What is a Decompression Massage? [Explained]

I Love Decompression Massage Therapy… and You Should Too!

Back pain sucks! Sorry to come on so strong right out of the gate there, but if you’ve ever experienced the type of discomfort I went through recently, you would be huffing and puffing about it too! Okay, let me set the scene: about a month ago, I got out of bed and instantly noticed an odd soreness on my lower back. Now, I’m a father and husband who works full-time, so body pain is nothing new to me. However, in this particular instance, the acute soreness that emanated every time I bent or turned was the straw that broke the camel’s back (pun intended).

I didn’t know if the pain was a result of lifting something heavy, sitting or sleeping the wrong way, or running around too much on my feet. All I knew was that it was lingering for far too long. I needed to take action. 

After doing some research and consulting my doctor, I came across a type of massage treatment that ended up being a perfect fit! Now, please put your feet up and get comfortable because I’m about to drop some knowledge on the wonders of decompression massage therapy!

Decompression Massage? Tell Me More!

Clinically speaking, decompression massage therapy is a nonsurgical treatment for low-to-moderate back, neck, and radiating limb pain. It helps to relieve pain and promote an optimal healing environment. The process uses specialized cups to establish negative pressure by gliding over your back, creating a release of muscle tension, increasing metabolic response, and enhancing your therapeutic massage. 

This slow, relaxing massage increases circulation, enhances lymphatic flow, and supports deep tissue adjustments. Unlike the original method of cupping, it avoids causing splotchy marks on the skin. Whether as a full body or a mini targeted service, adhesions (bands of scar-like tissue) are loosened, connective tissue is lifted, and fresh blood flow is delivered to stagnant muscles and skin. In addition to back pain, decompression massage is known to relieve headaches and reduce mental fatigue.

Okay, But How Does It Work?

Decompression massage therapy allows your body to function with an increased efficiency by temporarily reducing the amount of pressure it feels. That is where the suction cup process kicks in. Here’s how it works:

  • The cup’s suction creates a negative pressure that alleviates the weight from a spot in your body.
  • Your blood is then able to flow there much faster, which causes your muscle to receive more stimulation.  
  • As a result, a substantial amount of nutrients and oxygen that are found in your blood are delivered to the part of your body being massaged. 
  • This delivery allows your body to heal itself, repair tissue, detoxify, and make visible improvements.

The practice of decompression massage therapy is also FDA-approved and provides effective relief without the risks and potential negative effects of chemicals, injections, or surgical procedures. The process is soothing, quick, and has no adverse side effects or recovery time. In other words, it was the ideal option for me!

Decompression Massage Has Been Around for Ages

woman receiving a decompression massage

I got a real kick out of discovering this: the practice of decompression massage therapy actually dates way back 3,000 years to the Egyptians who used negative pressure as a primary healing methodology. From mummies to modern day, we now have physical therapists and chiropractors using decompression massage therapy to passively exercise a limb or joint and to reduce fluid build-up. Even surgeons use the therapy on people who have recently undergone a procedure, while hospitals are using the systems to treat wounds, lesions, and incisions. And, of course, the spa industry is reporting wondrous results in facial renewal, body contouring, and general wellness. Thanks, King Tut!

My Decompression Massage Therapy Experience

Okay, by now you are probably wondering, “Hey, what was your own experience with decompression massage therapy like?” Obviously, you know it went well (or I wouldn’t be writing this blog), but let me give you a little play-by-play rundown:

  • First off, I made sure to properly prepare for my massage beforehand.
  • When I arrived at my appointment, I laid  down on a massage table with my shirt off because duh! decompression massage therapy devices don’t work through fabric.
  • My technician then held up what looked like a clear, plastic bell attached to a long tube. This was the suction device.
  • The device was turned on, and then my lower back soreness met its maker! I felt this soothing reverse tugging on my skin that gracefully glided across my back.
  • After about 30 minutes, the soreness had almost entirely dissipated as my mind cried out, “I’ve got to write a blog about this!”

Parting Decompression Thoughts

So, there you have it! The reason why I’m back at work, playing with my kids, and dancing with my wife WITHOUT any sharp soreness within my lower back area is because of decompression massage therapy! If you are experiencing any muscle or joint pain around your back, look into it. Who knows? Maybe you too will become inspired to write a blog! Just be sure to remember the following:

  • Decompression massage therapy is a nonsurgical, noninvasive procedure that literally sucks away tension within your sore back muscles. It can be administered by any certified massage technician or chiropractor. 
  • The gliding suction cups create a negative pressure that allows blood and other nutrients to flow much easier, thus healing your sore area in question at a rapid rate.
  • The writer of this blog swears by decompression massage therapy!
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