BRUISING AFTER DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE – WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE?
Have you ever been left with bruises after having a deep tissue massage or sports massage? And if so have you thought ‘well that must have done some good’. No pain without gain right?
In my opinion it’s wrong!
I accept there are some cases where some bruising is not avoidable due to medication such as blood thinning drugs that prevent clots, some cancer medication, steroids and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, however, in my opinion bruising is not the normal outcome of a deep tissue massage.
WHAT CAUSES BRUISING?
Bruises happen when small blood vessels (capillaries) under the skin are broken causing microscopic tears in them, this causes bleeding under the skin that then clots. Bruising typically occurs as a result of an injury to the area such as fall or bump. Some people do bruise more easily than others, especially as you get older as skin gets thinner and women are more prone to bruising than men.
WILL YOU BE BRUISED AFTER A DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE?
If you have a deep tissue massage, or a sports massage, with me I will do my utmost best to make sure that you don’t bruise. I take a detailed medical history and I take into account your age and pain thresholds. I thoroughly warm up the muscles and fascia allowing the fibres to move and be manipulated allowing me to work deep into the underlying areas gradually without causing a trauma to the area, so not to cause bleeding under the skin and bruising. I always advise my clients that I work to a pain threshold of a level 7 on the pain scale, 10 being the highest and ask that they tell me if the pain level exceeds that. I keep checking in with my clients to make sure that they are comfortable and I look out for signs of tension. It has been proven that if the pain level goes above a 7 for a client they are likely to experience tension and stress, so instead of decreasing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the system, a painful massage can increase it, restricting healing and leaving the client more tensed then before the massage.
WILL I ENJOY A DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE OR WILL I JUST HAVE TO ENDURE IT?
I make every effort to make sure that you will get some relaxation and enjoyment from your massage with me. That is not to say that I will not work deeply and some of my work may be uncomfortable but I will keep it to levels that you can tolerate. I always include long gliding moves (effleurage) to help move toxins that I release from tense muscles into the circulatory system, aid lymphatic drainage and reduce stress. I have comprehensive training in various techniques such as soft tissues release (STR), myofascial release (connective tissue techniques) and muscle energy techniques (MET) –these techniques are explained in more detail here.
I use all or some of these techniques to adapt my treatment to you as an individual and to your unique case, to make sure you get the maximum benefit. You may still feel some soreness for a couple of days, you may even experience the healing response where you feel washed out and a bit worse initially (only lasts for a few hours) but ultimately you should get great results.
WHEN SHOULD I HAVE A DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE?
If you have tight muscles and are experiencing a lot of tension then a deep tissue massage is probably what you will need. However, I tailor all my massages to the individual and aim to meet my client’s needs so when booking a massage with me you do not need to worry if you have booked the correct type of massage. If, on talking to you and palpating your areas of concern I decide some deep tissue work is required I will let you know and explain what I will do. I will work deeply and in full communication with you to make sure that you are not uncomfortable. I always bring in a relaxation element as well, so even if some of my techniques have not been very comfortable you can rest assured that you will still experience the more pleasant side of massage as well.
My clients have reported great results and many continue with regular massages even after their initial problem has been sorted out, such is the pleasant and relaxing element of my deep tissue massages.
SMT level 4. Mobile Massage Therapist.