Why Didn’t It Last? How to Get Lasting Massage Results

Abdominal massage

Why Didn’t It Last? How to Get Lasting Massage Results

For years, I wondered why my results were hit or miss.  Then I discovered how to get lasting massage results. 

After 20 years of trial and error, I can confidently say that what you learn in this article will result in more lasting, effective sessions. If you’ve had clients say to you “My neck is tight but I’m just here to relax. Massage never lasts for me” or perhaps you can recall a time when you received a massage that felt great but didn’t last. You went home floating-on-air and then rather than waking up the next day feeling more spaciousness and mobility, unfortunately you woke up with many of the same aches and pains. Not only does this experience have a client questioning the financial investment they made, it also leaves them doubting their own ability to heal.

So, why do some massages stick and others don’t and how can we get lasting massage results? Does bodywork have to feel like ‘all work’ or ‘right out of a text book’?

Incorporating the Dynamic Fascial Response™ ventral unwinding steps is one way to have a constant flow of satisfied clients. And I have great news for you! Bodywork does not have to feel like ‘all work’ or ‘right out of a text book’. Not with a little effleurage thrown in to integrate the yum factor.


Ventral unwinding steps to a massage that lasts

A View of My Map

I often will begin my sessions with anterior/ventral unwinding because of the map I see. The lasting relief and my anterior approach is kind of what my work is known for around these parts. OK, let’s face it, going straight for the belly is pretty straight if not even possibly a little invasive?  So then, be sure to talk about it with your client before you start and get their consent. It will take a lot of awkwardness out of the equation. Let them know the massage you do on their back will stick much better if you work on their front as well. After you read this article you can even put it into your own words and explain to them why this is.

Do you have to start on their front? No. As long as you incorporate DFR’s ventral unwinding at some point in your massage, you will get lasting massage results.  I tend to start new clients with ventral unwinding as a main part of their session.  This means they are supine for an hour and then I work on them prone for 30 mins. If we are doing a 2 hour I also have time for some awesome side-lying pin and stretch which are opening techniques and a ‘cherry on top’. 

What is Your Unique Map?

I believe the map each massage therapist follows makes there style unique to them, We can all learn from each other’s maps. That’s why it is so important for CMTs to get massages and be in classes with other CMTs to hone your already amazing skills and broaden your perspectives. I learn so much in every class I teach and take.  The learning never ends for the inspired! I used to be a chef. What makes a GREAT chef is that they studied under many other chefs.  It’s the same with massage therapy and bodywork. Your toolbox is constantly growing.  New tools inspire yourself and the people you share them with.

So why anterior unwinding? Join one of my live feeds on Instagram for a free live tutorial and we will do a self care exercise in fascial unwinding.  You will see how a couple easy steps on the front of the body will help make all of the work you do on the back of the body actually stick.

How does ventral unwinding make it stick?

The map I see through assessment spreads out before me in an array of my clients’ emotions, past trauma and repetitive posture, activity and so much more. 

One thing that is consistent upon assessment is that most people (not all) will place their hands on their low back or their back of their neck and shoulders letting me know where they hurt. That pain on the back of their body? It’s usually from the shortening of the ventral body (look up ventral) fascia. 

All of that shortening from sitting at a computer or nursing a baby or playing guitar or golfing or driving – is fascial restriction.

This can be seen in forward head posture, tight hip flexors and just an all around postural inward collapse. Before I go on I want you to know that the relationship between forward head posture (FHP) and neck pain is not clear. FHP could possibly increase the mechanosensitivity of muscle tissue, which could lead to the development of pain. This depends on the adaptation capability of the central nervous system. So, not everyone’s neck pain is due to FHP however, some studies have theorized that because the head weighs more (in terms of load placement), all those cervical muscles and traps are getting signals via mechanosensitivity that they are holding up a 32 pound head when in actuality the head might only weigh 12 pounds.  The back of the neck and traps end up working extra hard to balance and hold up the head and they get strained.  This is the same with any fascia patterning that could be restricting or pulling the posture in one dominant direction.  As a result, we have clients standing in front of us hands on low back or back of neck needing relief!

The Biggest Mistake a Massage Therapist Makes

Clients are happy when they get a massage and they might go home and relish in bliss but if they only get temporary relief their thoughts turn to “Meh, there goes another hundred dollars” before the week is even over. It might be because your map was seeing their body pain and focusing your work mostly on those wrapped points (a DFR term). First of all, good job connecting to your clients pain.  It’s heartfelt to do so. Why work so hard though?

Get Lasting Massage Results

DFR techniques make your sessions more effective with less efforting. With ventral unwinding steps, your clients will be singing your praises! They will be sending friends your way for years to come! In no time, these “sometimes” client will start purchasing your bundles so they can afford to see you more often, feel the improvements not just in their body but their life. They will see their own possibility. As a result, you have that rewarding feeling of constant flow of satisfied clients who trust that they can get lasting massage results working with you.

Add a Drop of DFR™ for Better Results

I know you probably already have your own style and a great practice. I’m just here to invite you to incorporate ventral unwinding into your routine as an exploration.  Do take care.  You will be navigating some vulnerable areas of the body around the delicate collar bones, xiphoid process, and carotid arteries as well as intestines when unwinding the hip flexors. If you want to learn ventral unwinding techniques, I am teaching my Double Certification in DFR™ and Pregnancy Massage in April.  The entire postpartum section is all about alignment and full of the the steps that I teach for scoliosis. This is a super dynamic class that will blow your mind and open up your map. LIVE DFR™ Classes guarantee that you will be receiving amazing bodywork because you will be swapping practice sessions with professional colleagues.

Join the DFR™ Community

I have a places left for live and for zoom students. Pre-Register Before March 1, 2022 for major discounts Live course early birds get a free book on my method Dynamic Fascial Response™ !  If you can’t make April’s class hop on my waiting list for future classes.  I can’t wait to share this work with you! I also love to travel and if you can help a little with logistics, I’ll come to you.

My classes are for professionals only.


Chula Gemignani, Bodywork Instructor in Dynamic Fascial Response™
Certified Massage Therapist: State of California
Developer/Owner: Dynamic Fascial Response™ Approach to Massage
Author: A Dynamic Guide to Pregnancy Massage

Approved Provider #1433  The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB)
Contact: chulagem@gmail.com
Pronouns: She/Her/They/Them


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