What is "Deep Tissue" massage?

and why don't I offer it?

Deep Tissue massage has been tossed around with many meanings and interpretations over the years. Many think that Deep Tissue massage is painful, where the therapist is "digging" in, using forceful pressure. Some clients prefer a heavier approach to massage and can handle a lot of pressure, maybe even with the "no pain, no gain" outlook. 

Deep Tissue massage is defined as a therapeutic technique to reach the deeper tissues. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, some of which are surprisingly slower and less invasive. The appropriate approach to accessing the deeper tissues is to 1) work through top superficial layers first, and 2) work at a slower pace. Both of these steps are crucial to avoid any damage/further damage to the tissues. I like using the analogy of going too fast over a speed bump. It's jolting and could cause harm when going over the recommended speed limit.

In order to avoid any assumptions or confusion as to what Deep Tissue massage is, I simply choose to not use that term and instead offer relaxation versus therapeutic focus using a variety of techniques. Communication from my clients is vital. If the pressure is ever causing too much discomfort (a little discomfort is natural in tight/sore muscles), or they would like more pressure, I will definitely heed that request without hesitation. The only time I will override a client's request to go deeper is if the tissues resist my pressure, meaning when I push into the tissues and they won't allow me to sink in, I will keep at that pressure or lighten up/slow down so that the tissues have an opportunity to respond. Yes, I communicate with the muscles too. :) 

© 2020 The Healing Compass                

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