deep thoughts.

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Owner’s note: at WSW, we get a lot of clients requesting “deep tissue.” We feel this is an inaccurate term, so we try to dig a little deeper (heh heh) to discover what you truly seek.

If you walk in our door requesting “deep tissue,” we like to start with a conversation about your needs, goals, and expectations. We talk about our techniques and limitations. Finally, we suggest an approach, and if it sounds good to you, off we go.

Many people think massage has to hurt to be effective. This is not true. A skilled therapist can access your deepest tissues or manipulate the fascial layer without causing pain. So if your goal is to free your psoas, or to loosen some adhesions, we can do that without too much discomfort.

That’s not to say that intensity, or “good pain,” is always a bad thing. Some of you are wired to receive intense sensations in a positive way. You find it relaxing; it helps you experience deep release. You might enjoy a little endorphin rush. If you know that about yourself, don’t feel embarrassed to tell us.

That said, it also helps to differentiate intensity from pressure. Sometimes compression itself can be super calming, like those ThunderShirts for dogs. It’s totally possible for us to provide pressure, or compression, without causing pain.

As you can see, the more we discuss your needs, and the more we differentiate techniques and intentions, the more we can fine-tune our work for you. Each therapist at WSW has different skill sets, too, so knowing what you’re looking for will help us match you with the right LMT.

Someone once shared this piece by Alok Vaid-Menon with me (you should read the whole thing):

“Susan tells me that her job as a masseuse is not necessarily to get rid of the pain, but rather to bear witness to it. To recognize it. To affirm it. She says that we live in a country — a world — that teaches us at every level that our hurt is a story we made up. And we internalize that to our core and write it into every muscle in our body. “I am wrong, I am wrong, I am wrong.” She says that sometimes acknowledgment can be its own sort of antidote. That sometimes people just need to hear that what happened to them was not their fault. That people tend to know what is best for themselves, they’ve just been told over and over again that they don’t.”

Though we’ll tell you when certain techniques are contra-indicated for certain health conditions, it’s not our job to judge you for what you seek. Most importantly, know that your consent, before and throughout your treatment, is paramount. Because if you feel that your needs are heard and met, you’ll feel safe, and our work will be more effective.

 

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