11 Things You Didn’t Know About Massage
The majority of adults don’t have regular massage or other complementary therapies. In America only 32% of adult had a massage in the past 5 years and even fewer get massage regularly.
So it’s not surprising that most people don’t know much about massage.
So, here are some fun facts to build your knowledge:
1) Massage can help you sleep better. (Even if you don’t nap during the actual massage.)
2) When your back hurts, that might not be the only area that needs massage. Sometimes back pain comes from the hip, legs or even the abdomen.
3) Likewise, sometimes hand and arm pain is caused by dysfunction in the neck and shoulder. The body is so crazy and weird and fascinating!
4) You can stop a massage session at any time. You have not given up control of your body. At any time during a massage you can say “no”, “stop”, or even “can you just work on my neck for the rest of the time and skip everything else?” If you are uncomfortable, cold, or if you just feel like you have to pee, sneeze or cough. You can take a pee break at anytime!
5) Massage can help your mood. It’s been shown to be helpful in treating both anxiety and depression.
6) Even small therapists can provide deeeeep pressure. It’s not about size, it’s about the techniques we use! Although if you are a massive rugby player type with huge muscles you probably do prefer a male therapist with big hands, it’s not so much about the strength but just ability to grasp larger areas. A smaller handed therapist would need to use different techniques.
7) Massage doesn’t ‘detoxify’ your body. That whole thing is a silly myth. It was taught in many schools and you may have heard me say it, back before I knew better. But we know now that it’s just not true. You still need to drink plenty water afterwards though.
8) Massage is safe in the first trimester of pregnancy (unless there are unusual health issues). If you are pregnant your main issue should be that the therapist is trained appropriately and doesn’t just assume that they can treat you ‘on your side’ and that is all that is required. Ask them what their training is – weekend or day workshop, full diploma over several months, or one lecture in their original training? (You want to see the one with the best training!) I have the Wellmother diploma.
9) Deep tissue massage, or any massage, doesn’t need to be painful to be effective. Honestly! Run screaming from any practitioner who insists there needs to be pain in a treatment. Or causes you bruising. Or thinks that ‘deep tissue’ just means press harder. A skilled therapist should work deeply without you even being aware how deep they are, using positioning and techniques to do so. We SINK through the layers, easing the tightness and adhesions as we go. You may want to feel a bit more pressure if that is what you are used to, or just because you like to, but don’t mistake more pressure for better work.
10) Scars are living tissue that can be transformed with massage and other manual therapies, no matter how old they are. And they can be affecting you in places farther away from the visible scar than you’d ever suspect.
11) It’s OK to focus on certain areas of discomfort and not always get a full body session. I don’t do routines, so we will focus in what you need in that session. That’s why I chat to you at the start, assess what is going on, where hurts, where you want worked on. There may be times when your back is sore but I can tell that your legs need worked on, but that will be to help your back and I will explain that to you.
A good therapist should make you feel welcome and safe, listen to your areas of concern or what you want to get from the treatment but also be able to advise you on what might help you best. They should be there to help you feel better and be able to advise you on actions you can take to support the treatment – stretches, exercises, suggestions for appropriate classes or other therapists.
If you haven’t had a massage treatment in a while, and you are in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, or Edinburgh areas, book a winter wellbeing appointment today – contact me.