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Deep Tissue Massage and Its Possible Dangers

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Massage itself has numerous health benefits from promoting a sense of relaxation to stimulating the muscles, even promoting better blood circulation. Indeed, these benefits have been proven by scientific studies. But there are also dangers to massage, especially deep tissue massage to vulnerable people. 

Here are the most common dangers that come with deep tissue massage that we think interested individuals should consider before going for it. The likes of Massage Envy, a reputable massage salon with trained massage therapist, offer the service but it’s still in your best interest to ask whether you’re a suitable candidate for it. You want the good that comes with deep tissue massage, not the bad.  

Tissue Tears 

No pain, no gain. It’s a principle – a mistaken one, too – that some massage therapists are hell-bent on applying on their clueless clients. Basically, if the client doesn’t feel any pain during a deep tissue massage, then there’s no gain to be had from it. This is akin to the no pain, no gain principle applied by bodybuilders, too – if you’re not feeling the pain, then you’re not likely to see the gain.  

But such a mindset has its share of issues that contribute to actual bodily harm. You can suffer from the effects of tissue tears, no thanks to your massage therapist applying too much pressure on your tissues. You will feel sore in the areas where the deepest or strongest pressures were applied, a feeling of soreness that can persist for days on end. 

You may then not book another massage session because your body just cannot take the abuse anymore.  

Blood Clots

While massage can promote better blood circulation, it can also be the cause of blood clots when it’s applied incorrectly, as is the case with improper application of deep tissue massage. You should consult with your doctor first if you have a history of blood clots from an underlying medical condition or you are on blood clotting medications before undergoing deep tissue massage. You don’t want to exacerbate your physical condition for the sake of an hour of relaxation.  

Why the emphasis on seeking medical opinion first in case you have blood-related health issues? Deep tissue massage, unfortunately, may cause an existing blood clot to break free, in a manner of speaking, and travel into the bloodstream. This can result in serious health issues, particularly in persons with cardiovascular diseases.  

With both tissue tears and blood clots, you can come out of the massage room with more bruises than when you came in. You will look and feel like you’ve been in a mixed martial arts fight, not in a massage session.  

Bone Fractures

While the chance of bone fractures during a deep tissue massage is low, it doesn’t mean that these won’t happen! In a relatively healthy individual with healthy bones, fractures aren’t an issue. But this isn’t the case among individuals with underlying bone-related conditions, such as osteoporosis, whose risk of fractures can increase with deeper pressure exerted on the muscles. 

The bottom line: If you have concerns about your bone health, you should first seek your doctor’s opinion before going for a deep tissue massage session. You may not be a suitable candidate for it – again, it’s a case of being exposed to the negative in pursuit of the positive benefits.  

Negative Experience 

Deep tissue massage should be a pleasurable experience because it seems to remove the kinks and knots in the muscles resulting in a feeling of relaxation. You will feel like every stress that has accumulated in your body has been released and you can face the world with renewed strength.  

But when deep tissue massage is improperly applied, the issues come and these include the aforementioned tissue tears, blood clots and bone fractures. Then again, the side effects don’t even have to severe for the experience to become less than pleasurable, if not outright painful. 

There’s the risk that a single negative experience can completely turn you off from deep tissue massage, and that’s a problem because there are numerous benefits from a properly applied massage.  

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid a negative experience and the side effects of deep tissue massage. 

  • Choose a reliable massage center, such as Massage Envy, with the assurance that its massage therapists have the appropriate training. 
  • Ask for a massage therapist with training and experience on deep tissue massage.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as when and where his/her training was acquired.  
  • Discuss your health concerns with your massage therapist, as well as certain matters that will affect your massage experience.  These include your underlying medical condition, sensitive areas for pressure, and sore points.  

On a last note, you should avoid deep tissue massage if you have cancer, regardless of its type. You should always consult with your doctor when you’re looking into alternative cancer treatments, even when these seem beneficial.  

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