More Melting, Less Stress with 4 Forgotten Massage Techniques
Are you one of those clients who think that the deeper the massage technique, the better? Do you lay on the table thinking that if the massage therapist could only get out the chisel and hammer, you’d be feeling great after an hour?
What if you could achieve the same or better results with something different? If your only definition of a massage is getting forged like hot iron, then this blog is for you.
There are reflexes in the muscles that respond to pressure. Sometimes, the body refuses to yield to deep pressure because of pain, inflammation, and tightness. Your body wants to protect itself from more harm that could lead to further injury. The problem that arises is the “no pain, no gain” mindset. It must not be working if it doesn’t cause pain.
We all want to get the most out of our time and money, so why not just get to work on digging out those knots? A game of tug-of-war can begin with more pressure, then the muscles tighten more. There is another way to achieve the results you want without “deep tissue” work.
- Gentle pressure work – Lighter techniques can be more effective because the muscles will begin to relax when they can “trust” that nothing will cause more pain. Massage is all about increasing circulation to the tissues that have been suppressed of fresh oxygen to aid in healing and relief. If you try pushing a boat through the water with a lot of force, it moves very little. With a steady, gentle force, the boat will coast through the water. It’s the science behind resistance – go with the flow, not against it.
- Rocking – It’s as primitive as when we were infants. Rocking has not lost its efficacy as an adult. It’s rhythmic and evenly disperses the pressure over a larger area, making it feel like you are getting more coverage. Your endorphins are flowing and connect the whole body and mind via a harmonious movement. It’s mesmerizing, so long as you aren’t prone to motion sickness.
- Slow flow – An engaged, deliberate pace that allows the body to take in every stroke and compute the change happens below the surface of the skin. It allows the mind and muscles to unwind one minute at a time vs. speeding through the hour to get it all in. Your senses come alive and body awareness is awakened. Slower, softer hands can make a convert out of the most intense deep tissue fans.
- Tapotement/Percussion – You may know it as “karate chopping, light loose fist pounding.” – This is a rapid and repetitive rapping on the body with the sides of the hand or loose fists/finger taps. It’s a great way to increase blood flow instantly and relax the muscles. Loose cupped hands can help with respiratory congestion by loosening up mucus in the lungs. It’s a great way to bring things to the surface while lulling you to a peaceful rest. It can prepare you to re-enter the world after entering a deep, relaxed state.
The best way to de-stress is to not cause more pain and stress to the body. If you want to try something less ordinary that comes with greater, longer lasting results, try asking for a gentle pressure massage and you may be surprised at how much better you will feel without the high-powered tools of deep pressure. Less pressure is what we all need. More melting is the answer.