Tag Archives: myofascial release

Massage Technique Video: Alternating Shoulder Press

This is a great way to start out your neck work, or to start your session. It’s a gentle way of introducing movement to the neck without saying a word, and it creates some myofascial stretching that feels really profound!

A couple of quick tips: Keep the palmar surfaces of your hands close to the client’s skin as you press and scoop. If you can keep your skin travelling along their skin, it will help this feel like a natural rock instead of a “press, press, press” sensation. Let this movement come from your hips, allowing your torso to rock from side to side.

This can also feel great without any oil at all, allowing yourself to move much more slowly and play with moving the fascia rather than doing much travelling across the skin.

Let me know what you think! Some cool things are in store, so stay tuned 🙂 ... continue reading.

Massage Technique Video: The Lumbar Steamroller

Massage therapists, I present to you one of my favorite techniques. Why do I like it so much? Well, it’s easy to apply once you get the hang of it, and it gets me more “oh wow” comments than just about any other move. Give it a try, share with your colleagues, and let me know what you think in the comments!

I’ve got another technique video coming up next week, and then… I don’t know! What would you like to see me cover next?

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 Video: Working with Shoulder Pain After Surgery

Here’s a new video about how I work with postsurgical shoulder pain. I talk about my strategy, and I demonstrate specific techniques for working gently from a myofascial perspective:

I’d like to highlight something that’s changed for me in my practice: While I do explore the client’s range of motion, I do my best to avoid those painful end-points. Over the course of my career, I’ve found that mobilization can work just as well (or better!) when it’s done painlessly. If done patiently and with good communication, it can be a way of demonstrating to the client that safe movement is possible. I’ve frequently had clients stand up with a greater comfortable range of motion despite the fact that I didn’t try to increase that ROM on the table!

I’ve also started erring on the side of less specific work during that first session, especially in areas that are prone to guarding or spasm. That specific stripping and trigger point work can still be incorporated in future sessions, but by working broadly at first, I can help the client gradually get used to movement and contact without provoking spasm or next-day tightness.

Let me know what you think! Is there anything that you’d add or do differently? Did I finally drone on for too long during a video? 🙂

Thanks to my 124 Patreon supporters! You may have noticed that I’ve been posting videos more frequently, and your monthly support makes that possible. My goal is 500 patrons by the end of the year—if you’d like to join in, check out https://www.patreon.com/MassageSloth.

Massage Tutorial Video: Sciatica Myofascial Release Techniques

Today’s massage tutorial video is on sciatica pain and how to deal with it from a myofascial perspective:

You’ll notice that I don’t spend much time focusing on piriformis or any of the hip rotators. I don’t target the lumbar paraspinals or the sacrum. Instead, I encompass all of these areas in broad “steamroller” techniques that grab the fascia and give it some traction. I’ve had much more success with this approach than any specific neuromuscular work.

I also include some mobilization of the hip as I work, bringing it into different angles of rotation and abduction. While I can’t affect any disc dysfunction that might be present, I do think that I can work with spasm and hypertonicity down the line. Nothing in the body happens in isolation—if there’s nerve impingement near the spine, there’s tight muscle and hypersensitivity nearby, and we can work with that!

How do you approach sciatica pain? Are there techniques or routines you’ve developed over the years that have proven more effective than what you learned in school? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!