Many clients have asked why I’ve chosen to throw out my massage lotion bottles. Well, that’s not exactly what they’ve asked, but that’s how I envision my abandonment of general deep tissue massage techniques (namely, gliding with my forearm). Let me say this loud and clear so there’s no mistaking my opinions… there is nothing WRONG with this common practice of deep tissue massage (if it’s practiced without pushing the limits of pain tolerance) and I do NOT look down on the massage therapists who do this work. In fact, I admire you because this is seriously hard work (no matter how good your body mechanics are).
Here are my reasons it’s just not for me anymore: A. I choose to work specifically, B. Providing general deep tissue massage tires me out, C. It just doesn’t mesh with how I view the body.
I’m sorry that I’ve disappointed many clients (I was quite good at traditional full body deep tissue massages!), but if I were to continue on that path, I would burn out for good and end my massage therapy career. So you can see, I didn’t take this decision lightly and ironically, I made it out of self-preservation (although I am losing a handful of regular clients).
These days I’m much more interested in understanding chronic pain issues at a deeper level. You say, WHAT?! How can you get deeper than deep tissue massage of the muscles?! You get deeper by getting closer to the root cause of pain by assessing the body first, observing its immediate responses and not so immediate responses to treatment, and then continuing with this very intentional process, noting changes and making adjustments as needed.
When you take specific deep tissue work (PNMT) and combine it with John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach®, the work or the benefits of the massage (i.e., pain relief, decrease in tension, etc.) can last much longer than the effects of a standard full body deep tissue massage. Don’t just take my word for it… My clients tell me so.
I absolutely understand that you’d rather not talk and you just want to zone out and feel the sensations of being massaged with lotion. I get that. Sometimes I feel like that too. If that’s the case, I highly recommend the following massage therapy practices for your full body deep tissue massage needs: