ABOUT OUR MASSAGES
OUR relaxing massage treatments will usually involve flowing strokes and kneading, performed at your chosen pressure.
It’s a pain free therapy and an effective way to de-stress and relax the mind and body.
Therapeutic/Deep Tissue Massage
This massage technique uses slower, superficial, or more forceful strokes (depending on the individual’s requirements), to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. More commonly used to help with muscle damage from overuse or injuries.
This is similar to Swedish massage (long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping techniques), geared toward people involved in sport activities. This type of massage helps to prepare the muscle tissue for activity/competition, or even to help prevent or treat injuries.
Trigger Point Therapy
This massage technique focuses on areas of tight muscle fibres that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse. This specialised technique, is proven to improves movement and alleviates pain almost immediately.
FOR MIND, BODY & SOUL
What is a Deep Tissue Massage?
A deep tissue massage is a particular massage technique that uses slow strokes and sustained pressure to target the inner layers of muscles, deep below the surface. It’s used primarily to treat musculoskeletal problems and to aid recovery from vigorous physical activity or sports injuries, but it also has wider applications that can improve the body, mind and soul of anyone receiving the treatment.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at all the benefits deep tissue massages have to offer, the types of treatment available, the most common side effects to consider, and the treatments on offer at THE HEALTH FAIRY.
Where did deep tissue massage originate?
Some historians believe that the history of deep tissue massage can be traced all the way back to Ancient Egypt. But in more modern times, it was first commonly used in the 19th century, when Canadian doctors used the technique to treat sufferers of whiplash. From there, the technique spread into the United States, where it gained real popularity when promoted in the book ‘Muscles: Your Invisible Bonds’, published in 1949.
Today, it’s now a commonly used practice by masseurs, therapists and sports scientists all over the world, to aid the condition and recovery of the muscles that help us move around and stay active every day.
REVIVE & REJUVENATE
What are the benefits of deep tissue massage?
It’s easy to think that deep tissue massage benefits are limited to rejuvenating or repairing tired and strained muscles. But that’s only part of the story: a good treatment can help you feel great from head to toe, inside and out.
Deep tissue massages help reduce stress in two ways: they stimulate the release of hormones that naturally relax the body, and they’re also a good opportunity to unwind in a quiet, peaceful environment.
Chronic pain is relieved by deep tissue massage treatment, as it releases the underlying tension within the muscles, particularly in the neck and back; massages can in some cases be more effective than medical intervention in these areas.
Lower blood pressure and heart rate
The reduced tension that deep tissue massage provides leads to a natural reduction in blood pressure, also leading to a reduction in heart rate.
Breaking up scar tissue & easier movement
Improved circulation means that deep tissue massages can ease the localised stiffness and pain that can often affect scar tissue, and ensure that movement isn’t as badly restricted in that particular area.
Reduced arthritis symptoms
All of the above benefits can be transformative for arthritis sufferers: less tension, relieved pain, ease of movement (especially in joints), and as a result, improved sleep patterns.
Rehabilitate injured muscles
Deep tissue massages stretch out muscles to their fullest extent, removing any tightness from them, and also releasing the toxins that can weigh them down and make them feel tired.
Common deep tissue massage techniques
There are several different techniques that masseurs and masseuses can adopt when targeting deep tissue, depending on the preferences of the person being treated, and the desired end result. These include (but are not necessarily limited to):
Strokes are applied in a long, smooth, gliding motion, and the masseur will vary the speed and intensity up and down over the course of the treatment. This lengthens and stretches out the muscles to reduce tension.
Deep pressure is applied by the masseur kneading the skin with the palms of their hands to put particular focus on one area of the body.
Perhaps one of the most well-known massage techniques, this is the rapid and repeated hitting of the body with hands to loosen up muscles that are stiff.
Specific tightness and knots can be released through friction, applied by the masseur in a circular motion using their fingers and thumbs.
The vibration technique presses and releases muscles up and down, in order to break up any tension or muscle habits that prevent free movement.
Cross fibre friction
This more advanced technique involves the stroking of an affected area hard enough to generate some friction, and is principally used in the recovery of more serious muscular injuries.
Active release technique
Those who have suffered repeated muscle injuries often find this beneficial: it involves deep pressure being held on an affected area while the muscle tightens and loosens again and again.
Trigger point therapy
Smaller pain points can be relieved of tension through the constant application and release of deep pressure through the masseur’s fingers.
Using closed fists and knuckles to apply pressure in different areas is hugely beneficial in releasing tension long-term, although it can cause some initial soreness immediately afterwards.
Common side effects of deep tissue massage
It’s worth noting that, as deep tissue massage can be a relatively intensive treatment, there can be some side effects. Of course, how people are affected will vary from one person to the next, but it’s worth bearing the following in mind:
As the massage vigorously stimulates the muscles, it is common to experience feelings of pain during or immediately after treatment. These should subside within a few days, but in rare cases where it continues beyond that, consulting a doctor may be advisable.
Muscle aches or fatigue
Headaches or migraines
Occasionally, people suffer headaches or migraines after a treatment. This could be caused by the head sitting at an unusual position during the massage, or the treatment taking place close to the head (i.e. in the neck or at the top of the back).
Feeling of fatigue or sleepiness
The high levels of relaxation that a massage can stimulate means it’s easy to feel tired or sleepy afterwards, but after a good night’s sleep, most people feel fine again.
Inflammation of treatment area
A sustained focus on one particular area of the body during treatment means it can become inflamed, but this can be treated with light pain relief or even just applying ice.
Skin heat or redness
Similar to the above point, the skin between the muscle and the masseur’s hands can easily become hot and red during treatment, although this does suggest that the muscles beneath are getting the stretching they need.
With so many toxins being flushed out of the body, feeling nauseous is a natural and understandable symptom, easily treated by drinking plenty of water afterwards.
Bruising is unusual, and unless you bruise especially easily, shouldn’t really happen if the massage is administered properly. If you’re worried about bruising, make sure you discuss it with your masseur before they begin the treatment.
Aggravation of old injuries
If you have underlying injuries from the past, a deep tissue massage can affect those areas again. Ensure your masseur is aware of any of these problems before starting treatment, so that they can handle those areas with care.