If you suffer from muscle tension and pain, caused by posture, sports or injury, deep tissue and trigger point massage is the place to go.
The massage is stronger than average and can help with:
- Chronic muscle tension
- Recovering from injury
- Carpal Tunnel
- Muscle spasm
- Chronic headaches
- Muscle strain
Though used separately, the two complementary massage styles are often used together to get a deep release.
What happens in a session?
Your therapist asks you to fill in the usual client questionnaire, covering questions about the nature of your aches and pains, medical history and general life style. There may also be a physical assessment of your issue. You will be able to undress in private and lie covered on the massage couch. Deep tissue is an intense oil massage, the therapist lends their body weight to their hands, elbows and forearms to deeply stretch out the tension from tight muscles. The slow pressure is targeted on to the specific areas to give a steady, powerful release that goes beyond relaxation.
The addition of trigger point (also known as myofascial therapy massage) adds an interesting dimension. A trigger point can feel like a hard pea in the muscle, which causes referred pain elsewhere in the body. The therapist finds this spot of 'exquisite tenderness' and holds it under pressure until it softens. You then score the soreness as it reduces with the stretch.
Neither treatment should hurt (as long as you communicate with your therapist!) but you will probably feel like you've had a good work out afterwards and your symptoms will continue to improve after a few days.
Who is it for?
If you are the sort of person who likes to really feel that 'good pain' sensation when you get a massage, this is for you.
Who should stay away?
If you are a sensitive type who is in touch with your body and quickly gets overwhelmed or just want to relax, this massage will feel too strong. If you have the following conditions, deep tissue and trigger point is not the right treatment.
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Cerebral palsy
- Borderline personality disorders
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Stomach upsets
- Acute injury (i.e. swollen)
Why does it work?
Deep tissue techniques un-glue the knots or adhesions in the muscle where fibres have stuck together. This releases the lactic acid and allows the circulation to improve in the area and relieves stiffness and pain. Using careful, sustained pressure on Trigger points softens them and stops the referred pain in the body.
Where does it come from?
Deep tissue doesn't have a specific origin, it just means the massage is more intense than average. Trigger point therapy was made famous by Janet Travell, who treated John F Kennedy's back pain.