What makes for the best deep tissue massage? Have you ever sought out treatment and came home full of disappointment? The very best deep tissue massage has a few very important elements. It comes from therapist training and well as a deep desire to give a great deep tissue massage! Some therapists are just better at ” feeling the knots” than others. Some are naturally gifted. Another huge part, comes from YOUR feelings as a receiver of the massage, and how you process your sessions. If you are just one of those people who just likes to “feel the pain” or believe that more is always more… then you may need a little schooling on massage too. First, let me start by saying that in general, most massage shouldn’t have to hurt to be good. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to feel my massage, and I’ve had some very beneficial, super deep work…but it was also by very talented Rolfers and deep masters. Some of my most profound sessions were also some of my lightest. I’ve also asked for deep work, then received a light Swedish massage from a newbie therapist and left pretty stressed out too. What’s up with that? In fact, the least pressure you can use to “finesse” the tissues open, the better. Not to say that all deep tissue massage is bad, it’s not. But, if you push it to a point where you are holding your breath and on your threshold of pain, that’s not good. Your muscles actually tense up, and they have a memory. Your tissues will summon up this memory and recall this in the future, and go into a protective state when you get bodywork, instead of relaxing the way they should. Not a good thing.
My best advise would be to find a therapist who’s passion it is to do deep tissue massage therapy, and avoid telling them how you can “take the pain” or expect them to go full out for your entire session. You may find that you don’t need to be sore for days to get the very best massage, and pain relief. Experience matters… like almost everything else in life, you get what you pay for. Don’t expect to solve decades of tightness at a $39 massage special place. Seek out a therapist with the passion.