Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, an amateur training for their first big event, or simply someone who wants to look after their body after exercising, a deep tissue sports massage can bring you a world of benefits.
In this article, our specialists at BodyMotion Physiotherapy explore eight key reasons why Australians are choosing this rejuvenating treatment, and how you, too, can benefit from a sports massage, regardless of your fitness level.
What is a Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue & sports massage is a specialised type of massage therapy focusing on the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Using slow, deliberate strokes and firm pressure, your sports massage therapist will target any apparent knots, adhesions, and areas of tension to release tightness and alleviate discomfort.
Unlike a Swedish or relaxation massage, which focuses on stress relief, a deep-tissue sports massage is designed to address specific muscle imbalances, injuries, or chronic pain. As such, it’s common to experience some discomfort during the treatment as the therapist works on tight or tender areas, but the goal is to alleviate pain and discomfort, not cause further distress.
How Can Deep Tissue Massage Clinics Improve Your Health & Performance?
With a firmer impression of what a deep tissue massage is and how it is conducted, let’s explore its numerous benefits for athletes and everyday warriors alike.
1. Enhanced Athletic Performance
By increasing flexibility and range of motion, deep tissue & sports remedial massage helps to prevent injuries and keeps athletes performing at their peak. Furthermore, a sports massage can help correct muscular disparities and improve posture, producing more efficient and powerful physical output.
2. Pain Relief and Management of Chronic Conditions
From the professional athlete to the everyday office worker, chronic pain and muscle soreness can have a detrimental impact on your quality of life. Persistent lower back pain, stiff necks, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, and the general muscle tightness often associated with similar long-term conditions can all be addressed through massage therapy targeting the underlying cause.
The treatment works to release constricted tissue that is causing the discomfort, and while it isn’t a permanent solution, it will help to alleviate the pain for a period of time. In fact, some studies have even indicated that deep tissue massage is at least just as effective as standard medical care, if not more so.
3. Lowering Blood Pressure Through Improved Circulation & Blood Flow
The correlation between stress and blood pressure has received ample review in the medical community. Any activities or treatments that can lower stress levels are highly recommended to manage blood pressure.
A deep tissue sports massage can promote better circulation and blood flow, lowering the amount of stress and tensions held within our musculoskeletal system, and having a positive effect on diastolic, systolic and arterial blood pressure.
Furthermore, this improvement in circulation will ensure your muscles continue to receive the oxygen and essential nutrients they need to function at optimal levels. Your therapist will also do this to help in the removal of metabolic waste, which would otherwise contribute towards general soreness and fatigue, meaning a faster recovery after intense workouts and performances.
4. Stress Reduction for Better Mental Well-being
A deep tissue sports massage’s ability to reduce stress isn’t just about physical benefits – it also plays a crucial role in our mental well-being. As your sports massage therapist works on your muscles, your body’s cortisol levels (the stress hormone) decrease, while endorphins (the feel-good hormone) increase.
The result? A deep sense of relaxation and an improved overall mood, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to face whatever life throws at you.
5. Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
As mentioned above, deep tissue massage can help to break down scar tissue and adhesions, which restrict movement and cause pain. It can also strengthen weak or underused muscles, helping to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place as you train or compete. Should you be recovering from an injury, consider seeking out a physio massage near you to support your rehabilitation process and get you back on track.
6. Immune System Boost
Did you know that a deep tissue sports massage can actually boost your immune system? By enhancing your lymphatic flow and immune function, a sports massage can help reduce your risk of illness and infection, improving overall health and well-being.
The next time you’re feeling run down or susceptible to catching a cold, consider booking a sports massage near you – it might just be the immune boost you need.
7. Highly Effective for Non-Athletes
You don’t have to be an elite athlete to benefit from a deep-tissue sports massage. Everyday individuals can also experience relief from aches and pains associated with daily life. Whether it’s neck and shoulder tension from long hours at the computer or lower back pain from heavy lifting, a sports massage therapist can help you find relief with the abovementioned benefits.
Additionally, a remedial sports massage can improve your posture and reduce overall tension, making you feel more comfortable. And don’t forget the mental benefits – a deep tissue massage can enhance mental clarity and focus, making it easier to stay on top of your daily tasks!
Book in for a Deep Tissue Massage with a Physio Near You
Walach H, Güthlin C, König M. Efficacy of massage therapy in chronic pain: a pragmatic randomized trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Dec;9(6):837-46. doi: 10.1089/107555303771952181. PMID: 14736355.
Kulkarni S, O’Farrell I, Erasi M, Kochar MS. Stress and hypertension. WMJ. 1998 Dec;97(11):34-8. PMID: 9894438.
Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. Int J Neurosci. 2005 Oct;115(10):1397-413. doi: 10.1080/00207450590956459. PMID: 16162447.
Rapaport MH, Schettler P, Bresee C. A preliminary study of the effects of repeated massage on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and immune function in healthy individuals: a study of mechanisms of action and dosage. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):789-97. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0071. Epub 2012 Jul 9. PMID: 22775448; PMCID: PMC3419840.