Body Tension

According to the AMTA Consumer Survey, 67 percent of individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous 12 months was medical (41 percent) or stress (26 percent) related.

A growing body of research supports the health benefits of massage therapy for conditions such as stress, fibromyalgia, low-back pain, and more.

Serotonin, Endorphins, Dopamine & Hormones


Benefits of massage
  • reduced muscle tension.
  • improved circulation.
  • stimulation of the lymphatic system.
  • reduction of stress hormones.
  • relaxation.
  • increased joint mobility and flexibility.
  • improved skin tone.
  • improved recovery of soft tissue injuries.
How does massage reduce muscle tension?
Massage helps to relieve tension by stretching and increasing tissue elasticity. High levels of tension in the muscles shorten the muscle fibers and can restrict movement. Massage can help to increase the temperature of the soft tissue so muscle fibers can be loosened.
Do massages relieve tension?
A deep tissue massage aims to relieve tension by stretching and spreading muscle fibers and tissues in order for muscles to relax and loosen. Loosened muscles increases movement, decreases pain, and reduces stress.
Will a massage loosen tight muscles?
Massage relaxes the muscles, separating and loosening muscle fibers. The muscles are elongated and stretched which releases tension and allows more movement. Massage reduces tightness by applying pressure to knots and breaking adhesions.
What is the best massage for tension muscles?
A hot stone massage is best for people who have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax. This type of therapeutic massage is similar to a Swedish massage, only the massage therapist uses heated stones in lieu of or in addition to their hands.
How often should you massage tight muscles?
You should go at least once per month, but as often as twice per week in severe pain situations. The longer you wait though, and the more often you’ll start the process over of loosening up your muscles because they tense up if you don’t go often enough.
What causes knots in muscles?
Dehydration, unhealthy eating habits, and stress and anxiety may also contribute to muscle knots. Muscle knots can occur anywhere in the body, but they’re usually found in your back, shoulders, and neck. They often show up in your gluteal muscles, too.
How do I loosen tight muscles?
You may be able to treat muscle stiffness at home with rest, massage, and the application of heat or cold. Heat may work better for muscle tightness. Cold may work better for swelling and inflammation. Options include hot and cold packs, heating pads, and heat therapy patches.
Should you massage sore muscles?
Feb. 1, 2012 — There may be more to love about massage than just the “ahhhhh.” A new study shows that kneading muscles after hard exercise decreases inflammation and helps your muscles recover.

Oh, those pesky muscle knots! They may seem like no big deal at first, but, sometimes, that’s exactly what they turn into. Do you know how you can adjust your sleeping position because of shoulder pain? Well, you can’t do that with muscle knots.

They’re almost as bothersome as pinched nerves and can become almost as painful as problems between your shoulder blades. So, you should do something about it. Visiting experienced chiropractors in Scottsdale should be your no. 1 option, and here’s why!


Muscle knots are bad in the sense that they are really, really boring. They are usually not harmful in the long run, but they can certainly be very painful and difficult to get rid of.

So, to answer your question – muscle knots are as bad for you as they are making it harder to do all the actions you normally do. So, if a muscle knot is keeping you from being as active as you’re used to being, then yes, muscle knots are bad.

However, there are also various other symptoms of muscle knots, as well as different causes you should be aware of when trying to determine if your muscle knots are bad or not.


Before giving you the most common symptoms of muscle knots, let us first tell you where they are most likely to appear:

  1. Lower back muscles
  2. Calf muscles
  3. Neck muscles
  4. Shoulder muscles
  5. Shins

These are the areas you should first pay attention to when trying to determine if a muscle knot is giving you trouble.

As for the usual symptoms of muscle knots, here they are:

  1. A lumpy feeling beneath your fingertips.
  2. Pain in the area around the lump in your muscle.
  3. Twitching of the muscles in the affected area.

These are the most common symptoms of muscle knots, but they can, sometimes, also cause the following:

  1. Pain in your jaw.
  2. Pain in your lower back.
  3. Ringing in your ears.
  4. Tension headaches.


Now, let us only briefly take a look at the most common causes of muscle knots. Yes, there are certainly more potential causes than we’re about to discuss, but these are the most usual ones you should pay attention to.

  1. Tensions in your muscles from overusing them.
  2. Injuries of muscles caused by heavy lifting and repetitive motions.
  3. Poor posture can also lead to muscle knots forming in certain muscles.
  4. Too much sitting every day without stretching.
  5. Prolonged bed rest without providing your muscles with some work.

The most appropriate types of massage used to decrease tension include deep tissue massage, therapeutic massage, and remedial massage.

Deep tissue massage can be used to decrease tension. A deep tissue massage is used to treat the deeper layers of muscle and fascia within the body. Fascia is a layer of connective tissues that is very fibrous and restrictive. A deep tissue massage involves applying firm pressure to the treatment area to help release tension and decrease pain. Adhesions are also reduced through deep tissue massage. Adhesions are bundles of muscle fibers grouped together as a result of a build-up of muscular tension. Breaking down adhesions helps to decrease tension.

A common type of massage used to decrease tension is therapeutic massage. A therapeutic massage involves using a variety of different strokes to manipulate the body into producing a therapeutic effect. Therapeutic massage encourages the relaxation of a person physically and mentally. A therapeutic massage relaxes a person physically by encouraging the relaxation of muscles, reducing tension and pain. Relaxation is improved mentally by stimulating the release of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine are all positive hormones that promote a sense of well-being and gives a person an improved mood.

Remedial massage is often used to decrease tension. A remedial massage focuses on manipulating the superficial and deep muscles within the body. Remedial massage can increase relaxation, decrease tension and reduce stress. Remedial massage also encourages the body’s healing process to speed up to help further relieve tension and pain. Firm pressure is used within the remedial massage to help get deeper within muscle fibers to ensure full relaxation of deeper muscles as well as superficial muscles.

The most common techniques used to decrease tension include deep strokes, skin rolling, and trigger pointing.

Deep strokes can be used to decrease tension. Deep strokes are used on areas containing soft tissues. Firm deep pressure is applied to the treatment area using flattened hands fingers. Deep strokes aim to get deep within muscle fibers too. Muscle tissues increase in temperature during deep strokes, increasing tissue elasticity. An increase in tissue elasticity helps to stretch and loosen a muscle allowing it to relax. A relaxed muscle decreases tension and any pain that has occurred.

Skin rolling is regularly used to decrease tension. Skin rolling is a technique that involves picking up the skin and rolling it between the fingers and thumbs. Skin rolling encourages an increase in blood flow during a massage due to friction created between the skin and fingers. An increase in blood flow causes a rise in muscle temperature, improving tissue elasticity and flexibility. Skin rolling helps to stretch and loosen muscles as well as separate muscles from the fascia. Fascia is made up of tough connective tissues that can cause restriction and increase tension. Separating muscle and fascia allows muscles to relax and decrease tension.

Tension can be decreased using trigger pointing. Trigger pointing involves applying a firm pressure using the fingertips or thumbs to specific areas on the body. A trigger point is found in the middle of muscle fiber at neuromuscular joints. Areas containing trigger points are often found to be full of tension, tightness, and stress increase pain and restriction. When pressure is applied to the trigger point, a person will feel an increase in pain due to the compression of the nerve. After a short period of time, a numbing sensation will occur as blood flow is restricted, allowing the trigger point to be broken down and softened. When the pressure has released an increase in blood flow occurs helping the muscle to relax and also to repair damaged muscle fibers. Trigger pointing helps to release muscular tension, tightness, and stress resulting in a decrease in pain.

The most common situations in a massage that can help to decrease tension include acute pain, pre-event, and relaxation.

Decreased tension through massage can help reduce pain. A build-up of tension within muscles can cause muscular knots and adhesions. Muscular knots and adhesions cause muscles to tighten and restrict movement, increasing pain. During a massage, the relaxation of muscles is encouraged as tissue elasticity and flexibility increase. Relaxation of muscles decreases tension and tightness. A decrease in tension and tightness makes it easier for muscular knots and adhesions to be broken down and pain to be reduced.

Massage can help to decrease tension pre-event. Before an event, muscles tend to be tight and full of tension. Muscle tightness and tension restrict movement and disables a muscle from reaching its full length during a stretch. Restricting movement increases the risk of injury during the event. A massage decreases the tension by increasing muscle temperature. An increase in muscle temperature improves muscle flexibility allowing it to stretch and move more freely. Free movement and the ability to stretch help to decrease tension and increase the range of movement. An increase in range of movement reduces the chances of injury during an event.

A decrease in tension by massage can help improve relaxation. When muscles are tense, physical and mental relaxation is reduced. Relaxation is reduced physically as muscles stay in the state of contraction, increasing pain and muscle tightness. Relaxation is reduced mentally due to the pain created by muscular tension. A decrease in tension through massage enables muscles to loosen and relax to help increase physical relaxation. Loosened and relaxed muscles also decrease pain and increase range of movement, mentally increasing relaxation.

What are the physiological effects of massage to decrease tension?

Various physiological effects occur during a massage to help decrease tension. The most common physiological effects that occur include:

  • Increased vasodilation
  • Increased Temperature
  • Increased tissue elasticity

The most common physiological effects that occur during a massage to help decrease tension include increased vasodilation, increased temperature, and increase tissue elasticity.

A common physiological effect of massage that occurs to decrease tension is increased vasodilation. Vasodilation involves the relaxation of smooth muscles lining blood vessels resulting in their dilation. Vasodilation widens blood vessels and brings them closer to the surface of the skin, giving the pinking effect on the surface of the skin. Increasing vasodilation allows an increase in blood flow to occur. An increase in blood flow can be used both to increase muscle temperature and for the repair of damaged muscle fibers. Increasing temperature allows the muscle to relax reducing tension. Increasing the repair of damaged muscle fibers decreases pain and loosens muscles that have tensed up to help protect and support the damaged area.

Increased temperature is a common physiological effect of massage that helps decrease tension. Increased temperature is the process of increasing blood flow to encourage a rise in temperature in both superficial and deep tissues. Muscle temperature is increased as friction created between the skin and fingers encourages an increase in blood flow. Muscle tension results in the contraction of muscles that are then unable to relax. Increasing muscle temperature improves tissue elasticity and flexibility. An increase in tissue elasticity and flexibility provides muscles with the ability to stretch further and loosen, resulting in muscle relaxation. Muscle relaxation through increased temperature decreases tension.

A physiological effect of massage to decrease tension is increased tissue elasticity. Tissue elasticity is where a muscle has the capability to stretch to its full length with no restriction or pain. When muscle tissue becomes restrictive, they often tend to become tense increasing pain. Tissue elasticity is increased due to a rise in muscle temperature during a massage. An increase in tissue elasticity provides muscles with an increased range of movement and allows the muscle to stretch and move more freely. Allowing muscles to stretch and move more freely reduces restriction and decreases tension.


Decreased tension is allowing a muscle to relax and loosen after staying in the state of contraction. A variety of massage is appropriate to decrease tension including deep tissue massage, therapeutic massage, and remedial massage. A wide range of techniques is used within a massage to help decrease tension, the most common being deep strokes, skin rolling, and trigger pointing. A massage can help to decrease tension in many ways including acute pain, pre-event, and relaxation. Increased vasodilation, increased temperature and increased tissue elasticity are all physiological effects that occur during a massage that helps to decrease tension.

25 Reasons to Get a Massage

  1. Relieve stress
  2. Relieve postoperative pain
  3. Reduce anxiety
  4. Manage low-back pain
  5. Help fibromyalgia pain
  6. Reduce muscle tension
  7. Enhance exercise performance
  8. Relieve tension headaches
  9. Sleep better
  10. Ease symptoms of depression
  11. Improve cardiovascular health
  12. Reduce the pain of osteoarthritis
  13. Decrease stress in cancer patients
  14. Improve balance in older adults
  15. Decrease rheumatoid arthritis pain
  16. Temper effects of dementia
  17. Promote relaxation
  18. Lower blood pressure
  19. Decrease symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  20. Help chronic neck pain
  21. Lower joint replacement pain
  22. Increase range of motion
  23. Decrease migraine frequency
  24. Improve the quality of life in hospice care
  25. Reduce chemotherapy-related nausea
more info at:
PRO Massage by Nicola. LMT
PRO Massage by Nicola, LMT.
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis, or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company, or specific massage therapy technique, modality, or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.