Category Archives: Massage Tips and Tricks

Massage Tutorial Video: Talking to Clients On the Table

New video! This week we’re talking about talking. More specifically, what can you do to maximize your time with a client on the table? Especially in a time-crunch environment, finding little nooks and crannies to fit client education into can be invaluable.

I find this especially useful when I’m dealing with areas of heightened sensitivity. If a client comes in with a painful sacroiliac area and sciatica symptoms, for instance, I try to talk them through the treatment as I deliver it. I want them to know what I’m trying to achieve with my slow steamrolling, and I ask them to let me know their experience. Does it feel like we’re in a relevant area? Do you feel this referring pain anywhere else? As I gather information, I can also deliver some, telling them about their posterior pelvis and where relevant muscles attach. When you live with chronic pain, learning more about it can be a relief in itself! ... continue reading.

Massage Sloth Presents: Maria Natera’s Favorite Techniques

New massage technique video! I invited Maria Natera of Massage Therapeutics to make a video for us about her favorite massage techniques, and she knocked it out of the park. She demonstrates active engagement techniques for the wrist and forearm, big beautiful forearm carving techniques for the scapula and sacrum, and some lovely posterior neck work. Check it out, and then visit her channel and subscribe! I want her to blow up, and y’all gotta help me make it happen 🙂

Let me know what you think! Do you like this “Massage Sloth Presents” format? Also, keep your eyes peeled for another new video next week! It’s on communicating with clients on the table 😮

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!

Massage Tutorial: Serratus Anterior (and its friends)

Does your massage client have rib pain? Would you like to work with the thoracic region more thoroughly? Here’s how I go about it.

Something that I hope to demonstrate with this video is an approach that was years in the making—instead of working on specific muscles, or stripping longitudinally or transversely, I’ve started to embrace the torso as a whole. By hooking in and dragging the thoracic region in different directions, purposely changing the shape of the client’s body, I’m able to work with the many muscles that criss-cross the region while acknowledging the holistic three-dimensionality of the upper body.

Let me restate that in a way that’s less weird: I’ve found clinical value in working more broadly with the thoracic muscles. I used to isolate them, stripping and compressing muscles that I thought were responsible for low back pain, or chest pain. By broadening my approach and moving beyond origin and insertion, I find that my clients get a better sense of how their torso is put together, and they tend to stand up with tangible results: Being able to breathe easier and stand taller. Even if these are temporary (and they are), that change demonstrates that such things are possible. It lets the client know that touch and movement are capable of making them more comfortable in their own body.

Let me know what you think, and I’d love to hear your strategies for working with the torso as a whole!