Guidelines for Giving Deep Tissue Massage
Be in communication with the person. Find out, what areas need to be addressed and how the person feels to start with. Is there pain, tightness, numbness or tingling anywhere?
Ask them to assign a number to the level of pain they are feeling – on a scale of one to ten, ten being the most painful or stopping level. Be sure to tell them that they are in control of the session and that their feedback is important to the session. They can tell you to apply more or less pressure or to stop at any time.
Be sure the person is fully aware. Keep their awareness under your fingers by asking them questions about, what you are doing, and what they are feeling. Can they feel the change in pressure and pain? Be aware of their breathing at all time. Most people do not know how to breathe deeply and possibly can’t because of the restrictions in the rib cage and torso.
Coach them into breathing deeper and into the pressure. Give them breathing exercises to help them become more aware of their breath. Ask them to notice how the ribs move or don’t move, how does the air feel, what does the rest of the body do when breathing? When do they hold their breath? Be present at all times for the person. What do you feel? What are you thinking about? What is for lunch? Can you stop your thoughts completely and listen to the words and body responses? What does the tissue feel like? What layer of the tissue are you working on? Can you feel the change? Can you feel his breath? Can you feel the skin, the hair, and the temperature of the skin?
Practising meditation is one way to assist you in stopping your thoughts. Many thing can be meditative – movement, dance, gardening, hiking, walking, running, whatever activity that allows you to stop your thoughts and just be totally immersed in that activity can be considered meditation. Finding the practice that works for you is important. Pause often enough to give the person a break and time to notice the changes that are happening in their body. Ask them to compare sides or notice how they feel. Can they feel more or less contact with the table? Do they feel lighter or heavier? What emotions come up?
Release can come about in many ways : Shaking, moving, yawning, sighing, crying, yelling, and screaming. Be prepared to have any of these happen. The best response on your part is just to be there, when it happens. Don’t say anything unless you are also a qualified counsellor of some sort. Quietly place one hand on their abdomen and one hand on their wrist and let them get through it. They are very vulnerable in this condition. Anything you say will become part of their reality.
They are so open to any suggestion and very fragile. Make sure the recipient leaves grounded and centred. Working the extensors of the back and forearm usually create positive emotions. Working the psoas or ASIS can assist in getting the energy back down to their legs and to the ground. Pulling their fingers and toes can help relieve that sick feeling that some may feel.
Bodywork and massage is a dance that takes two people. Learning to adjust your work to, what the recipient needs and what they can handle will make for a very effective session. Learn to turn your thoughts off and listen to his words and body. Ask for feedback as to how your touch feels and what is going on inside them and ask often during a session as things change minute to minute.
Guidelines for Receiving Deep Tissue Bodywork
Be in constant communication with your practitioner. It is important to tell your practitioner, what you want worked on and then tell them when things hurt, how painful it feels, where does it radiate to, when to apply more pressure and most importantly, when to STOP.
Be willing to express the pain. Move with the pain or however your body feels like moving. You are not required to lay motionless during a session. Verbally express the pain, yelling, moaning, crying, and swearing are all acceptable forms of releasing the pain. You are allowed to express yourself in any way you feel necessary.
Focus on, what it feels like to be on the table. Be aware of what every in-breath feels like. What muscles are moving, what muscles are contracting and releasing. Is the air cool, warm, or just right? Do other areas of your body move or not move? How does your body feel as it lies on the table? Can you feel the contact in all areas? Do some areas not touch the table?
Be aware of your breath. Your breath can assist you in staying with the pain or other feelings that arise. Breathing into the pain so that area of the body is filled with air and then exhaling to release the area and any pain or emotion associated with that area. Can you feel, what happens in the rest of your body as you breath? What muscles contract? What muscles relax? Can you feel the air go into your lungs and through the passageways? Can you feel it move other areas of your body like the bones of your skull or the joints of your feet and ankles? Can you feel the exhalation take away the pain or reduce the pain?
Be in constant communication with your practitioner to inform them as to, what you are feeling.
The practitioner should pause after working intensely in areas and allow you to feel the changes that have taken place. How does the area feel? Does it lie differently on the table? Does it tingle, feel more alive or just ache or throb? Is it different from the other side?
Can you tell, what direction the pressure is in and how much pressure is being applied? The practitioner may ask you to assign a number to the level of pain that you are feeling (1-10 with 10 being the highest amount of pain you want to feel). Can you immediately assign a number to your pain level? When asked to assign a number to the level of pain do you hesitate and think about it or do you immediately know? If you are able to say without hesitation, this is a sign that you are more present in your body and with the pain. Make sure you feel balanced and grounded, when you leave the office. Do you feel shaky, nauseas, light headed or sick in anyway? Report these to your therapist at once.
When you are leaving the office see if you can notice any difference in how you walk? How do you hold yourself? How does it feel to breathe? How do other people look to you? Does the world look any different? Take care of your self after a session. Drink as much water as you can to flush the tissues out and rehydrate them. Take a detox bath in Epsom salt, baking soda and sea salt ( about 1 cup of each). Allow yourself to relax and feel your body.
Report any feelings to your therapist the next day or the next session. Call them if you are not feeling well in any way.