Deep Tissue Massage

  • MuscleUp

    Posts: 118

    Mar 31, 2008 2:03 AM GMT
    I would like to start massage therapy on a regular basis. I've been having minor muscle strain and tension in my back. Some people swear by the benefits of massage therapy and some don't even bother. I prefer a more vigorous massage but should I go right to the deep tissue massage or start at a swedish and build from there?
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    Mar 31, 2008 3:03 AM GMT
    I've had some great experience with sports massage therapy helping out. I've got a great one in Davis Square (T accessible!) and he specialized in deep work as opposed to the light touch stuff. Let me know if you'd like his contact info.
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    Mar 31, 2008 1:37 PM GMT
    Sounds like you have decided to give massage a try. GREAT! As a massage professional, I suggest asking around at the gym and talking to friends for referrals. Make some calls to massage therapists and talk with them about some basics before making your first appointment, such as: what is their training(swedish, deep tissue, sports massage) ; are they licensed to work in your city/state; types of clients they see (do they work with athletes? they may have training in sports massage but may not have athletes as part of their practice) ; have they worked with your specific type of physical situation before; what you hope to accomplish by receiving massage; do they believe they have the skills/training to accomplish your goals (just like a personal trainer -- can this person meet your needs) .

    Following are some sites to help you w/your search:
    http://www.amtamassage.org/findamassage/locator.aspx
    http://www.ncbtmb.com/consumers_find_practitioner.php
    http://www.massagetherapy.com/find/index.php

  • MuscleUp

    Posts: 118

    Apr 01, 2008 11:20 PM GMT
    Thanks guys, we'll see what happens...
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    Apr 01, 2008 11:47 PM GMT
    My experience has been that it's less the type of massage, but more the therapist that determines success.

    I think good massage therapists are born, not made. It takes empathy and an ability to see with your hands and fingers. I've always thought a blind person would probably be a better massage therapist than a sighted person would.

    And whether they are a trained or certified or specialize in A, B, C, or whatever, also seems to make little difference. They learn moves, but if they have no ability to connect to your body, the moves are useless -- and often annoying.

    So... my advice would be to just keep looking until you find the therapist that you like, and once you find him/her, then they will probably be able to give you whatever type of massage you want.

    K
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    Apr 02, 2008 12:43 AM GMT
    iguanaSF saidI've always thought a blind person would probably be a better massage therapist than a sighted person would.


    Iguana, if you ever come to LA, there is a blind masseur at the West Hollywood Burke Williams named Mole and he is indeed very good.
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    Apr 02, 2008 1:32 AM GMT
    Thanks! I'm in LA about 3 times a year, so I'll definitely whack a Mole... I mean try out Mr. Mole.

    Sorry, bad jokes are in my jeans.

    And my genes.

    K
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    Apr 14, 2008 1:12 AM GMT
    When I get a deep sport massage I prefer to do a certain area....ie: just the legs...or just the back and shoulders. I'd rather have a certain area worked really well.

    Wish i could find someone here in DC to trade deep spot massages.


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    May 09, 2008 12:59 PM GMT
    I'm glad this forum is already rolling because I just had my first deep tissue massage on Tuesday, and felt I needed to throw out my experience.

    I've been playing water polo for about 10 years, and have chronic stiffness and knots all over my back and neck, and even my hamstrings. The therapist was great, and she managed to find every last spot that needed work, and really get deep into them. I did have two, apparently, unfounded concerns:

    1) How therapeutic would a deep tissue massage be at spa that seems to cater more towards beauty supplies and mother's day excursions? (hey, i had a gift certificate)

    2) How good would a deep tissue massage be by a woman? (And actually, this was my lesser concern - I've known many strong women, and certainly technique counts for a lot here as well)

    I lucked out (sorta) in both respects, but if you don't want to go in blind, ask around for references (this girl was Nicia at G2O on Newbury St in Boston). If any therapist is certified in a certain kind of massage, then you should be good to go anyway.

    The only reason I say "sorta lucked out" above, is that about an hour later my throat started to feel swollen, my ears were getting congested and I just generally felt like I was catching a cold. I got out of water polo practice early, and skipped rugby that night to go home and rest. Sure enough, the next day, I was laid up in bed all day with a fever. Throat was so swollen it hurt to eat (not that I had much of an appetite anyway), and I was too addle-minded to do much more than lay down. I took a lot of Zicam, got as much water as I could stomach, and started to feel somewhat less crappy by Thursday. Now it's Friday - I feel functional again, but still have some residual symptoms (throat is still sore, and apparently a runny nose now? but that may also be because it's allergy season here).

    I had heard in passing that deep tissue releases toxins and can "make you feel bad" afterwards, but it hit me like a wrecking ball. Maybe my case was an extreme example, but my advice - drink lots of water before, and immediately after, make sure you're taking your vitamins, and just do whatever you would normally do to prevent getting sick before and after you get your massage.

    Anyone else have different experiences? This was also my first deep tissue massage, so there may have just been a lot of junk built up over the years.
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    May 13, 2008 3:41 AM GMT
    I am one of those therapists who does not think deep tissue massage is a good thing. It all goes back to the "no pain, no gain" mentality. Massage should not hurt. If you have bruising and aches and pains for several days after...how does that help? The bruising means muscles were bleeding after the massage. Guess what happens to the fascia...the connective tissue.

    I work with many athletes. I can work deeply if I need to...I am an expert on trigger point therapy...that is the most important thing to consider when getting a massage...if you are an athlete especially.

    Trigger points count for about 80% of most injuries so if we can find them before...then we are doing good preventive work.

    Find a therapist who works with athletes; find one licensed; certified; experienced; with references; liability insurance; a clean, safe studio with sturdy table, etc. Like me!
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    May 13, 2008 1:22 PM GMT
    thesportjocdoc saidI am one of those therapists who does not think deep tissue massage is a good thing. It all goes back to the "no pain, no gain" mentality. Massage should not hurt. If you have bruising and aches and pains for several days after...how does that help? The bruising means muscles were bleeding after the massage. Guess what happens to the fascia...the connective tissue.

    Find a therapist who works with athletes; find one licensed; certified; experienced; with references; liability insurance; a clean, safe studio with sturdy table, etc. Like me!


    I agree. When I do deep tissue work with clients it is never painful. Yet, I never have had anyone complain about the amount of pressure I use. I can work very deep without pain and without severe post-massage symptoms.

    A good therapist knows how to work the soft tissues by working with your body; not against it. If the pressure or the work being done causes pain, it is actually counter-productive to releasing the restrictions and may do more harm than good.

    No matter how 'deep' the therapist works or how much pressure you want in a session, there should never be pain.

    Regarding citpolo's experience: I have never had this sort of reaction with any client that I have worked with.

    You can read about the 'massage releasing toxins' myth here:Flushing Out Myths
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    May 13, 2008 2:06 PM GMT
    I actually had my first back massage ever last Saturday. She said that I was so tense it felt like there were marbles in my back! The session itself hurt like Hell but I felt like money afterwards!
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    May 17, 2008 4:24 AM GMT
    I swear by massage and acupuncture therapy. I had a terrible fall that along with intense training, stressed my IT band. I was barely able to even walk a week before a marathon, but did run it with mild discomfort and posted a 3:19.

    I was praying just to finish the thing! I now regularly subscribe to sports massage therapy and keep my muscles relaxed rather than forcing one muscle to compensate for the tightness of another.

    Worth the expense!
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    May 17, 2008 4:51 AM GMT
    I’ve been a massage therapist for over 20 years. I enjoy massaging as much as getting a massage. Working with the individual’s needs, I’ve learned to use a variation of massage techniques to relax the muscles and release the muscular as well as the fascia tension. The fascia is the connective tissue.

    The massage therapist must be patient and work with the muscle, layer by layer. The benefits of massage are numerous and the more techniques used in one session the more benefits the client will get.

    With deep tissue if the toxins release from the “Pressure/ Trigger Points” are not flushed into the lymph nodes, those toxins will create more pain.

    I perform a full body massage, which usually takes 90 minutes. Using Swedish, Lymph Drainage, Deep Tissue, Body Movement Techniques for the bursas in the joints and PNF for flexibility. Always flushing, stretching/ elongating the muscles as I work to go deeper and deeper without causing pain or trauma to the skin, muscles or fascia.

    As someone mentioned earlier, make sure to find a licensed and/ or certified massage therapist. Not all states require a licensed, but a nationally certified massage therapist has received the proper education and training.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    May 17, 2008 5:25 AM GMT
    You have to crawl before you can walk. I suggest you find a school that teaches a variety of styles because the more tools you have to work with the better you'll be able to help a variety of people. Since you want to go a therapy route, pay close attention to Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology, etc.

    On RJ you'll also be able to talk to Massage Therapists, PhysioTherapists and Physical Therapist from other countries too and you'll be able learn a lot from them. But start with the basics in Swedish Massage and go from there.
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    Oct 23, 2008 3:19 PM GMT
    BostonBryan saidI would like to start massage therapy on a regular basis. I've been having minor muscle strain and tension in my back. Some people swear by the benefits of massage therapy and some don't even bother. I prefer a more vigorous massage but should I go right to the deep tissue massage or start at a swedish and build from there?


    I do a deeply relaxing massage with special emphasis on upper back and neck. Glutes are necessity for everyone, bi the way; it's the forgotten core. Let me know when you're in Tampa and I'll demo for ya.
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    Jun 18, 2009 10:07 AM GMT
    Its a good decision. I will suggest you to post your request on Mineeds.com in Massage section. At once you posted, providers and massage professionals will place their bids on your needs. Get excellent services from them and be happy!!!

    Tampa Massage Therapists | Massagers - Get Bids & Save | MiNeeds
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    Jun 19, 2009 2:30 AM GMT
    I always make sure to find a good massage therapist wherever I live. It´s really not a luxury for me because of my job and past medical issues.

    Types that often work well are

    deep tissue/sports
    shiatsu
    chinese
    Thai

    However, it is more about the individual masseur and their touch than one brand name.

    People spend silly money on their cars but not on their bodies... don´t get it.
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    Sep 10, 2009 1:31 PM GMT
    As a masage therapist, whenever I have a new client I inform them that you may not feel that great after a deep massage, release of lactic acid can have a lingering effect, especially if no massage has ever been performed and it's a first time client. Honestly I'd never do a deep session on a new client unless it was needed or requested and then only after a explanation of what to expect.

    Several studies have shown that blood oxygen levels can increase by 10-15% after a massage, this helps with muscle recovery.