Monthly Archives: June 2015

Massage Video: Strategies for the Trapezius

New massage tutorial! This one’s on the trapezius, everyone’s favorite kite-shaped muscle. While I do discuss some specific techniques, this one’s more about strategy. What pain is associated with the trapezius? How can we work with it thoroughly, and in ways that other massage therapists might not consider?

When I get a client with pervasive neck, shoulder, and back pain, I’m thinking that poor beleaguered trapezius needs some love. By considering all portions of it (even the parts that attach to the clavicle!), we can treat it more thoroughly, and send it a more powerful message, than by just petrissaging that meaty part at the top. ... continue reading.

Massage Malady #5: Cervical Sadism

If you’ve read my writing or watched my videos, you know that I love the neck. I fearlessly grasp sternocleidomastoid, I’ll draw the scalenes in as I work the traps, and I’ll happily give the local fascia a stretch with a slow, soft fist. I know there’s a lot of nervous, vascular, and lymphatic tissue present, but the neck is a robust structure full of feel-good muscle, begging to be explored. If you deal with it mindfully, you can really offer the client a new experience of a structure that has previously only caused them pain, or that they think of as the place where they “hold their stress.”

But… there are limits. That brings us to today’s massage malady: “Cervical Sadism.”


This is rarely seen with actual massage techniques: People tend to respect the anterior and lateral neck’s potential vulnerability by being careful with it, or even avoiding it altogether! While that’s not great, at least it’s erring on the side of caution.¬†Conversely, this particular problem is characterized by a blithe disregard for the neck’s normal range of motion. ... continue reading.

Massage Technique: The Shoulder Accordion

This is a quick one! Just a tiny alteration to shoulder petrissage that can make a big difference in client perception and (possibly) the physiological effects. By creating fascial traction or slack, plain old trapezius squeezing can feel new and interesting. Let me know what you think!

Massage video: How to give longer sessions (90+ minutes)

This one’s on how to give longer massages without being bored to tears. In fact, once you start “exploring the space” that longer sessions give you, you might never want to give an hour-long massage again.

In the video, I talk about slowing down (my favorite thing, as you may have gathered), reintegrating large swaths of the body after you do specific techniques, and altering your techniques to make them feel new again. While making these little alterations might require some conscious effort at first, you’ll find yourself doing them automatically over time. Allow yourself to experiment, and your massage will evolve and grow in ways that you might not expect. ... continue reading.