…...but not as you know it.
Or at least that's what I think. Mainly because I hear clients saying such things as
“I've had massages in the past that have hurt but I know it's good for me.”
“get in with your elbows, go as hard as you like!”
Well, it doesn't need to be that way. I can only speak of what I've learned thus far through my CPD and luckily for me, the way I have been taught to give deep tissue massage, works well with how I was naturally progressing within my massage treatment techniques, which is slow and steady.
Elbows do indeed come in useful, but I' don't want to delve in, diving down into that space of tension and sensitivity, to be met with a body scrunching up and protecting itself from the pain being exerted upon it. That doesn't sound nice does it?
Expecting massage to cause pain in order to feel like it's being of benefit, isn't something I would agree is necessary and not how I want to make you feel.
If someone is to force with too much pressure down on your muscles (especially without first warming up the area), it makes sense that your muscles would react with “arghh, what are you doing, I'm going to tense up now to protect myself until you stop.” It's a natural stress response. Instead of training your muscles and mind to relax and release (which is what we want), you'd be doing the opposite. I want to help change the patterns of tension held within your muscles, not reinforce them.
Good Pain Vs Bad Pain
These are tricky reactions to put into words. You'll know the difference when you feel it. We're always aiming for the good pain of course. The one that's followed by 'hmmm, this is kinda pleasure pain, it's lessening over time and feels like somethings happening.” not “Arghh that hurts, but I'm going to grin and bear it and hope it feels better after.”
The techniques – what happens during your deep tissue massage.
There is so much I could write here, as every treatment is individual.
Here's an idea of what your deep tissue massage could include:
On your first visit to me, there will be 10-15 minutes for us to have a consultation before the treatment. We will run through a consultation form so that I can find out more about you, what you feel is needed and make sure I adjust the treatment if required. This time is within your allocated appointment time.
You can see the consultation form on my site by clicking here.
Working with Fascia
Fascia is a connective tissue which covers your muscles, groups of muscles and organs, it holds us together. I'll apply sustained pressure with hands or forearms over one area, with the intention of waiting for you or I to start feeling a movement, or sensation under the skin. You might feel at first that nothing is happening (it takes some getting used to), as I'll be stood relatively still holding the same position. Patience is the key. We wait...hold...wait...until your body naturally starts to release. This maybe a sensation of your muscles trickling, melting or flowing through areas of your body. This is the fascia softening, in turn the fibres relax more easily and we can work on a deeper level with the muscles that are being covered by any hardened fascia. I'll use holds and sweeping motions moving slowly across areas of the body.
The sensation of release takes varying amounts of time, depending on how open you are to the treatment, how tight/hard/tense the area is and how patient we both are, together. Sometimes, it's just not the right treatment for you, and that's ok too. It's not for everyone and it doesn't work for every person.
Working with Trigger Points
There's a number of theories on trigger points. Some say that there are specific trigger points in the same places of the body for everyone. In this instance, I'm using the words to explain that there are often points where you may feel more tenderness, especially when pressed or held. Once a 'trigger point' has been located (I may find these, but encourage you to let me know when it feels like I've found a spot!) an even pressure is applied maybe with a thumb, finger or elbow (yes that's right an elbow), the feeling of discomfort should subside over several seconds if the tissue start to relax. You might feel other areas moving, releasing, twitching, this is often called a 'referred pain'. An example of how everything in your body is connected and how complex and wonderful the human body is.
I may introduce gentle movement of your limbs when holding the trigger points, or I might ask you to contract specific muscles, to help encourage the muscles to let go.
Where the muscles attach to the bone. I'll apply pressure to the area and slowly move across the bone encouraging contractions to release. This work is helpful when not being able to get to muscles such as ones deep in the hips, or working on the attachments of strained or torn muscles without putting pressure on the traumatised area.
I encourage you to stretch at every opportunity! Seeing me every so often will not always solve your aches and pains, especially if they have been around for a while, you need to play your part too. Sometimes though, it's helpful to have someone else guide you into your stretch.
Continued stress, repetitive movements or positions can cause muscles to stay in a state of tension, we need to help the muscle to revert to what would be its natural length. We want to show them how it used to be (and how much nicer it feels). I'll aid this by holding and stretch for around 20 seconds, encouraging the new length of the muscle to enjoy and stay where it is. Sometimes asking you to actively push against the stretch at times, which can assist in extending the stretch once the active pressure is released.
Why might you want a Deep Tissue Massage?
You might feel there's a deep muscle pain/niggle/tension/'knot', that you can't get to.
There might be a specific area you feel most tense, that deep tissue work may help to release.
The feeling of working on deeper layers of tissue in a considered and very slow way, might feel good to you and be your preferred massage treatment.
The pace and 'deepness' of the massage can help you feel more connected to your body, allowing you time to be aware of your breath and sensitivities to touch and various pressure.
It can bring a welcome feeling of rest and relaxation.
Feedback from my clients.
Since adding in deep tissue massage techniques to some of my regular clients routines there's been some great feedback.
"Effective and freeing."
"I hadn't realised I didn't need a strong massage which hurt after to feel a difference"
It's not for everyone though, if you would rather plently of freeflowing movements, mobility or more areas covered, then Swedish massage may be the one that works best for you. Why not try both and then decide.
Deep tissue massage is about patience, connecting with your body, allowing it to let go and encourage it to do so,
in it's own time.
Let's go slow...
You can choose between 1hr and 1.5hr treatments, the more time the better I would say!