained to administer deep-tissue massage, as injury can occur if the technique is not performed properly. This technique is useful in treating chronic pain, inflammation, and injury.

Soft-Tissue Massage

Soft-Tissue Massage is a generic term used for any type of massage used to treat the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, fascia and scar tissue. Common techniques used include Swedish, myofacial release, deep-tissue massage, trigger-point therapy and connective tissue massage.

Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)

Neuromuscular Therapy is massage applied to specific muscles, often used to increase blood flow, release knots of muscle tension, or release pain and pressure on nerves. This therapy is also known as Trigger-Point Therapy in that concentrated finger pressure is applied to “Trigger Points” to alleviate muscular pain.

Reflexology

This technique is based on a system of points on the hands, feet and ears that correspond, or “reflex,” to other areas of the body. Similar in theory to acupressure, reflexologists believe that applying appropriate pressure to these points stimulates the flow of energy, which in turn helps relieve pain or blockages throughout the entire body. A very pleasurable form of bodywork, reflexology is also used to ease stress and promote relaxation.

Swedish Massage

Generally regarded as the most common form of massage, Swedish massage involves a combination of five basic strokes and concentrates on the muscles and connective tissues of the body for improved circulation, relaxation, pain relief, and overall health maintenance and well-being. Swedish massage is also on of the less demanding techniques for massage therapists to practice as it usually does not involve deep-tissue work.

Trigger-Point Therapy

Trigger points are areas of soft tissue in the body characterized by local pain, tightness and tenderness. Often trigger points develop because of referred pain or pain from another source that has manifested itself in a trigger point. Trigger points rarely refer pain to other areas.

Trigger-point therapy seeks to first identify trigger points, then apply steady, appropriate pressure to the point to “release” it. This is usually followed up by massage to the surrounding area to help treat the cause of the trigger point. Clients are encouraged to drink a lot of water following a trigger-point therapy session to flush out any toxins released when the trigger point is released.

References: Wong, N. (n.d.). Deep Tissue Massage - Everything You Need to Know. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from http://altmedicine.about.com/od/massage/a/massage.htm
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