“You can press as hard as you like.” When a client says that, it means he or she is asking me to use firmer pressure. I will increase the pressure I am using and check back with them to make sure they are comfortable with the change in pressure. That is easy.
“I`ve heard deep tissue is the only way to go with massage. Can you do that?” When a client asks that, I want to know what they understand about what they just asked. I also know I have some explaining to do about how we do deep tissue massage in our clinic. I want to make sure my client understands that deep tissue massage is not just pushing harder. Rather, it is an involved treatment that can include not only firm pressure, but also a variety of other therapeutic approaches. For more information, please read Deep Tissue Massage and Do You Do Deep Tissue Massage?
Earl Timberlake was one of my early mentors who I still call upon occasionally when I can’t find an answer to a treatment concern. He taught dissection classes to medical students and continues to teach advanced massage technique classes in the Midwest. He used to tell repeatedly tell us, “You can’t get to where you need to go.”
What Earl meant was that it is not easy to get to the place in the muscles where the pain or discomfort originates. He would say “Don’t push your way through or you will have a client who is sore and not very happy with you. “Rather, arrive there.”
For clients who have worked with Patsi or me, they know that we find the problem area or areas of discomfort, go off to another area and work, check back with the problem area, see how that is – and repeat this process a few times until there is a marked reduction or absence of pain in the problem area. We are actually working other areas of the muscle or layers of muscles in the problem area to get them to release tension and tenderness before we “arrive at” and treat the major trouble-makers. A good visual for what we are doing is “peeling away layers of the onion.”
If you still have questions after reading the Deep Tissue Massage page, please give us a call at 219 879-5722 and we will be happy to discuss your particular situation.