My Deep Tissue Massage and Why You Care About It

Have you guys been to those “foot reflexology/ foot massage” places that seem to be popping up everywhere?

I went last night. You can pick how much pressure you want on a scale of 1-10. I picked 10.

I love some good hard thumbs working out the knots. I feel so amazing, refreshed and alive afterwards. I really do feel the benefit of a “deep tissue” massage or deep tissue reflexology or whatever.

But about 20 minutes and at a FULL 10 I noticed I was grimacing, tensing, RESISTING.

I wondered, am I creating more harm, more tension in my body? Is this actually counterproductive? Probably.

Should I tell him to drop to a 5? I could, I guess but “Peter” didn’t speak a lick of english and I really wanted the benefits of the pressure.

So, what if I could just allow the discomfort of the massage and relax? Just let it be really painful but without the lock jaw and secret fist clenching? What if I just breathed?

So this was my practice for the next 40 minutes.

It totally worked. I mostly relaxed. And I left feeling freaking high!

What is even better is that I realized this is one big metaphor on handling emotions.

When a full on 10 of an emotion arises (think shame, anger, anxiety -- you name it negative emotion) I can just breathe and relax and allow knowing that if I do I will feel so alive, refreshed maybe even high on the other end.

Because the other option is to resist the negative emotion and just like in a massage this just leads to more tension, more resistance, more negative emotion. It perpetuates it.

So the practice simply becomes, “Can I just breathe and allow this?”, even though it is painful AND knowing that is so worth it on the other side.