Whether you work out intensely or just work insanely or just diligently go about with your day-to-day activities, you mind and body are stressed either way and that calls for timely relaxation to ensure that you get the much needed time and rest for complete recovery. The best way to ensure it, is a Massage Therapy. We will explore this in detail today to understand not only its benefits but also, how you are injuring your body by not getting one done.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is, what I like to call, comfort food for the mind-body-soul. Massage has been practiced for thousands of years. Today, you can choose from about 80 massage therapy styles with a wide variety of pressures, movements, and techniques. These all involve pressing, rubbing, or manipulating muscles and other soft tissues with hands and fingers. Sometimes, even forearms, elbows, or feet are used.
Not only is massage therapy an effective way to help soothe sore muscles and improve blood flow, it also doubles as a powerful, natural stress reliever for many people. Today, there’s a wide range of massage techniques used by therapists to help people overcome common health conditions like fibromyalgia, anxiety and arthritis. Scientific studies show that massage therapy also improves functions of the lymphatic system, helps regulate hormones and can prevent many injuries.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
- Lowers Depression, Anxiety & Fatigue
- Loosen stiff muscles
- Treats Lower Back Pain
- Reduces Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Bursitis & Joint Pain
- Can Help Lower High Blood Pressure
- Sleep More Soundly
- Helps Regulate Hormones & Control Diabetes
- Raises Immunity
- Helps with Smoking Cessation
- Improve Blood Flow
- Heal Injuries
Types of Massage
While there are many different types of body massages offered today, some of the most common types include:
- Swedish Massage
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Sports Massage
- Prenatal Massage
- Thai Massage
- Soft Tissue Massage/Release
Which Massage is the best for me?
While you are free to choose any of the massages listed above, the best one recommended, if you’re not a pregnant lady, is a Deep Tissue Massage.
Deep tissue massage is best for giving attention to certain painful, stiff “trouble spots” in your body. The massage therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin. Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage may be therapeutic.
These massages utilize deep-tissue/deep-muscle movements to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. They are normally used for treating chronic muscular pain, injury rehabilitation and reducing inflammation-related disorders such as arthritis.
For the average person dealing with a mild level of stress and minimal muscle strain, scheduling a 45-60 minutes’ deep tissue massage once or twice a month should be enough.
Do Deep Tissue Massages Hurt?
The pressure used here is higher compared to other techniques. Therefore, at certain times during the massage, you may feel some discomfort or even some pain as the massage therapist works on areas where there are adhesions or scar tissue. In fact, your body may tense up in response to pain, making it harder for the therapist to reach deeper muscles.
Do I need a Deep Tissue Massage even if I don’t workout intensely?
Our lives are pretty hectic and sedentary in terms of physical activity. And even the work-life stress stiffens our muscles, causing MUSCLE KNOTS.
Muscle knots are small, bump-like areas of muscle that can be painful to the touch. The medical term for muscle knots is myofascial trigger points. These knots occur when muscle fibres or the bands of tissue called fascia underneath them tense and tighten.
The most common source of muscle knots is the trapezius muscle. This muscle makes a triangle-like shape from the neck to the middle of the back and the shoulder. Tension and knots in the trapezius muscles often occur due to stress and poor posture, causing lower back pain.
Muscle ‘knots’ are incredibly common but common doesn’t mean they are normal or harmless. Chronic stress on our muscles creates micro-tearing of muscle tissue.
Those muscle knots release toxins into your body. Muscle researchers found that those trigger points release 11 different toxins into your blood – and the bigger your knot, the more toxins it releases, causing damages throughout your entire body.
This said, you must go ahead with any massage that you deem fit for yourself. If you currently have any health conditions that might put you at risk for further injury if you receive a massage, or if you’re pregnant, it’s best to talk to your doctor first. It’s always recommended that you work with a licensed/accredited massage therapist.
Hope this throws light on the important health benefits of Massage Therapy, and more importantly, a Deep Tissue Massage. Key take away – Include massage in your timely health care routine to stay fit, free of pains and relaxed.
If there are any other questions about the DOs and DONTs or the techniques, drop a comment below and I will happy to help you out.