Last week I talked about how your treatments can be less effective if you go too fast. This week I will explain the benefits of slowing down. You can sneak past mental and physical guarding when you slow down. The body feels safe and will accept the changes when you coax them rather than try to force them.
I often get huge physical releases when I go slow that I would never get when I go fast. I can get phiticulation releases, which is when the muscles can jump, twitch, and shake the tension out. The body does not perceive the treatment as a danger so it is willing to accept the therapy while you are performing it and will also have longer lasting benefits once the patient gets off your table.
Different Deep Tissue Massage
Going slow allows you to get deeper in the tissue than someone who is going fast and performing what is considered traditional deep tissue work. This is because the body lets you in instead of you forcing your way in against resistive tissues. A lot of times you will be deep into a patient’s tissue, but you got there slowly so the patient will not feel like you have done much because they are used to deep tissue work being painful.
But, over the next couple of days, they will feel like they had an intense deep tissue session because you did get in there, you just didn’t force your way. The body allowed you in. Often times you can touch depths of tissues that has never been reached before because the body has never relaxed enough to let it happen.
Stability on the Table
Slowing down helps keep the body stable. There is a lot of issues with jostling the body during orthopedic sessions. Somebody who has an acute injury perceives any movement as dangerous. I can attest to this personally. I had an awful injury in my sacroiliac joint several years ago. I saw a myoskeletal realignment therapist who had very aggressive techniques. Every time they touched my body because they did it with such force, it shifted my hips just a few millimeters, and that movement was horrible.
I was fighting the pressure, bracing, and trying to get away from it. The pain was not from where they were touching me, they were not going too deep, but they were moving my body, and it was incredibly painful. Not only did I not get any benefits from this treatment, it greatly exacerbated my injuries, and I had to take a few steps back and see a different therapist to undo the damage. So, I have experienced myself what can happen when you go too fast in treatments, and I know the benefits of going slow.
When you slow down your treatments in orthopedic massage therapy, you can get deeper into your patients’ tissues, and you reduce the possibility of jostling them on the table. Want to learn more about how to be a better orthopedic massage therapist? Join my Facebook group for support, tips, and a great community of professionals to learn from.