How to Give a Deep Tissue Massage

Learn how to give a deep tissue massage from massage therapist Renee French in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi, my name is Renee French and I'm here at Practical Massage Therapy in Nashville, Tennessee, and I'm going to be talking about massage therapy. Today, I'm here to show you how to give a deep tissue massage. So one of the things is to drape the person properly, so that they are comfortable and relaxed. So I like to use massage oil that is blended to a cream. And for deep tissue, we're gonna start with a very small amount of oil. So just to barely cover your hands, and then as you apply pressure, you can move down the back towards the waist. And basically, the first few strokes are to warm up the cream so that it spreads nicely. Because we want just a nice thin layer, so you get a really great drag on the skin, which creates some friction to warm up the muscles. As the muscles start to warm up, you can feel the heat on the palms of the hands. And you just do some nice warming strokes. And then, once the muscles have started to warm up, you can get deeper into the tissues. And you just lean into it. Use your body weight, and apply pressure. And one of the great ways to do that is with the palm of the hand. And, just making sure not to apply any pressure on the spine, or any of the bones. Try to stay on the muscles. And allow the hand to drag nicely on the skin. So usually, with a deep tissue massage, you want to go a little slower, because it can be a little more intense. And you don't want to goose the muscles, and make the person jump or tense up against you. So you get some nice long strokes, and this is just still warming up the muscles. And then you can come in with the fingertips as the muscles are warm, and start to work a little deeper into the belly of the muscle. And just imagine what would feel good to you, and do that for the other person. And you can start to feel the muscles. The ones that are releasing, and the ones that are still kind of holding some tension. And once you get to that area where the muscles are holding a little tension, you can even use the thumbs, you can use the palm of the hand. You can use the fingertips. You can do a little rocking as you're working into the muscle. And that helps to release. And the main thing with deep tissue is not to rush it. To really kind of allow the muscles to melt under your hand, and get really nice and warm. This way, the person, later, will not be sore from the deep tissue. They should feel really nice and relaxed, and the muscles should feel like they're releasing. And then, continue on with the long strokes, to just give a nice finishing quality to the massage.

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