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The Goals of Deep-Tissue and Sports Massage - PSIC

Massage therapy is a treatment modality that involves the manual stimulation and manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. However, there are several massage types available depending upon a person’s health and goals for massage. Two common massage types that have some similarities are deep tissue and sports massage. Knowing the difference between these two massage types can help to determine the best option for you.

Deep-Tissue massage and Sports massage are both highly effective in releasing muscular tension, breaking up fibrous tissue to reduce pain, and relaxing the body. The muscular tension and imbalance can lead to further stresses on joints, ligaments and tendons in addition to the muscles themselves. Muscle imbalance can develop over time, gradually building up, and finally start causing pain when yet another factor puts further demand on the body – be it sport, work or injury related. A skilled massage therapist will be able to detect differences in the soft tissue and use a variety of appropriate techniques, such as active release, trigger point therapy and muscle energy techniques to help address the associated muscular pain and tension.

Sports Massage identifies and deals with problem areas before they develop into injuries, increases range of motion, boosts

Sports massage and massage can be of tremendous benefit.

and restores agility and elasticity, eliminates muscle adhesions. The main purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively.

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that targets on realigning deep tissue structure of the fascia and muscles, focusing on the release of muscle tension and adhesions. When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. The inflammation and toxins contribute to pain and stress. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist often uses direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles.

The benefits of deep tissue massage are similar to those of sports massage. In addition to make you feeling good, they reduce muscle tension, improve flexibility, lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, increase blood circulation and lymph flow, and relieves pain. Sports Massage can also include maintenance techniques that promote greater athletic endurance and performance, minimize chances of injury and speed up recovery time. A pure deep tissue treatment, however, is a slower and more relaxing experience than the more vigorous sports massage, and it’s great for those who want a relaxing massage but prefer firm pressure.