HALEY WHEELER, LMT
Licensed Massage Therapist
Your Breath and Trigger Points
“Mas*sage: (noun): the rubbing or kneading of muscles and joints in the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain.”
With such a broad definition, it is no wonder that there are misconceptions on what massage is for, what it can do for you, when to get one, and what type of massage it is that you are looking for. Let’s start with common massage types. At Apex, we offer a wide variety of massages, including Swedish (relaxation), Deep Tissue, Lymphatic Drainage, CranioSacral Therapy, Sports Massage, and Pediatric/ Adolescent Massage. With all these different options, it can be hard to know exactly what it is that you are looking for and what is best for you. In this article, I will explain deeper what a Deep Tissue Massage entails, what to expect during and after your massage, and what to do to prepare for the treatment.
What are the Types of Massage?
Deep Tissue Massage is broadly explained as targeting chronic tension in muscles deep below the skin, using a variety of techniques. Some techniques commonly used in deep tissue massages include myofascial release, trigger point therapy, direct pressure, and massage strokes that go with and against the grain of muscle fibers. A common question from my clients is, “what is a trigger point?” A trigger point is defined as hypersensitive bands of muscle tissue and fascia. These are super common, but they also can be very painful.
These trigger points are also commonly referred to as what most people think of as “knots” in their bodies. As a massage therapist, we can help you as a client work through these trigger points in your session. We can also give you a couple of different home-care tips for preventing and managing them after your session as well.
There are a lot of common myths about what you should do to prepare for a massage. Whether it is your first time ever receiving a massage, or your 100th time, I have a couple of tips that may help you feel more prepared.
What Should I Wear for my Massage?
My answer is simple: whatever you feel most comfortable in. I commonly have clients come in during their workday or while they are running errands, so whatever you are already wearing is perfectly fine! You may also opt for something a little bit more comfortable, like sweatpants and a T-Shirt, and that’s completely perfect as well.
When you come in for a deep tissue massage, I typically advise my clients to undress to their level of comfort, which is typically underwear on and everything else off, as they climb under the sheets and get cozy after I step out of the room to let them prepare. That said, that’s not always comfortable for everyone. You are completely welcome to leave your bra, shorts, tank top, pants, whatever else on that you feel most comfortable with. The next most common question I get is about bodily hair. This is also a personal comfortability question, as some people feel most comfortable when their legs are completely shaven, and some prefer not to shave at all. Either is okay! There really is no “wrong” in preparing for a massage.
Some tips for after receiving your massage that I tell every single client is to drink plenty of water for the rest of the day or evening. Especially with receiving a deep tissue session and working through trigger points, your body is going through a lot of internal changes and healing, so you may feel more tired after your session but drinking plenty of water will help with the aftereffects. Drinking plenty of water will also help prevent or ease some of the muscle fatigue in the coming days as well. I also advise my clients to do some light movement in the coming hours; either walking, yoga, stretching, or whatever light activity they like to do. This also helps your muscles recover rather than them stiffening up and getting sore again.
There really is no wrong answer when it comes to massage. If you are or have been experiencing bodily aches and pains for days or even years, massage might be your missing link. If you have questions regarding massage, feel free to reach out and our massage team would be happy to answer your questions to the best of our ability.
HALEY WHEELER, LMT