When in the centre of London, with Charing Cross being recognised as the point from which London radiates outward, it is hard to imagine that within 4 miles is London’s largest ancient parkland: Hampstead Heath. From Parliament Hill, one of the highest points of this verdant parkland (in fact, one of the highest points in London), one has a magnificent view of the heart of London itself. Contained within the rolling hills and grassed meadows that make up Hampstead Heath are many magnificent ponds, as well as ancient and more recent woodlands. There are three open-air swimming pools which were originally reservoirs for drinking water. Leisure pursuits on the Heath include long walks, jogging, kite flying, and for the less active: relaxed picnics on the expanses of lawn. The entire extent of the Heath is 320 hectares (3.2 km²), which is a rather large area in which to get exercise and a lungful of fresh air.
Perhaps you have recently participated in some rather strenuous exercise on the Heath and you are now feeling the ill effects of chronically tense and contracted groups of muscles. Or perhaps you are under pressure and have immense tension in your muscles, particularly in the neck, shoulders and lower back. You might consider a deep tissue massage as a means of releasing the tension and pain in these areas. Deep tissue massage is a therapy that focuses on the realignment of deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. The movement and pressure of deep tissue massage is slower and deeper than classic massage and is concentrated on areas of tension and pain. Classic massage therapy is advocated for relaxation, whereas deep tissue massage has greater results when used to treat complaints such as chronic pain, recovery from sports injuries, muscle spasm, as well as recovery from repetitive strain injuries. In muscles, tendons, and ligaments where there is chronic tension there are likely to be adhesions. Adhesions are essentially knots or bands of painful rigid tissue which can block circulation, allow only limited movement, and cause inflammation. The deep tissue massage therapist will work to, using direct deep pressure applied across the grain of the muscle being worked on, break down these adhesions, and so relieve pain and tension and thereby restore normal movement to the effected area.
Due to the deep pressure and intense nature of this type of massage some people might experience a slightly bruised feeling after the massage. This will quickly give way to a tension-free, relaxed feeling. Another side effect could be a fierce thirst post-massage. It is an excellent idea to drink plenty of water afterwards to help rid the body of metabolic waste that was released from the tissues during the massage.