Should deep tissue massage hurt?

Have you been wondering if a massage has to hurt to be effective?  If so, you are not alone. Many people believe that a massage has to hurt in order to be effective. Well it doesn’t! You’ll be happy to hear that the saying, “No pain, no gain” doesn’t apply to massage therapy. More often, the most effective forms of bodywork are the ones that don’t cause any pain but soothes the nervous system. Something that feels marvelous, and it’s good for you too? It doesn’t get much better than that!

 Deep tissue massage has a bad reputation for being painful but if done skillfully and with an attentive therapist that is not the case. There should be minimal discomfort as your therapist manipulates the deeper layers of your soft tissue. Soft tissue includes your muscles, ligaments, fascia (it’s pretty much everything that isn’t bones or organs). Usually the work will be lighter at first, this is important, it helps relax and soften the top layer of tissue and muscle, then slowly the deeper layers of muscle can be accessed.  This will feel much better and you will get better results!

   Pain and discomfort are two different things. Muscles naturally react to any sort of pain. When your muscles feel that your body is about to be injured the reflex is to deflect the pain,  your nervous system kicks in and muscles tighten, and that is not a great way to relax. It’s hard (nearly impossible) to relax if you are in pain, and muscle tension will only release in a state of relaxation.  Discomfort is described as “the good pain” it feels intense, but you are accepting it not deflecting. No holding your breath or clenching teeth here.

Deep tissue massage is not for everyone! You are not a wimp if you don’t like it. It is one of the more involved and intense massage techniques. Some people simply like the feeling of more pressure, and a firm massage isn’t always deep tissue. Just be sure to communicate with your therapist about what you prefer and need.

If you are booking your first massage, you probably don’t want to start out with a deep tissue session. Ease your way into massage therapy and start with something less specific, like therapeutic or integrative massage. Nateley is our deep tissue specialist at Windgate Healing Arts, and can help you determine if deep tissue therapy is a good fit for your needs

Here are a few of my favorite things...

Here are a few of my favorite things...

Now that the winter season is officially here, it’s time to stock up on those things that keep us well and protect against the maladies of transitional times, like season changes. I like to make sure I have my favorite 2 essential oil blends on hand. Defender and Breathe Easy.

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What Kind of Massage Should YOU Get?

What Kind of Massage Should YOU Get?

Types of Massage Sometimes it can be confusing – you know you’re stressed and everybody tells you that you need a good massage, but what type of massage should you get? There are so many options available at Windgate healing arts, how do you know which one will suit you?

That’s where your friendly massage therapist comes in –

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Try a go on one of our Chi machines!

If you’ve never tried a session on a chi machine, I’m not sure I can explain just how it makes you feel, but amazing comes to mind!  A passive aerobic experience with a myriad of benefits, the chi machine gently cradles your ankles and swings to and fro while you relax, lying on your back. This creates a side to side movement that travels up from your feet to your head. The results of this gentle wave like motion are felt in as little as 10-15 minutes. Loosening tight back muscles, alleviating constipation and menstrual pain, and stimulating metabolism are just a few of the reported benefits. In my practice I use it mostly to increase the lymphatic circulation as part of a protocol to reduce swelling in the legs and ankles. Great for pregnant mamas, and those with swelling issues. Also used in tandem with garshanna and far infrared sauna to encourage a detoxification. It can also be added to the end of any session.  Although incredible effective it is also quite fun! As one of the the main benefits is increased energy and oxygenation to cells, when your session is over you are flooded with the sensation of this new influx, which feels quite like your whole body is made of stardust.

Things have been moving and changing around here...

     There’s a saying in my house that you never walk in without turning on the lights. I love to switch things up, move things around, and create new experiences from the same place. Well, Windgate is certainly no exception! Things have been moving and changing around here a lot lately!

     Firstly there’s some whole new human beings in here. Some of you have already met MacKenzie in the office. She’s not only helping me slay my personal dragon of technology, but is also offering peristeam hydrotherapy (yoni steam) and personal yoga therapy. Both of these can be found on our new website (thanks to kenzie!) under the goddess rituals tab. Yup I said goddess rituals! It occured to me that a lot of the treatments we offer support women to experience and nurture the divine within themselves, That’s some powerful goddess juju, and we all need more of that! So check out our new goddess sessions and programs. I’ve also crafted a new program tailored specifically for the childbearing year. As a prenatal therapist/doula and as a mother of 3 myself, I know the importance of feeling nurtured during this time of change. If you or someone you love are expecting, check out our Happy Momma prenatal programs and Mother Blessings (think alternative baby shower)

     As always, I am still offering the SomaVeda Thai, Therapeutic 7 day protocol and Ayurvedic treatments. I am ready, however to pass along the torch of table massage to Nately Wilson. Nately will be starting here part time next month and taking new clients. I will still be seeing my established clients but encourage everyone to book a session with Nately. She’s an amazing therapist and I am thrilled to welcome her aboard!


Thai Yoga Massage, not just for the limber

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Thai yoga massage/therapy has been practiced for over 2500 yrs throughout Thailand. As the customary therapy from the monarchy (the royal protocol) to the hill tribes, this is how the Thai people take care of one another.  Known as Nuad Boran or “healing with the hands” It is part of the Traditional Thai medicine system that is steeped in Ayurveda.

Much different than the western idea of “massage” Thai therapy, sometimes called “Thai massage” or “Thai yoga massage” is a combination of assisted, passive yoga positions, gentle rocking, deep stretching and rhythmic compressions. It is considered a very physical form of energy work as Thais have an understanding of energy anatomy that includes “Sen” lines and secondary chakras or “windgates.” Using compression on these lines and windgates encourages energy flow and most feel an abundance of energy after a session.  

Some people may feel intimidated because of the dramatic looking stretches and assisted positions shown in photos. thinking this therapy is only for the flexible but nothing could be further from the truth. Every session is customized to the individual, however mobile.  Benefiting those with mobility issues and pain management immensely. Although this powerful therapy can create lasting improvements it can be gentle and just as effective. So I encourage you to try a session, start where you are, how you are. Thai sessions are considered the practical expression of loving kindness, and we all need more of that, wherever you are in your health journey.


With Metta,