What is a Deep Tissue Percussion Massage?
It focuses on the deep layers of muscle and connective tissue. Percussion massage is the use of a tool that provides rapid, short duration pulses that reach deep into the connective tissues of the body, which are also known as Fascia.
Deep tissue massage provides a great benefit for those with chronic pain, as well as athletes, as it relieves muscle pain and improves stiffness, while percussive therapy helps muscles recover quickly, reducing the lactic acid accumulation that causes muscle pain and stiffness.
Deep tissue percussive massage is considered the ultimate massage experience and a breakthrough treatment.It helps you to:
- Relieving soft tissue pain and reducing muscle soreness.
- Accelerating the growth and repair of tissues by increasing blood flow to the affected area.
- Providing a gentle stretch to muscles and connective tissues.
- Enhancing range of motion and function.
- Speeding up muscle recovery after a workout by improving responsiveness and performance.
- Improving overall wellness due to increased venous and lymphatic circulation. (1)
For whom is the deep tissue percussion approach suitable?
People with muscle pain, soreness and stiffness, such as those who sit or stand for a long time, athletes, the elderly with chronic pain as well as fitness enthusiasts.
Percussive massage therapy's efficacy:Many physical health and fitness experts have conducted clinical studies on handheld percussive massage treatment for both therapeutic use and in sports practice. The key evaluation criteria measured the effects of a 5-min percussion treatment on improving range of motion (ROM) and maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) in 2 groups of people, one of which was exposed to treatment while other people were considered as a control group.
One of the studies that was published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine showed a significant increase in range of motion and muscle performance in the treated group.
Based on that, the studies recommended the inclusion of a percussive massage treatment in a warm-up regimen to optimize the flexibility level of an athlete, without losing muscle performance. (2)
- Further evidence was adapted from another study that analyzed data from different sources, gathering 1012 participants on the effect of sports massage on performance and recovery. The analysis showed significant improvements in flexibility and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This meta-analysis was recently published in the British Medical Journal.(3)
Fascia massage! What is it? And does it mean deep tissue percussion?
You have probably noticed this terminology at the beginning of this blog, and it is defined as the framework for all connective tissues. Fascia is everywhere in our bodies, literally from toe to head. Fascia is a Latin word, and it means “band”.Although therapists and experts consider that fascia and deep tissue techniques are metaphorically the same, this is not completely accurate since there are 3 types of Fasciae:
- Superficial: The lowermost layer of the skin.
- Visceral: Suspends and wraps the organs within their cavities.
- Deep fascia surrounds individual muscles and divides muscle groups into fascial compartments..
Based on this fact, Fascial massage is different from Deep Tissue percussion, and it can be done using a cross handed technique, stretching the fascia in opposite directions while keeping sustained pressure and stretching to decrease pain and increase range of motion. Therefore, both techniques serve the same goal, yet with different methodology.
Other types of massage therapyThere are several types of massage techniques that focus on different spots of the body according to the healing plan decided by the therapist, and they include
- Swedish Massage
For relaxation, managing minor pain and it is also suitable for people who are new to massage therapy.
- Hot stone massage
It may relieve more muscle tension than Swedish massage due to the added heat. This type of massage is usually more expensive than Swedish massage.
- Aromatherapy massage
It combines the gentle touches of Swedish massage with the addition of essential oils. This type of massage may not be the preferred one for those who are allergic or sensitive to smell or essential oils.
- Shiatsu massage
Is a good option for a relaxing experience. It may also help release minor tension.
- Thai massage
This type is more active than other forms of massage, where the therapist stretches the body while providing a massage.
It focuses on pressure points in feet, hands, and ears.