Massage is usually defined as soft tissue manipulation. It turns out that may not really be what we’re doing! Most current research reveals that it is the nervous system (primarily the brain) that produces the experience of pain and tension. Therefore when we help our clients feel less pain and feel more relaxed, we are essentially affecting the nervous system.
This is one of the basic tenets of the approach called “Deep Massage”. Deep Massage recognizes that the most effective approach is whatever will affect a client most deeply and positively. The most important thing is for the client to let go from inside out. This is a function of the nervous system (some people prefer to think of that as energy or “chi”, a Asian term for energy.)
The nervous system responds to slower work . It responds to touch that goes to just the right depth and engages the nervous system systematically – with clear easy touch at first, then deeper touch, then finding just the right pressure and holding that while the person lets go from inside out.
With “Deep Tissue” it seems a lot is happening, but oftentimes there is rebound effect whereby the person is sore and in pain during or afterwards. Ironically, many clients think “no pain-no gain.” This is contrary to the way the nervous system works which is “more pain-more tension”. “More pleasure=more gain” is basically the key to the relaxation response.
With “Deep Massage”, you don’t need to keep turning up the volume to be hearing the music – it’s there from the start – inside of you. We all have the capacity to let go. It is the job of the therapist to re-awaken the client’s capacity to deeply relax and heal from the inside out.