The Importance of Massages with the Right Level of Pressure
The comfort level experienced during a massage depends on the type of massage and the state of the individual patient at the time of the massage. Typically, the body experiences one of two responses after a massage: a relaxation response and a mechanical response. The relaxation response refers to the application of touch that helps decrease breathing, decrease hormones, and decrease blood pressure. The physical manipulation of the muscles creates a mechanical response. The blood and lymph circulation will increase and the soft tissue will relax.
While this sort of movement would normally be associated with relaxation, it can be associated with pain for some patients. Each patient tends to perceive pain in a different way. Plus, different muscles in the body respond differently to hard pressure. The back typically requires harder pressure, while the same level of pressure applied to an area like the thighs might be painful.
This pain stems from the muscle fibers that might have become taut and trigger points that lead to referred pain that travels down the nerve route. There should always be a “pleasure-pain” balance and the pain should not become excessive.
It takes the experience of a skillful massage therapist like the ones on the team at ProFysio Physical Therapy to apply the proper amount of pressure. We know how to be mindful of your individual body tissues and apply pressure at a level that strikes the right balance. Our team also advocates for open communication. If you have a specific pressure preference, we will be sure to accommodate your needs.
What to Expect From a Physical Therapy Massage
Massage therapy, also known as manual therapy, is not just reserved for spa days. Many physical therapy patients receive massage therapy as part of their treatment. Trigger point massage therapy and deep tissue therapy are two of the most common. Trigger point massage therapy is usually given to patients who have injuries, chronic pain, or another specific condition. Deep tissue massages, on the other hand, specifically target muscle tension caused by strains or sprains. Some of the other most common techniques that physical therapists use include:
The goal of effleurage is to increase blood circulation, stimulate lymphatic drainage, and promote relaxation. This technique creates friction that causes the temperature of the muscle to increase, which promotes healing.
This massage technique involves kneading the body. With this technique, we apply deep pressure to the tissue and underlying muscle. The primary goal of petrissage is to free up the movement of tissues and muscle by treating muscle knots or spasms.
- Myofascial release
During myofascial release, the broader network of muscles that cause pain reduce tension throughout the body and release trigger points across the muscular system.
Compression is an effective massage technique that we perform by laying our hands over a muscle area and pushing down on the tissues. We then lift our hands and move the pressure to a different area and repeat.
- Muscle stripping
The purpose of muscle stripping is to help restore normal muscle fiber length, identify trigger points, and promote local circulation.
- Gentle stretching
Research has shown that stretching can help improve flexibility as well as the range of motion in your joints. This can improve your performance in physical activities and decrease your risk of injuries.
Massage therapy can be so helpful for injuries because it affects muscle tissue at a cellular level. It can help repair muscle tissue and decrease inflammation. At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we will work with your tissue to help repair it and provide you with the long-term healing your body deserves.
To learn more about the benefits of physical therapy massage, call ProFysio Physical Therapy at (732) 812-5200 or contact us online.