More is not always better

There is a misconception about Massage Therapy in respect to “Deep Work” and successfully treating a client. I receive requests asking for deeper work as it is barely manageable for the client. Often the body will respond in a different manner. What may be manageable for the client can set the body in a protective muscle spasm and shallow, rapid breathing that reduce oxygenation and increase nervous system firing. This can dramatically affect the success of treating the tissue. Sort of like that saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. If you want the horse to drink, you will have more success leading it as opposed to forcing it. If Deep Work were rated at a 10/10, my work tends to be around 6 or 7/10. The body is relaxed and the release of tight tissues preventing proper movement and balance is quite profound. Another aspect to keeping the work within the limits that the body can relax is that the tissue release will have a “plastic effect”. There are two types of effects with Tissue Release. Elastic Effect occurs with work that is too fast and deep, and the tissue will return to it’s original pathological position. A Plastic Effect (that occurs with a longer, less intense release) allows the tissue to remain in it’s stretch position much better and for much longer, which is the desired effect. This work conbined with good, deep, diaphragmatic breathing can bring about a much better response than the traditionally accepted deep, painful work that we have believed is the most efficient treatment.

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