The best way to describe how massage works is to break down the components. Each muscle is made up of small micro-fibres bundled into larger muscle fibres. These larger bundles lay parallel to each other to make up a large muscle such as a bicep. When a muscle contracts the ends of each muscle fibre moves closer together causing the muscle to shorten and provide work.
When we injure ourselves or are working out the small micro-fibres tear and become misaligned into a sort of webbing. These small tears are what help us build more muscle when working out but they can also cause an adhesion or more commonly known as a “knot”. Massage therapists are thoroughly educated in the muscles of the body and the fibre direction they run in as this is the realm in which we work. We can feel the adhesions in the muscle and using different massage techniques we break apart the webbing and realign the fibres in the proper direction. This is why massage can sometimes hurt or even feel like you’ve had a work out the next day.