My yogi-care arsenal includes regular massages. In going through some old blogs I discovered that I have written about Abhyangams in detail in this one. I still continue to do a hot oil massage once a week, but sometimes (often- times) I like to mix things up. So the other day I went to the JW Marriot spa for a deep tissue massage.
A few weeks ago the Asia Spa magazine gave me a voucher to try any massage of my choice. I’m not one for massages that promise to ‘soothe’ and ‘relax’, ‘soft’ and ‘gentle’ just doesn’t do it for me. I usually look for something stronger and more intense for muscles that have been contorted to all kinds of angles. I’m a masochist – and most body-work enthusiasts are!
One lazy afternoon I found myself suddenly free. I promptly drove myself to the Marriot. They have a mind-boggling list of massages, each more exotic than the other. I chose the ‘Intense Muscle Release Massage’.
What is a Deep Tissue Massage?
A deep tissue massage is a massage technique favored by dancers and athletes for it’s therapeutic benefits on tired muscles and injuries. It consists of sustained pressure being applied using strong, slow strokes that target the innermost muscles and connective tissue. This reduces the tension in the muscles and promotes faster healing by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation.
Most people assume that daily yoga has us floating around on a higher plane of long, lithe and relaxed muscles. All I can say to that is you haven’t attended an Iyengar class focusing on the Virbhadrasana alignment. As an asana practitioner, I’m so used to sore muscles that when something isn’t aching I feel I’m not pushing myself enough! I have a tiny collection of massage oils that I use often to ease sore and stiff muscles. I’ve written about my weekly abhyangam practice. I’ve been doing it for years, and couldn’t recommend it more.
The Massage and the Aftermath
The massage was great. The therapist knew her strokes. She started with gentle strokes, to warm up my muscles. Then she progressed to stronger and more powerful strokes. She used her fingers, palms and elbows. She worked out the kinks from my upper back (which is always tight) and kneaded the stubborn knots out of my thighs. It wasn’t one of those massages where you’re half asleep with a blissful smile on your face. This massage consisted of much grimacing and torment. After an hour of this torture, the therapist finally stopped.
I sighed with relief. The aftermath of being pummeled unrelentingly is pure bliss. Later I stewed in the cozy warmth of the sauna and steam room…
I’m already planning my next visit.
Thank you Asia Spa Magazine for making this experience possible!