You must know about the different types of massage therapies available these days. Often we tend to get confused between the deep tissue massage and the sports massage because of the similar techniques used. But let me tell you, they do have the difference as they give a different result.
If you know the difference between the two, you will be able to choose the best option for yourself. So, here we will discuss how a deep tissue massage differs from a sports massage and when do we require either of the two massages.
How to differentiate between Deep Tissue Massage & Sports Massage?
In the deep tissue massage, the pressure is applied to the deeper layers of the tissues to manipulate the alignment. Well, what are these deep tissue layers? All those layers of tissues that lie on the top of muscles, but not the muscles, of course, are the deep tissue layers. These layers are worked upon during the therapy. A pressure is applied, sufficient enough to detangle the small knots or the newly formed ones. They also work on stretching the stiff muscles, resulting in the loosening of the muscles, and alleviating the pain.
It has similar effects, like that of a workout, on our bodies. It stimulates the blood flow, which repairs the damaged muscles. This is why our body tends to feel sore for a day or two, after the massage. It is also found to be beneficial in relieving stress and in reducing the long-standing chronic pain.
In sports massage, the muscles are manipulated to improve or prevent sports injuries. A therapist can understand it better. The therapist possesses a broader and specified knowledge to prevent or to improve the sports injuries. While the application of the strokes, care must be taken on the part of the therapist that the delicate tissues are not damaged further. So, always go to a qualified sports therapist for sports massage regarding an injury.
The massage techniques include strokes, trigger-point release, passive stretching, and joint mobilization. It should not be considered as a relaxing massage, but you will tend to feel relaxed and energized after the session.
The most important thing required for the massage is the lubricant, which enables the hands to glide smoothly over the skin. Various essential oils with a pleasant aroma, are applied to provide a soothing sensation. It must be kept in mind that too much oil will result in the poor control during the massage sessions. The other thing needed for the massage is flat and a firm surface for clients to lie on it.
Now, we’ll see how these two massages work:
To Prevent Injury Risk:
If you want to treat common injuries or muscular woes of the athletes, you must consider sports massage. Injuries like shin splints and hamstring strains can be improved with this type of massage. The therapists identify the areas of damage and work on those specific areas. Localized pressure is applied to the injured tissues, and care is taken not to overdo the load to prevent the already affected area. Controlled massage helps to ward off the dead cells, aligns the tissue layers, and prevents future injuries to the muscles.
In deep tissue massage, the injured areas are not targeted, and they generally work on the prolonged disturbing problems like a back strain or whiplash. It is primarily done over a large surface area and requires intense pressure to reach the deep layers and detangle the knotted veins, improving the alignment of the tissue layers. It takes time and is useful for chronic aches.
With Strokes and Movements:
This is the area where both of them show similarity. The strokes include kneading, tapping, vibrations, and circular movements. A little dissimilarity lies in the field of application, where the sports massage is much more focused.
Sports massage works to improve the athlete’s performance, boost flexibility, and handle an injury or prevent the possibility of future damages.
A deep tissue massage works to reduce the level of toxins, relieve stress, boost circulation, release tension, and reduce the physical pain.
Sports massage is limited to severe sports person or athletes who undergo training sessions regularly. With them, the sports massage can be given as pre or post-warm-up, and it tends to reduce the possibility of muscle cramps. Athletes suffering from injury are given special treatment and care is taken to improve their affliction, and prevent further damage to the affected area. These days almost all sportsmen have a personal therapist who works hard to keep their body in the best possible shape and prevent injuries as much as possible.
Deep tissue massage has a varied clientele, and it can range from students to professionals and business people. The clients need not participate in some activity, and they do not have an underlying injury to cater to.
If you are still wondering which massage is better suited to you, please do consider seeing your physician before opting one. Though there are very few differences between these two techniques, yet each has a unique aim.
Anyone can go for a deep tissue massage and get a relaxed feeling. It is an excellent way to overcome the persistent aches. Taking painkillers for a considerably long time is not at all healthy as all medicines do have some side-effects on our bodies. This is a better way of getting rid of pain and soreness.
However, certain conditions restrict the administration of these massages, and these conditions are:
- If you have a body temperature of over 100 degrees F.
- If you have gone through a recent acute injury or trauma, like bruising, burn, chilblains, open wounds, torn muscle or ligaments.
- Tumors or swelling.
- Blood vessel disorders like varicose veins, thrombosis, or phlebitis.
- Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.
- In case your condition worsens instead of getting better, after the massage.
I hope it must now be clear to you as when to get yourself a deep tissue massage and the sports massage. They all require a well-trained therapist, who is familiar with your underlying condition and who can provide you with the best result.