Pressure Isn’t Everything

When new clients call to schedule their first appointment, the conversation of which therapist to book with usually starts with what type of pressure each therapist provides. Of course, we understand how the pressure quality can impact the client experience. But more often, we find that the emphasis on communication and education are most effective in achieving the desired results without being overly aggressive. There are some instances where aggressive work is appropriate, but again, it’s often not the best way to obtain results.

Here’s why:

When we refer to “pressure,” we’re referring to the depth of force we are placing into the tissue. Once a certain amount of pressure is exceeded, the only thing we are accomplishing is displacement of skeletal structures and bruising of soft tissues. If our goal is to manipulate the soft tissue to increase circulation or length, we need only enough pressure to reach the desired layer. Then to facilitate circulation and stretch, we apply oblique force to the muscle or fascia we are targeting.

Therapists can use positioning, stretch, and the direction of force to achieve desired results without putting unnecessary strain on themselves or the client. This technique achieves results without unpleasant inflammatory side-effects like bruising, soreness, headache, or even nausea.

Another aspect of skill versus force or pressure is understanding what soft tissues are the underlying problem to begin with. If a client comes in whose symptoms suggest that inflammation is already present or a nerve is impinged, the therapist should avoid over-manipulating soft tissue, as that could exacerbate the problem.

All of our team train regularly to keep their technique and communication skills sharp so they can deliver results-oriented work in a safe manner for all who walk through our doors. If you think you or a loved one could benefit from our services and would like more information, we are always happy to have one of our therapists give you a call.


Stay moving, stay healthy, and enjoy the activities you love pain-free with a little help from our team here at Loosen Up.

The Benefits of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy

Neuromuscular massage therapy (NMT) is a highly effective massage technique that focuses on releasing tension and pain in the muscles and soft tissues of the body. At Loosen Up Bodywork, a sports therapy and rehabilitative massage clinic in Walnut Creek and Danville, CA, our certified massage therapists are trained in NMT, and we are passionate about helping our clients feel their best. Here are four great benefits of neuromuscular therapy that you can expect:

Reduced Muscle Tension and Pain

NMT works by applying targeted pressure to the muscles and soft tissues along with specific muscle engagement, releasing tension and restoring the body to its natural balance. This can help reduce chronic muscle pain, soreness, and stiffness, allowing you to move more freely and comfortably.

Improved Posture

Many people suffer from poor posture due to chronic muscle tension, and NMT can help correct this. By targeting the muscles, NMT helps to restore the body’s natural alignment, which can lead to improved posture and fewer aches and pains.

Increased Range of Motion

NMT can help to improve flexibility and mobility by releasing tension in the muscles, allowing for a greater range of motion. This can be beneficial for athletes, as well as those suffering from age-related stiffness and loss of flexibility.

Improved Blood Circulation

NMT can also help to improve blood circulation. By targeting the muscles, NMT helps to release tension and restore the body to its natural balance, allowing for increased blood flow. This can help to reduce inflammation in the body and provide overall improved health and well-being. Improved blood circulation can also help to reduce fatigue and improve energy levels.

At Loosen Up Bodywork, we understand the importance of NMT and the many benefits it can offer. Our certified massage therapists are trained in this technique and are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their health and wellness goals. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how NMT can help you.

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Five Things Your Massage Therapist Wants You to Know

Loosen Up Bodywork is a clinical massage practice, which means we provide services beyond what typical spas offer. Our clients are usually not able to be served by standard spas and we see clients with complicated health histories. Because of this, here are five tips that help you and your massage therapist have the best experience possible.

  1. Speak up! We hear from many clients on our tables about terrible experiences they’ve had with prior services. From walking away irritated by a “too-chatty” therapist, or music they didn’t like, or even injured because they didn’t say anything when something felt painful. Your therapist wants to provide you with safe and effective care so please tell them if anything is bothering you.
  2. “No pain, no gain” is a myth! It’s true that therapeutic work may occasionally be intense. When this occurs it should be short-lived and communication should be emphasized to avoid causing further injury. If you feel like holding your breath or clenching your muscles then the work is too much for your current condition. Let your therapist know so they can modify/adjust their work.
  3. What should I wear? So often we have clients who are confused as to what they should keep on or take off. Some types of massage and bodywork is done clothed so wearing movable athletic attire is a good idea. Other modalities are performed more easily with nothing on while covered by a towel or sheet. But if you are more comfortable with undergarments or even fully clothed, techniques can be modified.
  4. How often should I go in? Frequency of sessions will vary depending on your goals and how you care for your problem areas between sessions. If you’re rehabbing an acute injury, less intensity/treatment time and higher frequency is a good idea. Around 30 minutes of work a couple times a week may be indicated. If you’re very active and build up tension over time, a monthly appointment can help you keep your tension in check along with regular stretching and staying hydrated.
  5. Every massage therapist is different! Many clients come in expecting their treatment to be the same as a prior experience with another therapist. Training and experience can be dramatically different between therapists and their approaches will vary depending on their background. But no matter what your therapist’s training is, they should be informed about how that particular technique can be delivered safely for your current health status. We recommend letting them stay within their scope and if they’re not trained in a technique you’re looking for, ask for a recommendation.

Why Lymphatic Drainage is Important while Traveling

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your lymphatic system until it’s mentioned in a health class or on a medical show. And even then, you might only have a vague understanding of what the lymphatic system does. But the truth is, this network of vessels and nodes is essential to keeping our bodies healthy – especially while traveling! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of lymphatic drainage and how Loosen Up BodyWork can help.

woman jumping with her arms up on top of a mountain summit

Higher Energy Levels

One of the benefits of lymphatic drainage is that it can help to increase your energy levels. If you’re someone who often feels sluggish or tired, this type of massage can be a game-changer. The lymphatic system is responsible for transporting white blood cells throughout the body, and when it’s not working properly, we can feel the effects. Loosen Up BodyWork can help to get your lymphatic system flowing smoothly, so you can feel your best while traveling.

hot water bottle for helping with swelling

Reduce Swelling

Another common issue that can be helped with lymphatic drainage is swelling. When we fly or travel long distances, our bodies can retain fluid and we can end up feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Lymphatic drainage can help to reduce this swelling and promote better circulation. If you’re looking for a way to feel more comfortable while traveling, lymphatic drainage may be the answer.

Dad and son smiling and flexing their arms

Improved Immune System

One of the most important functions of the lymphatic system is to help filter out toxins and waste from our bodies. This helps to protect us from illness and disease. When we travel, we’re exposed to new germs and bacteria, which can put a strain on our immune system. But if our lymphatic system is working properly, it can help to filter out these toxins and keep us healthy. Loosen Up BodyWork can help to ensure that your lymphatic system is functioning properly, so you can stay healthy while traveling.

Weekly medicine organizer with pills in the monday slot

Help with Chronic Health Conditions

If you suffer from a chronic health condition, lymphatic drainage can be a helpful treatment. Conditions like lymphedema, sinus infections, and fibromyalgia can all be helped with this type of massage. Loosen Up BodyWork has experience helping people with chronic health conditions, and we can tailor our services to meet your needs.

Lymphatic drainage is important while traveling because it can help to increase your energy levels, reduce swelling, and more. Loosen Up BodyWork can help to ensure that your lymphatic system is functioning properly, so you can stay healthy while traveling. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!

Find Muscle Pain Relief With Myofascial Release Massage

Do you suffer from muscle pain? If so, you may want to consider a Myofascial Release Massage from Loosen Up Bodywork in Danville, CA. Myofascial release is a type of massage that can help relieve pain and tension in the muscles. Our experienced massage therapists are passionate about natural healing and will listen to your pain relief needs. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of this massage.

Woman getting a massage

Relief From Pain

Direct myofascial release is an attempt to relieve pain by bringing about changes in the myofascial structures. The practitioner utilizes a variety of depths and oblique strokes to achieve length, mobility, and increased circulation. This improved circulation then lets the muscles begin the healing process that leads to pain relief.

Woman getting a massage

Increased Range of Motion

The therapist will work to release the restrictions in your muscles and tissues through the stretching or elongation of the mobilizing adhesive tissue, or fascia. This can help reduce pain by allowing your muscles to move more freely. 

Man getting a massage

Improved Posture

Good posture is critical for back and spine health and helps to reduce instances of back and neck pain. Our therapists will work on releasing the tightness in the muscles and tissues in your back, allowing you to stand straighter for better posture.

Person getting a massage

Muscle Tension Release

Fascia is the continuous band of connective tissue that surrounds the muscle. By working that tissue through a myofascial release massage, it can change the structure of the fascia which helps relieve pain caused by muscle tension.

If you are looking for relief from muscle pain, a myofascial release massage from Loosen Up Bodywork can help. Our therapists are experienced in providing this type of massage and can help you to feel better quickly. Book your appointment today at our studio in Danville or Walnut Creek, CA.

Single Sided Sports Recovery

With the French open in full swing, I thought it would be fun to give some tips on recovering from sports with some specific examples if you play tennis.

Many sports require excessive single sided use without a good option for training to develop our non-dominant side.  Tennis is a perfect example. If your sport if choice requires lots of single sided use, then warm up and stretching will be even more important for you.

Warming up pre-practice and light stretching afterwards, however minor it may seem, makes a significant difference in how we recover. A good warm up will provide fresh fluids to your muscles to lubricate them and provide the compounds necessary for proper performance.  Elasticity is also increased post warm-up, which will reduce your risk injury.  Here’s a simple example of a warm up routine:

The stretching piece rings your muscles out of all the used up fluids that are now oxygen poor and rich in metabolic wastes.  That fluid is replenished when your stretch is released once again with nutrient dense fluids to aid your muscles in recovering.  There is a second added benefit of reminding your central nervous system of your full range of motion.  Pecs and adductors are highly used in tennis; here are a couple of good examples of how to stretch those:

     adductor stretch


We always love giving our clients tools to help them recover from the sports they enjoy, so if you would like to have a specific routine for your particular sport, schedule your appointment today.  Keep moving and we hope to see you soon.

Habits We Form

I’ve spent the first month of this new year thinking about habits.

Sharing some wonderful conversations with a friend of mine who practices Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has taught me that the habits we form, both mentally and physically, are very similar and can be interconnected.  If we can understand the effects of the patterns we form, it will help us approach our bodies in a more supportive and productive way. 

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It’s All Connected

“It’s all connected.”   

I hear the phrase “it’s all connected” often in my treatment room, as well as from other therapists.  

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Importance of Communication

If I were granted a single wish, it would be to get clients and therapists alike to understand the importance of communication in therapeutic bodywork.

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