I recently finished my 3rd deep tissue massage session. I got my first one 4 days before I ran a half marathon. Although I didn’t PR on the half (manly because the race conditions were hot and humid) I do feel it helped me run a better race. This treatment is something I recommend if you are putting in a lot of miles. I had the next two massages the week after my half.
So what is a deep tissue massage? I am still learning, but one thing I know for sure is that it hurts! But the pain is worth the reward, just like any training run or race.
Deep tissue massage relieves severe tension in the muscles and connective tissues or fascia. This type of massage focusses on the muscle located below the surface of the top muscle. Deep tissue massage is recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity (such as training for a marathon), and people who have sustained an injury. It is not uncommon for a person receiving a deep tissue massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two.
If you are into self-abuse, then you could try using a foam roller. With a foam roller you can do what is called self myofascial release. This takes some practice to do and you will need to be somewhat of a contortionist to roll some of your muscles. But again the reward will be a more flexible and stronger muscle.
So if you have not tried a deep tissue massage or a foam roller yet, I recommend you give it a try. I would say, it can’t hurt, but the truth is it does hurt. I guess this is the one time that I agree with the saying “no pain, no gain” 😉
If you are in the San Antonio area, I recommend “Priscilla” and Dr. Taylor at Palser Chiropractic and Massage Therapy. Dr. Taylor is also trained in Active Release Techniques (ART) to correct soft tissue injuries. If you want to learn more about “rolling,” you can find numerous videos on youtube. If you prefer to have a professional introduce you to rolling to “take you from pain to fitness,” Paul Castellano of Thee Body Shop provides private or group sessions.