I've done massage and bodywork for about 6 years now, a common theme that I come across is "hurt me" or "I don't mind pain" I've even gotten "beat me". I'm not even sure if people realize the cruel words coming out towards themselves. A request to be beaten, when a massage is meant to be healing and nurturing. At what point did inflicted pain on the body turn into healing? So I'm not some lazy Massage Therapist that doesn't want to do deep tissue because its too much work. Ive done thousands of deep tissues, Ive probably "hurt" a good handful too, tiered of defending what deep tissue is. Do you feel a deep tissue? YES most definitely it works the muscles and there is sensation! The sensation goal is not pain, no squirming, jumping, sweating and most of all NOT breathing. Deep Tissue is not meant to take our breath away, breath is our life force, it is healing, grounding we need it every moment of each day. Many times the person wanting to feel pain is not breathing and probably not feeling much. Often I notice a direct disconnect from the body and pain is a sensation that can't be ignored because it takes our breath away. This is not healing though, there's no way around it, its just NOT. Our muscles need our breath to let go, to lengthen, and heal. Lying on a table having another person grind your muscles out, while your sweating and not breathing doesn't do much for the body. If anything it can inflict STRESS on the body, the most damaging thing to our health. Letting go and relaxing for an hour with touch as light as a feather, is healing, and will do the body good! Sweating, holding your breath and cringing for an hour may feel good in some " i need to feel" sorta way, but the effects won't last. If anything the next morning you wake up feeling like you got beat up, as requested. Are we so disconnect from our bodies that we need a torture session to notice them? The session may get a client to start noticing their body again, but the continued care relies on the person living in that body! Whether they are showing up for massage again, exercising more, doing yoga, drinking more water, its their responsibility. With out the continued care, they show up for the next session in the same place they were asking for more pain! Its not effective! An effective Deep Tissue still involve elbows, but those elbows only sink as deep as the muscles let them. Its true, maybe a Massage Therapist has said this before and you've rolled your eyes because you want the pain. They were not lying though, thankfully Ive also done hundreds of deep tissues where this is understood. The client and the Massage Therapist are working in harmony not fighting each other. The client slips into relaxation, the body softens, the muscles melt, and
WA-LA effective deep tissue! I promise its 100 times more healing than that pain, but what needs to shift is trust. Trust your therapist they aren't lazy and lying about how deep they can go or that they just don't weigh enough. Most important trust your body and its amazing wisdom to heal itself! Massage Therapist are just guiding your body along the way we aren't the only healers working. Letting go and trusting can be one of the hardest practices, I also believe it to be one of the most healing. A practice to return to over and over again.