Deep Tissue & Shiatsu
Q: What is Deep Tissue massage?
A: Deep tissue massage is used to reach the deeper layer of muscles underneath the superficial layer of fascia on the body to release chronic tension. Deep tissue massage uses higher pressure, slower strokes, and concentrates on specific areas of the body in comparison to relaxation or Swedish massage techniques. Pressure is applied using the hands, fingers, knuckles, elbow, or forearm and movement is slow and deliberate.
Just a small amount of oil of lotion is used to decrease the chance of the therapist slipping off of the muscle. The slow movement and the warmth created from the pressure allow the therapist to reach below the overlying fascia to the deeper muscle tissue. Since the work is unhurried and focused, a deep tissue massage will not necessarily address every area of the body as a relaxation massage would.
Q: Will a deep tissue massage hurt?
The primary focus of deep tissue massage is to address specific tight muscles and to correct postural distortion caused by these tight muscles. There is a misconception that deep tissue simply means classical massage with heavier pressure. A practitioner may use very deep pressure without really addressing postural problems. Conversely, a practitioner may sometimes use light pressure in a precise manner to facilitate deeper muscle relaxation, with little or no effort.
Some clients may experience a slight tingling or burning sensation in the skin or describe deep tissue as a balance of pain and pleasure. After a deep tissue massage, it is not uncommon for a client to be sore, although the session itself should not cause any pain.
Q: What is Shiatsu massage?
Shiatsu is a Japanese bodywork practice that uses principles of acupressure and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Shiatsu ("finger pressure" in Japanese) uses finger and palm pressure to energize pathways called meridians in order to enhance the flow of qi (vitality, stamina and energy).
In acupressure and Shiatsu, thumbs are most commonly used to apply pressure although fingers, knuckles, palms elbows, and even feet can be used in some the therapies. The degree of pressure that is applies varies as does the duration. Anything from moderate to penetrating pressure is utilized from several seconds to several minutes, and the treatment can be rhythmically performed once or repeatedly. Assisted self-stretching is also involved.
Q: Do I need to undress?
Shiatsu is NOT done nude or with draping, clients should wear comfortable and stretchable clothing.
Q: Why should I get a shiatsu massage instead of another type of massage?
Shiatsu can increase circulation of blood and lymph, reduce muscle stiffness, and release stress and fatigue (in tsubos) that accumulate in the body.
By contrast to more traditional massage, shiatsu uses fewer techniques and to an observer it would appear that little is happening – simply a still, relaxed pressure at various points on the body with the hand or thumb, and easy leaning of the elbows or a simple rotation of a limb. However, beneath the uncomplicated movements, much is happening internally to the body’s energy on a subtle level to enhance physical vitality and emotional well-being.