Video transcription

Hi, I'm Gretchen Rivas with Relax! Massage Therapy, and today we are going to talk about deep tissue massage of the back. For this, you will need oil, a massage table, and work space. With deep tissue massage, what we are focusing on is contacting, connecting and clearing the deep muscle tissues and fibers of the body. When you are working with the back, when you are doing deep tissue work, usually for postural positioning and alignment, you want to work down the back and up the anterior part of the body. And most of that is because of the nature of connective tissue, which is more collagen-based. And so, you can realign and make connective tissue do something different. Muscle fibers want to go back to doing what they were doing, but connective tissue we can structurally realign by doing deep tissue work. Whenever I am doing deep tissue work, I usually want to work with a light massage lotion. You can use an oil if you want to, but make sure you don't use so much that you are sliding across the body. You want to have just enough glide that you are not pinching or pulling on them, but enough so you can do some slow, deep integrative work. And whenever you start with deep tissue work, you always want to start with some warming up of the muscles. Don't ever want to go in too deep, too fast because the body will fight you and keep you out as a guarding mechanism. I'm just warming up the back, warming up the muscle fibers. So, when you are working on the back, when you start with your deep tissue work, you can use several different types of tools. Main tools, of course, with massage work are your hands, your fist, your knuckles, your thumbs, your elbows. You can go down the back and, as you can see, I am using hand-over-hand to do that deeper work; very slowly down the back, getting in there, breaking things up. Another area that you often want to work on here is right around the rhomboids. You can get in here, break this up. Are you okay with that pressure? Okay. Check in with your client 'cause deep work can be painful at times. And you want to make sure that you are not doing too much. He's young, so he doesn't have a lot of problems like many of us do, where we have so much stuff built up that it takes hours of deep tissue work to open anything up on us. So, check across the back. You want to check your infraspinatus, check for trigger points. Get in there work on your supraspinatus. Open up the trap area through here. All this can be done. You want to do it slowly and deeply. Another nice technique for doing deep work down the back is with your elbows. And, you have your hands like this and you just do a little bit of movement as you go along there. Along each side of the spine, I am not on the spine, just along the erectors. And for people that have a lot of chronic tightness in the back, that can be very effective and very helpful. Go along each side of the spine with your fingers and open that whole area up. And, main thing with deep tissue work you want to remember is to set your intention, go slow, go deep and get feedback from your client and have them breathe through it. And that's how you do deep tissue work on the back.