Deep tissue massage brings many benefits, including relaxation, relief, and recovery. However, there are things you can do to maximise and extend the improvements you experience after the massage. These can enhance your entire experience.
Your goal is to get as much from deep tissue massage as possible. So, it’s necessary to prepare in advance and have a plan on what to do once your massage is over. We’ve put together some tips that can help you get more out of your time on the massage table.
First, let’s take a look at what deep tissue massage is and some of the benefits you can expect from this type of therapy.
What is Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that’s used to treat musculoskeletal issues, including strains and sports injuries. This technique is done by applying sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of muscles and connective tissues. The massage works to break up scar tissue that may form after an injury and can reduce tension in muscles and tissues.
This form of massage may also promote faster healing by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation.
The benefits of deep tissue massage include:
- Stress relief
- Reduction of pain
- Lowers blood pressure & heart rate
- Breaks up scar tissue & makes movement easier
- Rehabilitates injured muscles
- Reduces symptoms of arthritis
Are There Any Side Effects of Deep Tissue Massage?
Some individuals may experience some soreness for a few days after a deep tissue massage. This is not unusual. Using a heating pad or cold pack wrapped in a towel can help relieve soreness.
What to Do Before Your Deep Tissue Massage
Before your massage appointment, you can do the following to enhance your deep tissue massage.
It’s essential to work on staying hydrated at least 24 hours before your appointment with the massage therapist. Deep tissue massage releases toxins from your muscles. Making sure you’re hydrated before your massage makes it easier for your body to flush these toxins as quickly and efficiently as possible.
In addition, well-hydrated muscles are more pliable. Pliable muscles can make it easier for the therapist to break up the toughest knots without causing too much discomfort.
Take a Shower
It’s not always possible to shower before your deep tissue massage appointment. However, a warm shower can loosen your muscles. Loosened muscles can help reduce any potential discomfort during the massage.
Wear Loose, Comfortable Clothing
Wearing loose, comfortable clothing can help you relax. In addition, muscle soreness may vary once the massage is over. Wearing loose clothing may be easier and more comfortable for you to put on and wear once your appointment is finished.
Know Your Goals Before the Massage
If you have a particular goal for the massage, such as relief of tension in a specific area or healing support following an injury, let your massage therapist know.
This way, they can address your concerns and work on the right areas to meet your needs.
What to Do After Your Deep Tissue Massage
It’s not unusual to experience post-massage soreness. This usually subsides in a day or so. During this time, there are several ways to relieve soreness and discomfort.
Continue to drink plenty of water after your appointment. It’s important to avoid sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated drinks.
Along with water, you can drink coconut water, fresh fruit, vegetable juice, or herbal teas. These are healthy options that can keep you hydrated and ease discomfort.
After your deep tissue massage, gentle stretches can help release muscle tension, improve flexibility, and get your circulation going.
This is also a great way to listen to your body, relieve stress, and quiet your mind.
Warming up your body can relieve muscle soreness. You can do this by taking a warm shower or visiting the sauna. Taking a bath in Epsom salt and soaking for 30 minutes is another way to find relief.
It’s also possible to use a heating pad or a hot rice bag on painful areas for up to 15 minutes.
Using an ice pack on painful areas a few times a day also works to relieve the soreness you may experience after a deep tissue massage. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and hold on the painful area for 15 minutes at a time.
Another option is to take an ice bath to relieve inflammation & soreness and increase blood flow.
Several herbs can help muscles relax and reduce inflammation. You can find these in different forms, including capsules, tinctures, and teas.
Some herbal options to consider:
Another way to ease soreness and discomfort after deep tissue massage is to take the time to rest and recharge.
You can elevate your feet and legs with pillows and spend time listening to your favourite music, reading, or sleeping.
Speaking of sleeping, a good night’s rest can do wonders to help your body recover from the stress of massage. The body effectively uses nutrients that are provided by increased blood flow. Aim for at least six hours of sleep a night.
When to Speak Up
Honest communication with your therapist is essential. It is helpful to discuss your concerns with the massage therapist before your appointment. Explain the concerns you may have about your body and the pressure you prefer.
During the massage, the therapist will check with you to see if you’re comfortable or not. If you’re uncomfortable, speak up. Don’t hesitate to let your therapist know you’d like them to try a different pressure. Massage should not feel painful.
The key is to be honest about any discomfort or pain you may experience. The goal of the massage is not to cause pain but to help you feel better. Some soreness and discomfort are normal after deep tissue massage. However, if you feel intense pain, it’s best to see your healthcare provider for evaluation.
Summing It Up
It’s normal to feel some discomfort and soreness after a deep tissue massage. You can maximise the benefits of the massage by following our tips and always being honest with your therapist about any pain or discomfort during your deep tissue massage.
And remember, it’s essential to schedule another appointment for a deep tissue massage. Most people experience benefits from one massage; however, they experience significant improvements with regular massage appointments.
How often should I get a deep tissue massage?
For chronic issues or muscle tension, a weekly massage may be beneficial. However, for general relaxation, a monthly massage is often sufficient.
Is deep tissue massage painful?
It can be uncomfortable, but it should not be excessively painful. Be sure to communicate with your therapist about your comfort level.
Can I eat immediately after a deep tissue massage?
It’s best to wait at least an hour before eating a full meal. You can have a light snack if needed.
Are there any side effects of deep tissue massage?
Some people may experience minor side effects such as soreness or fatigue, but these usually subside within a day or two.
Can I receive a deep tissue massage if I have a medical condition?
Before scheduling a deep tissue massage, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it’s safe for your specific condition.
Can deep tissue massage help with stress and anxiety?
Yes, deep tissue massage can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and releasing tension.