Women Can Be Deep

By Monica Bingley & Ross Ashcraft

80% of massage therapists are women but many veteran spa-goers actually favor male massage therapists. This, according to The American Association of Massage Therapy is because of the power typically male therapists bring to the massage room. Male massage therapists often have additional strength, which can be useful with Neuromuscular Massage & Sports Massage.

Deep tissue styles of massage are mainly focused on areas with chronic muscle tension or knots, and may require deep pressure. Many seem to think that only male therapists can give the required level of strength that the therapist‘s fingers, hands, elbows, and forearms deliver. Most males have larger fingers and hands; because a female’s hands and fingers are on average smaller then a male’s. My petite fingers make it much easier to get into the smaller areas where knots live. Neuromuscular Massage and Sports Massage also have numerous movements where female therapists can more easily move around the table unlike our massively muscled male counterparts.

Another type of Neuromuscular Massage is Barefoot deep tissue (also known as barefoot compressive deep tissue,  Ashiatsu, or barefoot sports massage).  These techniques are a combination of Eastern techniques such as Ashiatsu, combined with a Western medicine, such as deep tissue, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, transverse friction, compression, tension, shear, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), stretching, along with parasympathetic response.

Ashiatsu typically uses the heel, arch and/or whole plantar surface of foot, and offers hefty compression, tension and shear forces with less pressure than elbow or thumb, and is perfect for application to large muscles, like the thigh.  Being a female, I would rather a women’s feet apply deep pressure in this way than a man’s.

In my opinion, leaving Neuromuscular Massage and Sports Massage to just male therapist would be a tragedy.  Ladies, let’s not limit ourselves to using only our thumbs or even just our forearms.  Let’s not limit our client’s massage experience. There is a whole world of techniques that we can add to our repertoire and be amazing.  Being female and also able to add deep tissue into a massage broadens the experience for our clients and makes us more marketable in our industry.

SOOOO FEllOW FEMALE THERAPIST….don’t let anyone tell you–including yourself–that you can’t go deep.  Take back the power….and give amazing deep tissue massage.

Fellow Male Therapists….we will not be limited 😉





19 thoughts on “Women Can Be Deep”

  1. To me I think it can go either way. Yes guys have more strength in the hands, but also the girls have a soft touch. Some deep tissue are more better from a girl then a guy. Some guys might add to much pressure and cause much damage. So this is my thoughts about this article.

  2. This is so awesome……b/c most people that get massages want a male massage therapist!!!! But there are some female massage therapist like myself that actually do give a deep tissue massage!!!!! I have a few clients that think I work out my thumbs (lol) which tells me that despite my size I CAN do the job!!!!!

  3. I always steal female preferred clients from my female therapists. =). Gotta love the firm grips and stamina in our muscles =).

  4. So, I’m hearing that we women only need to be a bit more creative to effect just as much deep pressure massage as the average male. I think this would be a great focus in our lab experience at CCC. Go girls!

  5. I definitely am interested in deep tissue using my feet, but I will need to build up my confidence with my hands and arms first. I, as well, preferred male therapists, but now I am glad that there are options to help with what female therapists can do so that we can be more marketable.

  6. Very interesting article. I found it very informative, on how we women can add to our field. I liked the idea of using our foot to do deep tissue on our clients.

  7. I have to agree with this! I know lots of women MTs that give excellent deep tissue. I prefer deep tissue as well. It is true that men have larger hands and because of this it may be easier for them to work deeper, but that doesn’t mean that they are better or that it’s impossible for a woman to achieve the same results. Ashiatsu sounds like something I would be interested in trying too!

  8. I believe it can go either way, if the therapist isn’t using proper body mechanics then they will be unable to give the pressure desired. I personally enjoy deep pressure and I have received equal pressure from a male and a female. I think it depends on your perception as well.

  9. I’m not sure about using my feet to massage people but I do agree that we shouldn’t limit ourselves either!

  10. I can give a lot of pressure a lot of people i massage outside of school have had a massage before but they prefure my massage because of my deep pressure but myself i would rather be massaged by male because i like a lot of pressure but it dosent really matter who i get a massaged by i just wanna be massaged

  11. Excuse the language but I freaking LOOOOVVE THIS. I thought we would learn this here but I guess not. Guess I know the next certification I will be getting outside of school.

  12. I do agree with Janell! Not too sure about the foot thing either! But i do prefer a massage from a male than a female. Mostly because males tend to have bigger hands that cover more ground, creating a wider more relaxing stroke.

  13. I loved this! I agree I think it can go both ways, I believe a woman could give just as good of a massage as a man. That foot thing looks awesome though! Love it!

  14. I know that I have difficulty with giving a deeper pressure, but I am also still learning. With more practice, and a greater confidence in myself, I know I can have just as much pressure as any man.

  15. My favorite massage therapists just happens Shannon Corcoran, & Carolyn both FEMALE massage therapist. Shannon just knows how to push me to my limits but never over. Carolyn has a special touch that forces me to relax. If u put the 2 of then together and turn some Jazz (Thelonious Monk) you get me. Girls can be bad ass!!

  16. This is an interesting article. I never thought of using the feet to massage. Definitely broadened my thoughts on massage therapy. Very informative.

  17. Great article! I can not imagine previously using a feet to massage people. Because i know this is very hard to do especially when you are a woman. That is why i salute to the woman therapist!