In my clinic, I see a variety of people, with varying reasons why they are looking for a massage treatment. They cover a wide age range (20-90), are mostly female, but some men too and various issues, conditions and problems. Some people come regularly for maintenance, others come for a few sessions until they feel better, and others come as one off or occasional treats. Yet when I say to people what my job is, the vast majority of them say they’ve either never had a massage, or only at a spa, or they don’t really know WHY people have a treatment.
Yet they all usually say that they would like to!
So, I thought I would look at some of the reasons people DON”T come for a massage treatment.
Why People Don’t Have a Massage
Gender – Men generally seem reluctant to book in themselves and the majority of male clients are brought by their wives, sisters or mothers. There is a general feeling that it is either a ‘girlie’ thing to do, or that it has to be painful. Neither of which is true. I’ve written before about some of the misconceptions around massage. You can read that blog here.
Men also mostly seem to expect instant results, which no physical treatment is going to give, especially as they also tend to wait until it has become chronic before they see about it, or it is a serious, and therefore painful condition. They also generally don’t do their exercises, so don’t see the benefits as quickly as someone who does their homework. (Note. I know this is obviously a generalization, and I do have men that come along monthly and do their stretches, but from my 10+ years of experience, the majority do not.)
Interestingly, I have had a spate of younger men coming for treatments and they are all keen sportsmen, and looking to maintain their physical well-being and avoid injury. They see regular massage as part of that, so perhaps there is a generational shift in attitude.
Age – Often people say that they are too old for a massage, no point in trying to ease their pain etc, they are just old, and have arthritis and are stiff and sore. But I have people in their 70s, 80s and even a 90 year old, who come, and are helped. Not cured, if its something like arthritis, or they are waiting on a hip or knee op, but definitely helped. Doing exercise and looking after your body is for everyone.
They say – I don’t do sport, so why would I need a massage? – People seem to think a sports/remedial massage (or deep tissue as some call it), is just for regular sports people, in teams, professionals even. Yet, the vast majority of conditions I see are due to sitting most of the day, slumping in front of tv, sitting at a computer, or driving cars. The shoulder, neck, RSI, knee, hip and back issues I treat come from all activities.. Yes, I see runners and cyclists, footballers and kickboxers to name a few sports, but I also see hairdressers, dentists, doctors, lawyers, call centre workers, drivers, carers, analysts, massage therapists (!), actors, dancers and any other type of work you can think of.
Basically if you have a human body, then that body will probably like its muscles worked on in a massage. Click To Tweet
Isn’t Massage an Expensive Indulgence? – Well, it can be, if you go to a fancy spa, and pay for the fluffy robes, slippers, steam rooms, and the products that they use, and then possibly try to sell to you at the end.
Chances are you will get a nice, relaxing massage, but probably not one that works into the deep muscles, or deals with any issues you have. That’s not really what beauty or spa therapists are trained to do. That’s what people like me ARE trained to do, in diplomas focusing entirely on body work and anatomy, rather than as part of a course covering all the treatments that can be offered, often linked to a specific brand. So, if you come to someone like me, you don’t get a chill out zone, fluffy robes, products to take away, etc, but you do get a bespoke massage, to deal with your body’s issues, and you don’t have to pay luxury prices for the privilege. I also offer package booking discounts for regulars, to help them commit to their own well-being.
Also, you pay for ME and support a local, small business, rather than a corporate spa. So, you can also feel good about that!
I can’t have a massage due to my ‘condition’ – this might be MS, Fibromyalgia, being pregnant, cancer (or history of), or any other reason people have been told that they can’t have a massage.
Now, while there are definitely contraindications to having a massage, and I have had to tell people I can’t treat them in the past, (eg. with DVT), most of the time you can be.
It might need specialist training such as I have in oncology massage or pregnancy work. And those situations might require a specific set up on the couch, but that’s my job, to make sure you are safe and comfortable. Most of the chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia I see are eased by treatment, people come for the pain relief and the relaxation. Care needs to be taken if there is a flare up, and it might be that on a specific day, massage is not suitable, but generally speaking, with the right therapist, and training, people can still enjoy a treatment with various conditions.
And Why People Should –
- Relaxation – mind as well as body.
- We all sit far too much – which we are not designed to do. Then we get sore. Keeping ourselves well through exercise, even just a regular daily walk, can help, but as with most things, a little bit of help can make all the difference. So, who better to ease the tight muscles and sore backs/neck/shoulders than a professional muscle softener! You might not have a specific injury or problem needing a diagnosis or medical treatment, so you don’t need to see a doctor or a physio, what you need is the knots and tight, restricted areas in your muscles to be softened, and relaxed.
Allowing you to move easier, and feel better in your body.
- If you are a regular sports person, whether that is running, walking, cycling, boxing etc, then just like the professionals you need to take care of your body through appropriate training, nutrition, rest, and support of the muscles with massage.
It can help you avoid injury in the first place, and also help pick up on any niggles in advance, avoiding them developing into problems, and also help any recovery of ongoing issues.
- But, it’s not just for sports people. As I say above, all ages, genders and types of people benefit from a massage. Desk workers are probably my main client base. Followed by pregnant women and the retired. The most common issues I see are RSI type things (carpal tunnel, forearm issues, shoulder problems) mainly due to keyboard and mouse use. Then low back issues, and headaches. I have introduced several people who suffered from chronic tension headaches to the relief of a neck, shoulder, head and face massage. You carry a lot of tension in that region but most people are not aware that they are.
- You deserve it! Yes YOU! The person that puts everyone first, and feels like they barely get a minute to themselves. That has a stiff back every morning, or groans when they get up from their desk at the end of the day, or is constantly rubbing their neck or popping pills for headaches.
Why not try a massage instead?