things that i learned from my Massage Project

canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
edited April 2017 in Social Groups
some people might remember that i discovered a local massage school gave crazy-cheap 'intern' sessions a few weeks ago, and i bought a card and made a Project out of going out there a few times a week.

so i'm not a bodywork pro or even in any medical field, but i did learn quite a bit. plus, i lifted every week for about a year with a massage therapist who had burned out and moved on to medical school. so i thought i would share just because these are things i find i've been bringing home and trying to apply in real life.

1. per my fellow-lifter, when you're working on a muscle, you should release the 'start' and 'end' points of it first, where it connects to the bone. then once those are warmed up or softened, you get more mileage when you start working your way into the belly and the actual muscle fibres themselves.

2. per my regular intern, finding the bone knobs where muscles attach and just kind of circling those is the thing you should do if you have no time to go any further than that. the sensory 'organ' that controls fibre tension actually lives in the tendon, so even just doing this makes a difference. especially great in my case for two areas: the little nook where the back of your skull joins your neck, and the greater trochanter bump at the back of your thigh, where everything bum seems to lead to.

3. if a muscle is physically short, static stretch-and-release is super-effective for coaxing more range out of it. you put it into a [GENTLE!] stretch position, and then you make it resist the stretch for five seconds. when you relax from that, the muscle should give you more 'room'. give it a few seconds to enjoy the new feeling, then move in again to where you find the new limits and repeat the 'resist'.

4. if you have been working on a muscle and it feels like you did create some release, USE it as soon as you're done. just move it through your new range of motion 3 to 5 times. this isn't about working it, it just updates your brain's data-bank about what that muscle's 'new normal' is.

5. for working with muscle bellies after you've softened the ends, my therapists felt like little kids with a colouring book. they'd start at the edges and 'fill in' the whole space with little light strokes of [insert metaphor here].

6. if you're chasing a trigger point and can't find it, be gentle. i've just discovered that being sort of light and general over the scope of a whole muscle is way more effective for letting me feel the 'bumps' where something really sore is. and trigger points are 100% not about the intensity of the feeling. they're about the TYPE of sensation. so going light lets you find those sudden spots that just feel different. more bruisey and tender, less of the traditional massage type feeling.