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Posted on 01-30-2016

When bones are out of place for long periods muscles will change in length. When trauma and adhesions are created they need massage therapy to correct the issues and stop bones from moving out of place. - Dr. Sara Tripps

In our office the treatment of the muscles is almost just as important as our treatment of misalignments. There are 3 phases of care. During the first phase, the patient often notices pain. Pain is often the last symptom to arrive and the first to leave. Even in acute situations, the misalignments could have been there quite some time allowing the muscles to have stretched. We offer passive care with the muscles and get them to relax and stop holding the misalignments. Massage therapy is great for helping this process and for relieving pain. During the 2nd phase of care, the bones are beginning to hold alignment and the muscles are more relaxed, but we have to teach the muscles to relax and contract at the appropriate times, so we offer more active care with stretching. Massage therapy is also helpful for this phase of care because it helps stretch and recondition the muscles, just in a different way than physical rehabilitation. In the last phase of care, the body is back in balance and able to maintain a wellness pattern. Patients are encouraged to learn and do stretches at home and to continue maintenance care with chiropractic and massage to keep on the wellness path. 

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage; however deeper pressure is applied to the muscles. It is best used for “trouble spots” such as shoulder or back pain. Deep tissue massage concentrates on deeper muscles, tendons, and fascia that Swedish massage cannot penetrate. Some benefits of a deep tissue massage include the relief of: Chronic pain, Back pain, Headaches, Stiffness, Anxiety. 

Does Deep Tissue Massage hurt?

At certain points during the massage, some people find there is some discomfort and pain; this can be normal. However, if the pain is intolerable “SPEAK UP” and let the massage therapist know. Also taking slow deep breaths during the massage can help with the pain and also helps relax the muscles. Deep tissue can result in some muscle soreness and tenderness which may last one or two days. Applying ice and stretching can help relieve this, but remember never apply ice directly to the skin always wrap the ice in a towel to prevent skin irritation. Also drink plenty of water after the massage to rehydrate muscles and may also help to flush out toxins, which can reduce muscle aches and stiffness.

What are the differences between Deep Tissue Massage and Relaxation Massage?

Deep Tissue

-Focuses on deeper muscles 
-Helps relieve chronic pain
-Improves posture
-Creates freedom of movement by releasing adhesions from muscle injury or chronic muscle contractions

Relaxation

-more light and superficial
-Known as the classic massage
-Found mostly in Spa like settings
-Releases everyday stress
-Swedish includes chair, pre-natal, children, infants and elderly

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