Tag Archives: deep tissue massage

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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 bodyโ€”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!

Massage Technique Video: The “Mother Hand”

This week I have a deep tissue massage technique video for you:

This is about using a “mother hand”: A broad and comforting hand applied while doing other techniques.

But that’s easy for me to say. For new massage therapists, having two hands doing two different tasks can be quite the juggling act. I remember how taxing it was to keep my feet moving, my posture not-terrible, and my hands conforming to the surface of the body, all while anticipating what my next move would be.

As I mention in the video, this is something that takes time. There’s an interesting phenomenon called automatization, wherein the cerebellum recognizes frequently repeated tasks over the course of many repetitions, and slowly takes over those tasks from the cerebral cortex. This is what allows you to tie your shoes while humming the theme song from Game of Thrones: the automaticity of the behaviors reduces the amount of attention needed.

So, practice makes perfect, and it also reduces the cognitive burden of that activity! I promise to talk more about actual massage next time.

Until then, let me know what you think! Do you do something like this as you work? If you give this a try, let me know how it goes!

Massage Video: Deep Tissue Basics (Applying Pressure and Making Contact)

This one goes back to the basics. How to apply pressure during a deep tissue massage:

I’d like to talk a bit more about that “first contact” that I mention in the video. This is something that I discussed at length in my live Facebook video from yesterday: That first contact is an opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the massage, and for the entirety of your therapeutic relationship.

Everything else is important, of course. Your initial interview can do a lot to open lines of honest communication, which is vital if you’re going to give your client the best massage possible. The whole massage will tell a story and give the client a better concept of their own body. Your conversation afterward can make the client feel heard and fully considered.

But that first contact? That can be when your client decides, “okay, this is the massage therapist for me.” It can be the difference between a one-off session and a client for life.

So, no matter how busy your day is or how rushed you’re feeling, take your time with that first contact. Take that time to center yourself and do some breathing as your hands melt onto that unique body in front of you. Resist the urge to move on to the “real massage” as soon as possible. There’s plenty of time to get to the other stuff, so allow that first touch to have meaning.

I also talk about how to apply pressure in a way that feels confident and profound, but I don’t feel like waxing poetic about that right now ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me know what you think. Do you find yourself rushing through the introduction to your massage? Do you get caught up in the “short and sharp” style I mention in the video? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.