How Brenda Armstrong Applies Massage
I’m most commonly asked one of three questions:
1. “Do you do deep tissue?”
2. “Do you do Reiki?”
3. “What kind of Massage do you do?”
These reveal a couple of dynamics:
• Two spectacular branding campaigns and
• A keen focus on method and process rather than results
As a practitioner exploring the vast field of Massage Therapy, I’ve discovered hundreds of teachers of Massage and manual therapy of all sorts. I’ve also found within this eye-crossing selection that Massage techniques often overlap, while the Bodywork methods are more distinct.
Note that all Massage is Bodywork but not all Bodywork is Massage. Some methods of Bodywork can be done with the client/patient fully clothed. Most use movement and stretching or static pressure and touch, involving no stroking or lubrication of the skin.
Effective techniques evolve through their students. In other words, each practitioner integrates and adapts a technique or method to fit her/his work – and changes it. Some go on to systematize what they have integrated, give it a name of their own, and teach it as a new method. Most of us focus mainly on becoming finely tuned, versatile therapists without teaching our style.
So – what if you are a consumer and potential client of Massage?
How can you determine where to go to get what you seek? How can you possibly know which techniques would be best for you? There are Massage Therapists using techniques you’ve never even heard of. It’s way too complicated!
This is where the Reiki camp and Deep Tissue proponents have done a really good top-of-mind marketing job. I talk about this here.
My answer to any of the common three questions I’m asked begins
with a question of my own:
“What do you hope to achieve by investing in Massage?”
Possible outcomes of a skillfully executed session of Massage and Bodywork are numerous.
During a session, it is the responsibility of the Massage Therapist to decide which techniques within her repertoire to apply for maximum therapeutic response in any given moment, and to act in partnership with the client.
My answer to “What kind of Massage do you do?”:
Like any serious practitioner, I draw on a broad palette of training and experience. My respectful style — developed over thousands of treatment hours — is neither forceful not aggressive, aiming never to rush the body past its current limits. This means following the cues observed in each session to achieve the best results possible for that session. If we attempt dramatic tissue changes too quickly, the result can be painful and counter-productive.
As the client’s desired results vary, and the starting point is as widely individual, no two sessions are exactly the same.
Any given session might include deep tissue work, energy work, realignment, lymphatic techniques, fascial manipulation, education and mindfulness exercises.
My approach encourages trust. It supports shifts within the body’s tissues leading to subtle or dramatic change, physically and mentally. The results are often more profound and longer lasting than the client expects.
In an effort to satisfy the aesthetic along with the clinical needs of my clients within a peaceful and relaxing environment, my office embraces comforting features of any luxury spa.