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Our bodies are designed to let us know when something is wrong or damaged — unfortunately, usually through pain or discomfort. Maybe you have scar tissue from injury or prolonged wear-and-tear, or muscle knots that are disrupting circulation or causing inflammation. If so, deep-tissue massage may offer the relief you need to feel at your best again. It’s also your best bet for chronic aches and frequently strained areas like your neck, upper back, and legs.
The deep-tissue massage technique uses slow strokes and firm pressure in a way that is similar to Swedish massage, in order to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia — the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles. But while Swedish massage is primarily concerned with relaxing your body, deep-tissue is a more-therapeutic massage style created to relieve and treat areas that are causing discomfort.
A good deep-tissue massage begins with light pressure to loosen your muscles and prepare your body, before moving to deeper techniques such as stripping (firm, gliding pressure) and friction (pressure applied across the grain of a muscle).
Because deep-tissue massage concentrates on areas of your body with stiffness, it’s natural to feel some initial pain or discomfort during your massage. WARNING: If excessive pain makes it difficult to continue your massage, consult a physician before proceeding any further.
Following your deep-tissue massage, you may feel some stiffness or soreness which will normally go away in a day or two.
Sound like a process that’s only for professionals? You may be surprised to learn that deep-tissue massage can be performed outside of a spa. HoMedics offers several products with deep-kneading massage features that you can use in your own home for light recovery and ache relief. The Thera-P Kneading Massage Pillow blends deep kneading with shiatsu to go to work on sore muscles and tight knots in your neck, back and shoulders. It also has an ergonomic design and plush surface that fits your body anywhere for added convenience and relief.
Many of our handheld massagers offer a deep-kneading feature — and since you’re the one holding it, you can directly target tense, overworked muscles anywhere on your body. Our Thera-P™ Hot & Cold Massager comes with nine attachements. And because you’re at home and not keeping an eye on the clock in an expensive spa, you can concentrate on certain areas longer if necessary.
If you’re tired of pain from overused or injured muscles, you may be ready to embark on the adventure of deep-tissue massage. Do your best to relax before beginning your session — it’s crucial to achieving the muscle-relaxation goals you want in the long run. Also, be sure to stretch after your massage session, drink plenty of water, and give yourself some rehabilitation time. Whether your massage is at a spa or at home, you’ve definitely earned it.
Want to learn more about HoMedics’ deep-kneading options? See our complete list of handheld massagers, cushions, and more here.