As of this month (November 2020) I have decided to remove "Deep Tissue" from my offerings. To be fully transparent, it was only there to help with Google searches as it remains a popular query. However - Deep Tissue is not a "thing" despite its tremendous popularity. Further it has been responsible for injuring, and prematurely ending the careers of many good therapists, more so than any other factor.
Deep Tissue is not really its own massage, but the incorporation of deeper pressure into any treatment can be done. Further some bodies; muscular bodies, or those with much adipose (fat) tissue may require deeper pressure to reach muscles. In addition, and this is just a theory of my own, based only on empirical evidence, I have found that many clients are not as sensitive to touch and require deep pressure or threshold pain to simply "feel" anything. However, the biggest driver, in my opinion of Depp Tissue is the "no pain no gain" mentality or that somehow you are really getting your moneys worth if a therapist puts you in pain.
It makes NO SENSE to leave a massage with more and or different pains then the ones you came in with. If you get some nonsense explanation that "pain is a sign the massage is working" - run for the hills.
I have decided to remove Deep Tissue as an option from my offerings for the moment mostly because I don't believe in it, and it is not my strong suit.
Deep Tissue started as a marketing gimmick (the term was invented by a therapist to differentiate his practice from the pack by way of ads and flyers) and remains so. However, it remains a popular request; every client should receive the work they love. It is often sought out and this is not to take away from any of the talented therapists who specialize in deep pressures.
My work is unique, and extremely well received but it is more mind body focused and relaxation/stress management oriented. I love what i do and I love that every therapist is unique and every client should get what they seek.
I invite you to look over my offerings and experience thoughtful caring bodywork with attention to detail looking out for your physical and mental well being.
I had the good fortune to do a massage exchange with a local well respected colleague this week. Naturally I was apprehensive because she has a very good following and has been well established for years. So it was with some satisfaction that she had such an appreciation for my work and my approach. And it got me to thinking about how relaxation is really more than just a spa pleasure but really at the foundation of pain relief as well as stress relief. This comes up often in my discussions with clients about pain, and the mind (where pain is located) and the importance of calming the mind through all the senses, and how touch, sound, smell, temperature of the room, all play a role. Anyway I digress. Back to the exchange, here are some words lifted from her description of my work to her clients.....
Is it really all that important to relax and relieve stress?
Yes! Today I am promoting the idea that Gentle + Kind is actually the new Deep Tissue.
Nooooo...I can hear some of you already!
Trust me. I get it, the too-gentle massage. You want to scream and jump off the table. One time a client DID scream at me: "PRESSSUURRRRE!!!!"
Oh my. For sure I had misjudged. I stepped it up (although mostly out of fear :-)
But pressing harder is not necessarily "stepping it up." It is more difficult than you might think to give a super focused, stress-reducing, theta-state inducing Swedish "relaxation" massage.
Luckily we now have Edward for that!
He gave me a massage yesterday and since his website boasts "Elite Relaxation" that's what I ordered. I don't mind sharing that there was a small amount of drool that I needed to manage. I'm picky when it comes to bodywork, and I can say with all confidence that I am happy to leave you with Edward again while I head back to western Mass again next week.
Let me say this about relaxation: it often relates directly to pain relief. If you know me, you know that I now exercise my right to refuse service to certain new clients.
Text from potential client: Hey, are you strong? I need really deep tissue. I can take it.
Me: No. I am not strong. I recommend Mike's Sports Massage. He is strong. Thank you.
Of course I am strong, and I remove trigger points, but the body also has to relax. The ability to relax the body is just as important, if not more important than strength. I was reminded of this after Edward's massage.
Despite the spiel I just gave about relaxation, for my own massage I had thought that I would save "working" on my shoulder for another day because we were doing "Swedish relaxation" massage. Dummy. My whole nervous system relaxed and then guess what happened. My shoulder stopped hurting!
This also surprised me about relaxation: Recently I have been taking Valerian if needed for post-workout soreness. It works! I had tried Turmeric because of its anti-inflammatory properties but I was disappointed because it didn't do much for me. Valerian is said to reduce anxiety and blood pressure, and to help with sleep. In other words, it relaxes and calms the nervous system, just like Edward!
Now of course, everyone's pain will respond to something different. What is it for you?
(courtesy of Lisa B. Massage)
I am looking forward to receiving my exchange session from her next week. In the meantime take what she says and see if it applies to your own situation.
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.