Debunking Deep Tissue Massage
By Suzie Bush
Do you shiver at the thought of a Deep Tissue Massage? Do you have to take deep breaths just to get ready to walk in the practice door? Do you think you should really have to tap out on a massage table??
Your not alone, many clients come into a therapeutic practice thinking deep tissue work is super painful and has to hurt in order to get results. Although our catchphrase is “no nicey- nicey” the appointment doesn’t always consist of just hard pressure. We just mean you probably ain’t gonna get a nap!
We like to say muscle specific work- some types of issues respond better to lighter pressure and others to deep. Fear not! We use what’s appropriate to get the best results for our clients. I’ve seen articles stating that if massage hurts you should get up and leave - unfortunately thats a loaded statement, because to get good results post appt sometime it hurts during the appointment. We always explain to clients when the treatment will be more intense and why were doing it. Not just to see you squirm- that’s just weird.
When treating a client with overuse or chronic spasm issue- it maybe necessary to beat up that muscle a bit. Muscles in spasm need to be reset, the best way to do that it work it to fatigue and that will allow the muscle to reset at a better state. Also a muscle that is so overworked from training will not allow proper blood flow in - causing misfiring, cramping and lower exertion decreasing athletic performance. In order for the muscle to get back to allowing proper blood flow you have to do some intense work with knuckles, fists, elbows and even tools. This may leave you bruised and sore for a day or two while the tissue repairs - but when that subsides you should find a better working more efficient muscle. Leading to better function, diminished spasms, more blood flow and oxygen to the muscle and reduced adhesions that inhibited performance prior to treatment.
My soapbox statement - make sure your therapist has proper training and experience in the technique they are using. A therapist who is using a deep tissue or muscle specific technique should be able to give you the reason why it’s going to hurt, why they are doing it and what the outcome should be.
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