1. Alleviates Chronic Back Pain
One study that compared the effectiveness of two different kinds of massages for treating chronic back pain, therapeutic (lighter) massage versus deep tissue massage (DTM), found that DTM treatment over the course of 10 days resulted in significantly better improvements in pain compared to therapeutic massage (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics)
2. Helps Lower High Blood Pressure
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that deep tissue massage had positive effects on systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure readings in adults with high blood pressure.
3. Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Muscle Tension
Inflammation caused by chronic stress and muscle tension can lead to worsened overall health, longer recovery time, reduced immune function and cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure. Studies have found that massage therapy can help lower cortisol levels and increase production of the hormone oxytocin. Massage has been shown to improve relaxation by boosting activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, as measured by heart rate, blood pressure and heart rate variability.
4. Breaks Up Scar Tissue
Deep tissue massages are often utilized following injuries to help break up newly forming scar tissue that can make recovery more difficult and lead to stiffness. Massage has been shown to help reduce inflammation and muscle spasms by stimulating blood flow, loosening up muscles to allow for more oxygen and also helping reduce the nervous system’s automatic stress response.
5. Improves Athletic Recovery and Performance
Research published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness reported positive findings for deep tissue massage in to improving athletic recovery and performance. The most beneficial type of deep tissue massage for athletes is considered to be “sports massage,” which is commonly performed prior to athletic events to help warm the body and prevent injuries or immediately after to improve recovery. There are also psychological benefits for athletes receiving massages, which can include improved focus and confidence.
6. Can Help with Labour Pain and Delivery
Massage therapy can be effective during pregnancy due to its anxiety-lowering effects, and women who receive massages before and during labour tend to experience decreased depression, anxiety, and leg and back pain. Results from one study found that women who received massages prior to and during labour had significantly less pain, plus their labors were on average three hours shorter and required less need for medication.
Because cortisol levels decrease following massage and blood flow is improved, pregnant women are also better protected from excessive fetal activity and risk for premature
7. Reduces Arthritis symptoms
According to the Arthritis Foundation, massage is often used to relieve common symptoms of many types of arthritis, including chronic joint pain, stiffness, anxiety, limited range of motion in joints and trouble sleeping. Research shows that firmer massages with more pressure can result in a significant reduction in arthritis pain compared to lighter massages.