Deep Tissue Massage has proven to be a very effective massage technique, which is directed specifically to individual muscle fibers. Its purpose is to unstick the fibers of a muscle while releasing deeply-held patterns of tension, removing toxins, relaxing, soothing and thereby re-educating, as well as encouraging the muscle to operate at full capacity. It is both corrective and therapeutic.
All movement and strength comes from the ability of the muscles to use calcium to contract and from their dependency on the circulatory system to provide oxygen and the lymphatic system to flush out and carry away the metabolic waste. Since muscles are arranged in pairs, one muscle must relax so the other can contract in order for them to remain healthy and functional.
The fibers of a healthy muscle will glide smoothly along one another within a muscle bundle as they are bathed in lymphatic fluid. Conversely, when an injury to a muscle occurs, the muscle fibers actually stick together restricting the lymphatic fluid from entering and causing them to become dehydrated. This condition may cause pain, stiffness, numbness, immobility and a variety of other dysfunctions.
Injuries are not the only contributor to muscle dysfunction. Frequently, age, overuse, injury, as well as emotional and physical trauma place increased demands on the body which result in lymphatic and circulatory system breakdowns. Both insufficient oxygen and a build up of metabolic byproducts add to the problem. All these conditions cause hypertoned muscles being in a constant state of contraction. The unfortunate result of this tightening is muscle spasm.
Another response to this condition is in the fascia the thin sheath of tissue which surrounds every muscle and cell in the body. It braces, splints and tightens the muscle even further in an attempt to protect the distressed area. As the fascia shortens and thickens, the muscles are unable to contract and relax properly. They are then forced to work harder to accomplish a particular movement and the pain intensifies. This process can extend until the condition becomes debilitating.
Deep Tissue Massage is very effective in the reversal of these problems because it creates a prolonged state of reduced muscular tension by applying deep muscle compression and cross fiber friction to increase blood and lymphatic flow.
Although Deep Tissue Massage is an intense massage with powerful results, it is done in such a way as to encourage the body not to react defensively. The depth and pressure of the work is kept within the comfort range of the client.
Source: Susie Riggs, CRP, CMT, NMT, Aurora CO
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