“One of the hottest topics in sports has nothing to do with multi-layer golf balls but be warned, if you hear someone talking about deep-tissue massage, don’t confuse it with that gentle rubdown you had at the spa last summer.”
“You want a deep-tissue massage to be right on the threshold of pleasure and pain,” says Whitney Lowe, director of an orthopedic massage school in Bend, Ore., and author of the book Functional Assessment in Massage Therapy. “You can bruise someone by doing this.”
Just ask PGA Tour player Hal Sutton, who sported a few black-and-blue marks after receiving a lower-back massage he desperately needed to finish a tournament last year. But Sutton will be the first to tell you…
“it hurts so good, and it’s worth it because it works”
The concept is simple: A therapist applies appropriate pressure to the specific muscle or tendon group where pain or soreness is prevalent. Working the specific area vigorously brings relief from soreness faster than a general all-over massage can, although it’s a lot less pleasurable. It takes about an hour to complete.
Deep Tissue Massage has proven to be a very effective massage technique, which is directed specifically to individual muscle fibers.
The purpose is to:
Un-stick the fibers of a muscle while releasing deeply-held patterns of tension.
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:
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 hyper-toned 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.
Deep tissue: Slow strokes and deep finger pressure on areas that simply ache or feel contracted. This is used to go deep into the layers of muscles and fibers. When an area is over worked or injured, layers of scar tissue are formed.
This is the way the body protects itself, causing shortening of the muscle (contracted state) and restricting our mobility in that affected area. Over time, toxins are released. In order to help the overworked area get back to normal, those layers need to be taken apart one layer at a time.
Sports: The intent is to warm muscles, increase circulation, and invigorate the athlete. In general, sports massage techniques are deeper, more vigorous, more intense, and more interactive. Open palm sweeping and kneading are commonly used.