All posts by Massage Sloth

Massage Tutorial Video: 4 Myofascial Stretches

Want to make your massage client “feel taller,” all while delivering some feel-good meditative contact? Check out my new tutorial video:

Really, these are all just simple table stretches; the trick is in their delivery. They feel good done briefly, but interesting stuff starts happening when you slow down and let your hands do some listening. I find these to be opportunities to connect with my client, and they’re excellent ways of opening or closing a massage!

In fact, let’s talk more about how to end a massage. What do you do to let your clients know that the session has reached its end? This can be verbal or non-verbal. Looking forward to your thoughts!

Massage Tutorial Video: Working With Fully Clothed Clients

New massage tutorial video! This one’s on how to work with fully clothed clients:

This can seem a little intimidating if you always work with oil, or if you don’t have much experience with chair massage. The trick is to embrace the traction rather than trying to replicate the glide of your usual technique. What advantages do you have now that your hands stick like glue?

I see this as an opportunity to really sink into myofascial release. Because you can displace superficial tissue without sliding off, you can try new angles and really sit with them. For instance, try engaging the erector spinae tissue and dragging it out laterally, then staying put for a while. Have the client breathe as you feel the consistency of the tissue under your hands and wait for it to soften. This can have effects on the back that longitudinal strokes can’t quite achieve!

When considering how to spend your hour, this is where you can mimic your Swedish-inspired approach. Budget your time similarly, and let your approach be just as slow and all-encompassing. Even without being able to glide, you can still tell the story of the body and how it’s interconnected.

Thanks to everyone who’s been waiting patiently while I get back into this. If you’ve sent me a message during the last few months, it’s pretty likely that I was unable to respond, so please feel free to resend it if you’d like my thoughts on something. It’s good to be back!

How I Interview New Massage Clients

The first ever intake you have with a massage client can set the tone for your entire therapeutic relationship. How can you open up lines of communication and get plenty of useful information to boot? Here’s how I go about it:

One thing you’ll notice is that I’m… really thorough. My initial interview can take about 5-10 minutes, and that’s completely on purpose. I want that client to get on the table with no questions about whether its okay for them to speak up, or whether they can ask for changes to be made. I want them to feel like they had a chance to really explain what their unique needs are, and to know that I heard them.

And, I want them to feel like the expert in the room. Sure, I know a lot about bodies in general, but they’ve known their body for their whole life! What can I do to let them know that I value them as a source of information? That I don’t have psychic hands, and that I need their feedback? I’ll talk more about this in a future video about communication on the table, but I’d love to hear how you go about it. How do you empower your clients and let them know that they’re in the driver’s seat?

P.S. I’ll have two new shirt designs for sale tomorrow! Check out my Twitter or Instagram if you’d like a preview 🙂

Massage Video: Full Back Massage Routine

This week I demonstrate my general back massage routine:

I did something a little different with this video. I start with my usual lengthy explanation as I show techniques, but I also include a real-time demonstration (with obligatory relaxing music) afterward. What do you think of this format? What’s your typical back routine like, and is there anything you’d add to mine? Tell us about it in the comments!

P.S. I’ve got a video on scapula mobilization ready for next week, so keep an eye out!

Massage Video: Deep Tissue Massage Basics (Working with the Whole Body)

This week’s video is another deep tissue basics tutorial: How to work with the body as a whole.

One thing I love about massage is how it can make me feel more deeply connected to my body—and, as a client, an occasional frustration I have is leaving a session feeling cut into pieces, or treated like a flat surface.

In this video, I emphasize four ways of highlighting the interconnectedness of the body, hopefully in ways that are easily integrated into any modality. Let me know what you think, and what you’d like to see in the future!