Do you massage the buttocks?

fullsizeoutput_4a3This is the most asked question that clients have. Our answer is yes, of course we massage the buttocks, gluteals, derriere or whatever one calls these very large and very important muscles in the body.

My question is how can a Massage Therapist do a good job without massaging the glutes. These muscles are used when walking, when lifting, when sitting and actually with most of our daily tasks. I know that the schools today are teaching their therapists not to do massage over the gluteals for liability reasons. Lets get this straight now, there is nothing sexual about massaging the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus or the piriformis(a deeper muscle in this area). These muscles hook into the top of the pelvis and sacrum and then into the femur. When the low back gets tight it pulls the pelvis up and then the buttock muscles get tight trying to keep the pelvis aligned. A tug of war starts to happen as each of these muscle groups tighten up. The only way to properly affect the low back muscles is to massage the derriere and vise versa.

The sciatic nerve is often pinched in the gluteals causing the dreaded leg pain due to Sciatica. The piriformis muscle sits right on top of this nerve and when the musculature gets tight and presses on the nerve pain and sometimes numbness will start. In some very lucky people the sciatic nerve actually passes through the piriformis muscle, you can guess how that makes these lucky people feel at times. I have been able to give many people relief from sciatic pain by massaging the buttocks and then stretching the area. It is usually not a pleasant part of their massage but a necessary one.

When under stress and the sympathetic Fight or Flight response starts to occur, the three areas most affected with rigid muscles are the jaw, shoulders and gluteals. We tighten these areas to get ready to either Fight or Flight. As our society is more and more in a constant state of stress these areas rarely get relief. Massaging the jaw, upper back and derriere greatly help to restore a sense of well being in the body. The stress hormone Cortisol elevates when the body is under stress and the massage will help to decrease this hormone, another bonus for massaging the buttocks. Too much cortisol in the body can eventually affect all of the body systems.

In conclusion, if you ask your Massage Therapist if they massage the gluteals and they refuse, run fast if you can and then give Breathe…Deeply Massage a call!

What type of massage do I do?

breathe-deeply-massageThis is a harder question than it appears to be. I guess it is the type of massage I do. Everyones body and muscles are different. Sure we all have the same basic blueprint as far as things go. But like fingerprints our bodies are different along with our needs, our stresses, aches, pains and so forth.
The massage I do depends on that person on my table at that time. Fortunately for any of my clients I have a vast array of styles and techniques to choose from. Depending on my clients
needs at that time.
I was taught many different techniques and formed a kind of eclectic (all in one)Therapeutic type style. I had teachers from as far away as China to ones here locally. All very good and with a different type massage and style (even if it was classified as the same type massage). So to narrow down the type of massage is impossible for me. It is what is best for my client and what they want.
If they need some Lymphatic Drain or Reflexology after a surgery, that becomes part of the massage , or stretching for the runner with focus on the lower extremities, (a sport type massage) and there is just palliative massage for that end of life care. There are many different types of aches and pains in our body’s almost as many techniques and styles of massage to use to alleviate those aches and pains.
Our lives dictate how we feel. Our jobs, family and the life style we live. They all have some sort of stress associated with them. I just try the best method I know to reduce the stress. Focusing on any particular areas of concern my clients may have. With the many tools and forms of massage I have learned.
I don’t fix people , I facilitate a change so their body can hopefully start to repair or adjust itself to a better level of well being.
A more relaxed state for recovery so to speak. A better balance or focus for some. The technical term would be “Adjusting a persons Homeostasis “.

 

Darin Jordan L.M.T.

What type of Massage Is This?

breathe-deeply-massage

I am asked often, what type of massage is this? I usually say that it is a relaxing therapeutic massage. I use all the techniques that I have learned that are needed in any one particular session. If a massage therapist were to use all of the tools in their particular tool box a massage would last 3 hours or more. This is not practical for the therapist or the client, both would be overworked.

I have worked on quite a few therapists lately and was told that I am a good “masher”. I do not know what a “masher” massage is, I guess it is a Swedish massage, which many Massage Professionals think is a basic massage. I don’t see it that way, Swedish massage was the first form of massage learned eons ago. What most people don’t realize is that besides mashing it includes stretching. During a massage is the best time for some stretching, the muscles have good blood flow and are better able to accept the stretches. A true Swedish massage should not be discounted as just a relaxation type of massage. When done properly it includes long, slow, deep flowing strokes with movement of the extremities to facilitate opening of the joints and lengthening of the muscles. At first I took these comments as an insult. Thinking that these therapists thought that I just “mashed” muscles without any real technique. As I thought of it more, I think that it is a compliment because after 30 years of “mashing” I am still able to provide this type of massage without having to find a technique that decreases the workload on my body. My clients, including the massage therapists, keep coming back  that is testament enough for me.

I have also been told that I must have been “made to do this type of work”. I do believe that I was made to do this work simply because I have been doing this for 30 years now and have no lingering physical complaints. My pressure is still just as intense as it always has been, so I would have to agree with this statement, I was made to do massage.

In the most simplest of terms I feel that once I put my hands on someone I let them do what they do best. I move slowly so that the body has time to react to the pressure that I am applying to the musculature. This gives the musculature time to let go, time to realize that they don’t want to be this tight.  In any one massage I will use the techniques that are needed for that particular client. My ability to not judge my client that is laying before me in such a vulnerable state is exceptional. Some of my longevity, I believe, is due to learning proper body mechanics and that while I am giving a massage, I am receiving a massage.

hands, peace, love, compassion

It really isn’t about the techniques that each of us has in our tool box as much as our ability to touch with compassion. I have received many massages over the years and I can feel when the therapist is being judgmental and managing to touch me without compassion. They may have been to many classes and have many types of massage to choose from but that will not make them a great massage therapist.

So I would say that I give a compassionate, nonjudgmental, relaxing, therapeutic, deep tissue massage, Now that is a mouthful, but it does explain my best massage, the only type for me!

Thanks for reading,

Annette Jordan, LMT

Breathe…Deeply