Looking beyond a feel-good massage
Understanding the difference between the various types of massage isn’t always easy. For many people, their first massage is at a hotel or spa. Above all, it’s just seen as a way to treat themselves and help to relax.
But there usually comes a time when you need the massage for something far more specific. Consequently, you’ll need to understand what makes each massage different.
Here, we look at how a sports massage and deep tissue massage differ. Many people think they are one of the same things. But they are not. There are some crucial differences.
Understanding the two types of massage
Firstly, let’s consider a sports massage. The aim of this type of massage is to manage and rehabilitate the soft tissue in the body. The goal is to restore muscles, ligaments, and tendons to optimal health.
It’s for people who are physically active and participate in sport. People who need to recover quickly for the next bout of exercise. It can help in a number of ways. These include,
- restoring function back into damaged tissue
- managing and preventing pain
- optimizing range of movement and flexibility so that the body performs to its best
More specifically, this is achieved in the following ways. By,
- improving the blood flow through damaged tissue
- breaking down and reforming scar tissue at the site of an injury
- removing metabolic waste from tissue
It is a great form of massage to help prevent and recover from injury. But it should also be used to aid and enhance sports performance. Many elite athletes will count on regular sports massage to keep on top of their sport. But it can be used by recreational athletes to great effect.
How is deep tissue massage different?
Unlike sports massage, deep tissue massage doesn’t have such a specific focus. It’s often used for people with chronic pain that has developed from any of many different sources. Or it can also be used to help with rehabilitation from injury (not always sport-related).
In addition, it helps with a variety of other conditions and situations. These include helping to alleviate issues with RSI, Fibromyalgia, and postural problems.
As the name suggests, it targets the inner layers of the muscles. It’s used to treat muscle and tendon injuries, pain, and stiffness in the major muscle groups and joints. It involves applying firm pressure and slow strokes to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia.
Undoubtedly, it is a more rigorous form of massage. But provided the practitioner is skilled, it shouldn’t reach a point at which it becomes painful.
Understanding the importance of using a qualified therapist
Clearly, it is vital that you are treated by someone who knows what they are doing. Without a doubt, an inexperienced or unqualified therapist will cause more harm than good.
Therefore, never be shy about inquiring into the background of the therapist treating you. If you need further advice on understanding what type of massage is most suitable for you, please contact us. We will be more than happy to help.