Many people have a misconception when it comes to a deep tissue massage. Everyone thinks it’s going to be extremely painful, they are going to be black & blue afterwards or you are going to limp out of the treatment room. No pain, no game- right? WRONG! I specialize in deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy and as a Registered Massage Therapist at Choice Health Centre I am here to help educate you on what to expect in a proper therapeutic deep tissue massage.
What Is a Trigger Point & How Do They Form?
How & Why Do Trigger Points Refer Pain?
Trigger points have very specific pain patterns that have been mapped out through extensive amounts of scientific research. The first to research trigger points was medical physician Dr. Janet Travell (happened to also care for President Kennedy’s back pain) and her co-researcher, Dr. David Simons. The work of Travell and Simons as well as Andrew R. Biel, a fellow Registered Massage Therapist, who wrote the award winning book “Trail Guide to the Body” has changed the way health care practitioners assess and treat myofascial (muscular and fascial) pain.
Therapists use their hands to place a specific amount of pressure on a trigger point in order to release the lactic acid build up. When a trigger point is releasing, it sends out a signal to a different part of your body called a referral pattern. Referral patterns can be quite intense, but only for the first 10-15 seconds depending on the severity of the trigger point and how long it’s been there. An example of a common trigger point is that of the trapezius muscle, which is often the source of a tension headache- when this trigger point is being released, patients can feel the pain into their head that almost to a tee mimic’s their tension headache.
Deep Tissue Massage Should Not Be Painful
Communication is Key During A Massage Treatment
Flushing, water, heat and stretching are all huge components in a deep tissue massage. After doing any form of deeper work you need to flush out the area being worked. When you force out lactic acid you are also releasing all the blood in the muscle. If you do not flush the area out, which is basically long, lighter passes on the muscle tissue, the muscle does not have the fluids it needs to thrive. This is going to help increase circulation to the muscle & move around lactic acid around.
- Once released the acid cannot get back into the muscle- it dissipates into your body. Drinking lots of water helps to rid your body of it as well as other toxins released by treatment.
- Heat will also help not only bring blood flow to the surface but heat is beneficial for muscle rehabilitation.
- Stretching is also important to elongate the muscles, help the circulation of those important fluids and keep those muscles flexible, strong and healthy.
So remember the next time you see your friendly neighbourhood massage therapists … TALK! Ask questions during the massage, let your therapist educate you on what condition you have and how they can fix it. Too much pressure? Don’t like a certain technique being done? Let them know! Unsure if they can treat a specific injury? Ask! Still unsure about deep tissue? Come see me, I would be honoured to help you!
To book an appointment with Michael Chappelle, RMT or one of our other health care professionals at Choice Health Centre call (902) 404-3668 or book online.