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Question: Massage therapies, hard and soft styles

Asked by andys 5 years ago

16 answers

Can you help out?

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Top Answer – As rated by the community

Aletheia 5 years ago

To start soft tissue on the surface below the skin, each layer of the muscles from superficial to deeper level .. each muscles are webbed at each other. Each client's experience are different than the other. Their muscle could be tender or less. They will feel too much pressure depending on their body. The therapist like me have strong skills by touch of the muscle itself are different from upper and lower extremity. I dont want to hurt them which is my goal to help them feel better by the tension. Those techniques are very combined with these lists of massage. Each therapist are different in their line of skills focusing on the names of the massage. I can do all. But, I have to decide which modalities listing above that you mentioned. These are many different ways to help the client feel great. I would recommend to try me to help you out. Thank you.

Other answers (15)

serbugabi 5 years ago

I am a deep tissue specialist and I usually let my clients know that my massages are not for pleasure or relaxation. Everyone works a different style and in my experience, even though I asked an MT to do a deep massage on me, they were still too soft for my back. My guess is, they can't go deeper or they refuse to because of the strain to their own bodies. I sugest you find a deep tissue specialist if you like deep massages. Anyone can do a Swedish massage.

Sources: http://www.massagebygabi.com

MassageTherapyBoston 5 years ago

My opinion is that we (MT's) are initially taught the Deep Tissue therapies (along with Swedish) during our training but then we (as individuals) develop preferences in style.
So we might go onward to specializing in Myofacical or Cranio-Sacral therapies, for example. If Deep Tissue is practiced correctly it's not taxing on the body. If done incorrectly (bad body mechanics or using your thumbs all the time) then yes, I can see why the more subtle therapies would be appealing if you've injured yourself.
We've found that these 'softer styles' are extremely effective. I also think these therapies take additional training that most spas/schools don't offer. We have to learn them on our own through CE classes and seminars, so it's more a case of 'perfecting' our specialty rather than of never going back to Deep Tissue.


As a massage therapist who has new clients come in and the first thing they say is "please dont hurt me". I always talk to my clients about previous experiences with massage to find out what they did and did not like. Every client is different as also every massage therapist is different. My clients find that with my unique massage routine loaded with my different types of massage techniques that they get great relief from a medium handed massage without the pain. They do not ache and see results quickly . also as a massage therapist yes if i have clients who will only accept a deep tissue massage then i will do it and ask them to tell me and communicate if i am not going hard enough. But i do only take a select few of those clients and deep deep tissue is very hard on me as a therapist. Some of my deep tissue clients have decided to try my regular routine and have gotten the benifits they were looking for without going deep. all clients are very different and as a therapist it is important to realize that they all will have different needs that arise and u find that during the massage u adjust to benifit them and what their needs are.

Georgios-Tzenichristos 5 years ago

Andy, I think you already answered the question yourself.

Therapists who do real deep tissue massage (the word deep tissue means nothing these days, since anyone and their dog uses it for soft style massage...) end up feeling tired, stiff and in pain, yet they get paid the same as the swedish/aromatherapy guys. So in the end they switch to the fluffy stuff. For those reasons, I also attempted a few times to do fluffy stuff but failed because I found it so boring and pointless, and also because my clients complained...

I think most clients want medium strong massage, with a minority wanting soft style and another hard core minority wanting very deep work. The solution for therapists is to do the medium strong massage and from time to time to adjust to the soft or heavy duty work, according to the clients' needs

Doing very deep work for a long period of time is unadvisable as you will end up damaging your body to heal other people's bodies, which is utterly stupid. I know people who are constatntly exhausted because they offer proper deep tissue/sports massage 5 days a week (e.g. they work for football or rugby clubs where "fluff" is not allowed)...

I believe that we, massage therapists, offer massage not for the money but for the satisfaction we get from helping other people and from the feeling of achievement when we offer a quality service. So I wouldn't do the soft stuff because I find it boring and because I know that It's a bit pointless. In a few words soft massage offers me no moral satisfaction. But some people are happy to rub oil for 60' and get paid for it, and if clients are happy that's also fine, isn't it?

Easethepressure 5 years ago

The same attention is needed whether you work deep or superficial. I use which ever is most suitable to each individual at the time of their session. Each session is unique but therapiests will also have their own style which suits them best and clients will gravitate to that.

SilverFernBeauty 5 years ago

That's quite a generaisation there, but, answering on my own experience I have found that I get results from both types of massage but generally speaking my clients prefer the gentler styles. I do have cliients who prefer a deeper massage and I always ensure that that is what they get.
The deeper, harder massage can be more wearing on the joints and there are different types of massage that can be learnt to help ease this.
I think in the end it is about client preference and market demand.
Hope this helps answer your question. Best wishes

SilverHand 5 years ago

Why do therapists who do deep therapies turn to softer styles, but
therapies that do soft styles hardly ever change to deep styles. Is
it because deep therapies take a lot out of the therapist, while
soft therapies are less demanding?

Professionally my first response is that if a Therapist refrains from a particular style, or chooses to specialize in one style over another, this choice most likely has to do with their specific clientele demands or regional laws and health codes. Your question answers itself as far as you have likely experienced your local massage/spa market in this respect. My second thought is that if a Therapist has changed their treatment style then it might be due to a physical limitation of some variety. As treatment fads come and go marketing will play on the rotation of styles and Therapists will rush to learn new techniques or to dust off old ones. I suggest learning a variety of styles to be better able to meet the needs of clients and worry about what other Therapists are doing only superficially. The slogan “Feel it and steal it” will help you notice what you really need to know about the other massage practitioners in your vicinity.

My personal response as a Therapist to the second question is that regardless of style each session given should be demanding. A Therapist is obliged to maintain concentration on their client and what is being done to/for them. If a Therapist is thinking about the next person to be on the table, or what is on the grocery list for that evening instead of how much pressure is being administered or which muscles are being manipulated and why, for the client then sessions need to be prioritized and more focused before someone is harmed. That person deserves respect. I believe many of us do not take advantage of our own industry adequately and because of that can lose perspective of how it feels as the consumer to be treated like a piece of meat. Many can give the standard “Fluff and Buff” massage and take a pay check but a good Therapist with focus will take what tools they have no matter how few and give a brilliant massage. One way to practice this and I know some of the schools do this towards the end of the curriculum to test for proper body mechanics, is to do a session blindfolded. This increases your ability to sense with touch and to suppress external stimulation.

EmeryMassageandBodywork 5 years ago

Many times the client really does not know what they want, they want a massage. I massage somewhere in the middle and rely on stretches and honing in on the troubled areas. I observe their body language and ask if the pressure is good for them. I like to mix it up so I have incorporated a foot massage with hot stone, aromatherapy and reflexology into my practice.

JoanneB2010 5 years ago

There is definitely a big difference between the energy expended doing a swedish massage compared to a deep tissue. I think massage therapists are worried about longevity. I know I want to massage for at least 20 years, I won't do deep tissue only and expect to do that.

osteomassage 4 years ago

their is some ttruth to the above answer and some false. ive been teaching massage therapy for about 20 years, i think the main observation i see, why peolple, who do soft styles dont perhaps change to deeper styles? the main reason, is that to become a good technical, proper body mechanical, long lasting therapist requieres skill! not only cordination, but the very good, good sounded anatomical and kinesiology skills, and this for a lot of people truth of the matter, is not easy!!!! i do osteopath, and deep tissue sports therapy, for i find it greatly stimulating when you have to treat a chronic lesion. but this comment can also many times reflect a young therapist, meaning, fresh out of school, or still in the phase of learning. with proper technique and body mechanics you never get hurt, or tire, but that may dear therapists takes sometimes yearsssssssssss to learn. good luck to all! ricardo.

Sources: scoopingr@hotmail.com

MannyLirio 4 years ago

every one have different opinion about the massage practices. Now the real thing is to know what is the correct way of massage.

Sources: http://www.massageliabilityinsurancegroup.com

WestLondonColonics 1 year ago

Hi I am Julia Rhodes , principal colon hydrotherapist at West London Colonics.
Theres deep massage , and then there is really deep massage.
Colon hydrotherapy might be classed s the latter . Interested ?
Have a look at WLC s page on link underneath

Sources: Wahanda page: http://www.wahanda.com/place/west-london-colonics/

reSource-therapy 5 years ago

My own experience is that as I progressed in sensitivity as a therapist, I learned that there are many times when "less is more." The very light "soft" touch of myofascial release or cranial sacral therapy often goes much deeper than the deep tissue therapy I learned in massage school. My touch can now go to awareness of the core of bone and/or organs. Also, if you read the research, deep tissue massage is not as effective as a moderate massage.

GypsyQueen 5 years ago

Deep tissue is more taxing on the therapist, although there is more money in DT

osteomassage 4 years ago


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