Deep tissue is to every therapist a different technique. Let's talk about what you might think of as deep tissue and maybe bust some myths and teach you about some new techniques to look for or ask your local therapists about. Deep tissue is often viewed as deep pressure during any massage. Almost any massage you want at a typical spot will ask what pressure you want. You can get a deep tissue or a swedish. What a therapist wants to know is why you want deep pressure and what you are your concerns. As a swedish or other gentle long relaxing strokes might just assume that you want to relax. Who ever said that deep tissue couldn’t be relaxing? Many people who have received the typical response “you have to feel the pain to get the pain out.” Some of us like that but for others who don’t it's really put a burden on the extent of restoring the body that a licensed therapist can really do. A new term that you may hear or see as an option is therapeutic massage. Some therapist see that as an opportunity to combine their techniques to help you get the best out of your treatment but also respect your pressure needs but again not all therapist will respect your pressure needs. Please always speak up and ask for a different technique. If your therapist doesn’t have that ability know how to respect your boundaries because light pressure techniques are not in their tool box. There are other therapist out there that can meet your needs, you have to look, ask, and make sure to reach out to them to schedule or at least try to let them know to reach out to you if you forget to.
Let’s talk about why we would get a therapeutic massage and what kinds of bodywork can assist and what their level of pressure and results are like. When we get a therapeutic massage we can ask does it have to be deep to get these knots out? Is there another way you can do this? What is hurt so good? What is a knot anyway? Its an inflamed part of your body where the trigger point in the muscle at some point was screaming at you to pay attention to it and you probably ignored it. It started to build up scar tissue around the trigger point to ensure that you could continue doing whatever you were doing. This scar tissue blocks lymph and blood flow and shortens other muscles around it which can cause another painful area to scream at you to pay attention and the cycle continues. When we feel those tender painful areas while getting a massage those are the knots you long forgot about that might actually be the root of the pain you came in for that you are feeling in another part of your body.
See pictures below to see how knots form and what trigger points can look like
It's a whole chain of connections disrupted and a limited range of motion calling out to be seen, felt, and heard. Let's talk about gentle ways to use bodywork techniques to unwind this painful tissue before even having to do deep work. We will also talk about other complementary therapies that can be done to help you get into a healthier place after you get these painful areas worked out and why you may not want to do these therapies without getting these areas worked out. Let's talk more about painful tissue first. Often times trigger points and scar tissue might need to be released but so does the congestion in the tissue. Often times a painful touch can be the lymphatic system begging to be moved first before you go into the deep painful tissue. An educated therapist could do that for you. Also many establishments would probably recommend receiving a lymphatic drainage treatment or lymphatic massage if they even offer it before you got a massage. That's how these businesses work, everything is a specific kind of treatment. Some of us out there actually combine all the therapies. Be sure to educate yourself and ask your therapists if they would even consider doing a massage like this. Sometimes the front desks of these centers are rooting for their favorite person whether or not that person knows anything about these other modalities. I would be sure to ask for the therapist email or personally talk to the therapist before you take the front desk word, not always but has often been the case with me.
A gentle modality is ortho-bionmy I integrate in my practice. It is very similar to myofascial release and I often integrate the two modalities. It's a gentle non invasive therapy that allows your body to realize what it's doing and your body will unwind itself. It's something I have been studying for the past 3 years whenever I can afford to take a class. I will at some point have an associate in ortho-bionomy and hopefully will become a teacher. Right now all I can do is integrate into your bodywork when you come to see me for therapeutic bodywork. There is also SMR, NRT, cranial sacral, myofascial release, body repositional release which is similar but has its differences. When I am doing ortho-bionomy. I find after I do a technique that I can follow the fascia lines and release without any problem to the receiver; especially if they are hypersensitive to touch whether its pain, fibromyalgia, or some other disorder that causes you feel pain when touched. Even just thin skin and the effects of aging and not moving around too often. If you are a nurse, cna, doctor, or anyone really. You can take a class and apply it in your practice to help your patients feel at ease. My favorite side effect of receiving ortho-bionomy is that you end up swimming in waves of deep relaxation. There is nothing like it. I am trained in cranial, visceral, spine, and extremities and more in orthobionomy. The principles are simple, less is more. Lymph massage and ortho-bionomy and similar techniques might be the way to go. There are people out there. They may be far and few in between but they do exist. Don’t give up on your search to find relief in a kind way. Especially if you are looking in Pittsburgh for yourself or for a family member. The only time an orthobionomist can’t work is on broken bones. Its the kind adjustment you never knew you could have. It's a slow process like myofascia release but very healing and worth its weight in gold. If you are willing to try it out, Id recommend 2-4 sessions to explore unwinding some old chronic pain, scar tissue and pain associated with surgery, joint restrictions, repetitive strain injuries, trauma, emotional imbalances, stress, sleep distruption, and the list goes on. Even if you don’t have any of these issues. It’s main focus is to increase the body’s ability to communicate within each of its systems. It innately provides more resilience, a stronger immune system, and a greater capacity to heal from injuries.
Some of these techniques include:
Isometric and isotonic techniques
Subtle or minute movements
Postural re-education and self-care exercises
Work in the energy field of the body
Cranial and visceral balancing
Resetting the nervous system
Releasing trauma from the body
Let's talk about Deep Tissue. You can scan your mouse over each modality to find a link that can tell you more in detail. Especially the ones I don’t offer. There is Rolfing, Thai , Neuromuscular, Triggerpoint, Ashiatsu and Sports. There are probably so many more. All of these can also be combined with the more general techniques but these therapist are unlikely to know of ortho-bionomy but it's always worth a shot to ask. I practice Neuromuscular and trigger point and occasionally sports. Some may say that people can’t tell the difference between a deep tissue and a sports massage. Some might say that Thai is a form of Sports massage. Neuromuscular works with starting on the most superficial tissue and working the way down through the layers relieving each layer first and when we come across a trigger point releasing it as we move deeper into the layers. I find that ortho-bionomy is very complimentary here. Neuromuscular lets me get deep and find these layers but whenever I find a tender area or a point not responding I can bring in the principles and techniques of orthio-bionomy into play. I feel the body unwind after that. Sports massage is similar to Thai in that it stretches you but using a fast moving technique called strumming that is very relaxing but very hard on the therapists body to do all the time. It's very effective and often used in pre and post massages for athletes that last about 15 min each on specific muscle groups that will be used during the sport. You can see how all these modalities and names vary differently. You may be receiving all kinds of techniques and not even realize there is a name for each one. I hope that helped clarify a bit more about the different kinds of modalities and the effectiveness of the treatments.
When ever you go back to the PT and Chiropractic care and you wonder why it may not be working. Think about combining massage therapy into your preventive and restoration self care protocol. Get those knots out with a massage therapist, then get your spine adjusted with the chiropractor, and your muscles stronger with the care the PT gives you. You will end up getting some kind of bodywork anyway you might as well start a regular practice to stay clear of the issues that will come with life's obstacles, future surgeries, posture imbalances, restrictions, and stresses. You don’t have to suffer while you get stronger, if you are hurting it might be a knot that is making it harder for you to stay in alignment. If you want to learn more about what I do check this link out. Also love teaching friends and couples how to help each other. If you suffer with chronic pain and have a willing friend to help you out. I’d be happy to show you two how to help one another. Learn about that here. Any questions email or text me anytime! I look forward to helping you find balance within wherever & whenever that may be.
I love giving and learning about massages and love to help people know how to take care of themselves and their friends! I might share some basics or go into some deeply shared wellness tips from my experiences to help you along your life happiness.