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How to reduce back pain while honouring your desk job

Deep tissue massage treatment

What is a Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage used to relieve muscle tension or limited movement of joints. This type of massage concentrates on realigning deeper layers of muscle and tissue, where the massage strokes help break down pockets of tense tissue that are causing pain. The concentrated pressure on these specific areas releases the tension, allowing for better blood flow and joint movement.

What is Different about it?

Numerous types of massage can be used to treat a patient. One of the main deep tissue massage benefits is that the hands and fingertips can be used along with other body parts, such as the elbows and forearms, to reach deeper layers of muscle tissue. The massage strokes of a deep tissue back massage, for example, would go with and against the muscle grain, with considerably more pressure than other types of massage. This added pressure from the strokes allows the pockets of tense tissue to be broken down, serving to relieve chronic pain or tension.

Here are some other types of massage used to treat pain:

  • Swedish massage – this is the most well-known type of massage, one which is the foundation for other types of massage. Massage therapists perform this type of massage to stimulate circulation, and relieve neck pain, back pain and shoulder pain. Swedish massages typically employ various strokes that relieve tension and stress, and relax the muscles: friction, tapotement, vibration, effleurage and petrissage. Deep tissue massage incorporates much of the same strokes as Swedish massage, and works if the patient can tolerate additional pressure to get relief from chronic pain.
  • Sports massage – this type of massage is aimed towards those who compete in sports professionally. This involves manipulation of the soft tissue and the muscles to prevent or improve sports injuries. Sports massage incorporates many of the Swedish massage techniques, along with occasional proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching to improve mobility and flexibility. There are several similarities between deep tissue massage and sports massage, where many of the strokes and techniques are shared in both. The caveat with sports massages is that they typically focus on one particular area of rehabilitation after an injury, whereas the spectrum for deep tissue massage therapy is broader and is mainly designed to treat chronic pain.
  • Lymphatic drainage – this type of massage encourages the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues. London Wellness Centre do not offer this type of massage as a therapy, as we do find deep tissue massage to be a more effective method of releasing toxins in the body. Deep tissue massage strokes aim to flush toxins away too, just by regenerating the muscle tissue. With lymphatic drainage, the toxins in the body are flushed through the lymph nodes, with the massage transporting nutrients and oxygen to cells in the lymph system.

What should I do Before and After my Massage?

If you are experiencing deep tissue massage therapy for the first time, here are some recommended steps to take to ensure you are getting the most out of the procedure.

Before your massage:

  • Drink plenty of water, though not to the point where you feel uncomfortable lying down on your stomach
  • Limit your food intake; do not eat a heavy meal beforehand. The intense pressure could cause discomfort if your stomach is full or still trying to digest large amounts of food
  • Be relaxed. Arrive early to your appointment so you have time to unwind

After your massage:

  • Drink plenty of water afterwards, to help your body flush away any toxins released from your system, and to help your body recover. Many people feel light-headed after a deep tissue massage and water will help to ease that sensation
  • Ice any inflamed areas, particularly in areas where the deepest pressure was applied. Conversely, your massage therapist may also recommend also applying heat to some areas, which is known as hot shunting. These areas might be tender before the pain starts disappearing and both hot and cold shunting are ideal for keeping the blood flowing to the affected areas
  • Avoid strenuous activity straight away so as not to exert the muscles too much
  • Stretching the muscles can help to reduce stiffness and tenderness

Can a Chiropractor help?

Yes. If you are experiencing any of the below types of pain, you should absolutely visit a chiropractor. Multi-skilled chiropractors are experienced in providing tailor-made treatment plans for all of the below. People have claimed that deep tissue massage helps with any of the below:

Deep tissue massage benefits you in many ways. A good series of massages along with chiropractic care can assist you with indigestion, stress and sleep, as well as treat chronic pain. A combination of both massage and chiropractic therapy will give you the fastest recovery, in the most pain-free way. Here at London Wellness Centre, we provide the best deep tissue massage which we offer at both our London Bridge and Canary Wharf clinics.

To book a consultation, click here.

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