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Essentials for Pain-Free Deep Tissue Therapies

CarlosSandoval May 16, 2024

How would you and your clients feel if every Deep Tissue session you offered was pain-free? When we are muscling with our pressure or when our client is guarding physically or mounting a stress response, we are adding force to our efforts. Optimally we are not forcing our sessions. Instead we feel powerful and likewise can empower our clients in their healing. Remember: Force is effort minus relaxation. Power is effort plus relaxation.

How can you and your clients be relaxed even when you are applying intense bodywork like Deep Tissue therapies? This section shares best practices for providing Pain-Free Deep Tissue techniques for both the giver and receiver. We replace the often-overused tools of the fingers, hands, wrists, and thumbs with advanced tools like forearms, elbows, soft fists, and knuckles to protect the therapist. And we explore how to provide optimal pressure in every treatment, becoming especially adept with applying the deepest pressure gently.

How do you or your client know when you’re going too deep? How does the body respond with too much or not enough intensity? The clearest pain indications from your body intelligence that you are using too much intensity (besides “ouch”) is that you start to hold your breath and/or you unnecessarily tense your muscles. These clear pain signals may be expressed by your own body, or by your clients’ bodies. 

Do you notice when you or your clients are holding their breath or tensing their muscles? And do you respond or change anything when you notice these pain signals? If you’re willing, consider creating an agreement with your client at the beginning of the session like, “I will give you as much pressure as you like as long as you can take long slow deep breaths, and keep your body relaxed.”

Does Deep Tissue feel like “hard work”? We choose to flip the script and share how you can experience Deep Tissue as “easy play” instead of hard work. For maximum learning, we invite you to “play” and experiment with the techniques we’re offering to see if they actually work for you and your clients. Practice along with the hands-on videos and begin to apply and integrate those techniques right away into your sessions. Some of these may be a review or a slight (or big) shift in what you’re already practicing. The key is to make your bodywork practice feel pain free. Explore how you can make every technique feel good to give and give to receive. Though pain can be a great motivator, we believe it doesn’t have to hurt to heal. And there is no value in misery or virtue in suffering. Enjoy embodying pain-free deep tissue therapies.