I can almost guarantee that you have been told these or heard it in context of massage therapy. While I’m not sure how these have started, I’m here to de-bunk a few things.
No Pain, No Gain!
Somehow along the way we’ve started a rumor that the massage has to be painful to be beneficial. If a muscle is clenching or tightening due to pain, the muscles cannot also be relaxing or benefiting from the treatment at the same time.
It’s rude to speak up during the treatment
Often, clients want to be polite or are too afraid to speak up if they are feeling too tender or ticklish. I don’t want to stereotype, but men, this is usually you. It doesn’t make you any less of a man to have to ask for lighter pressure if something is feeling surprisingly sore.
A sign of a good massage is being sore the next day
It’s possible that you may feel a bit sore the next day, just like your muscles have had a workout – which is true. A massage isn’t only beneficial if it feels like you’ve been hit by a truck the next day – if this is the case, the pressure may have been too much and caused inflammation in the body. It’s alright to ask your therapist to lighten up next time (I won’t judge you).
It’s not anatomically possible for a muscle to become tangled and form a knot. There is also no scientific evidence supporting this term. You’re not crazy though, those crunchy, tight spots you feel in your shoulders are where the muscle is stuck in partial contraction from being used. You have earned those spots from all the hard work your muscles have been doing! Now, it’s our job to help relax the muscles and relieve any possible pain you’re experiencing.
Massage flushes out ‘toxins’
Regular massage can help to increase blood and lymphatic circulation in the body which in turn, can help to improve the body’s natural ability to remove cellular waste. However, it doesn’t flush out all the left over nasties in your body from the weekend’s crazy shenanigans.
Massage spreads cancer cells throughout the body
This is nearly impossible to do, tumors would have to be smashed with extreme brute force to cause any harm. Oncologists have found that patients undergoing treatment for cancer can greatly benefit from massage therapy.
Massage is just for muscles
As mentioned above, massage can help to increase the circulatory and lymphatic systems in the body. Massage can increase flexibility, enhance pliability of the body’s tissues, remove scar tissue, relax the mind, improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce swelling and studies have even shown it to help with mental health. There are so many other benefits of massage, but keep an eye out for another blog about it.
Basically, if you have muscles, bones, blood, and skin you have something to gain from massage. If you don’t have those things, I highly recommend you don’t book in, and maybe you should see someone about that!
Massage is only for spoiling yourself
Everyone that comes in for a massage has something bothering them in their day-to-day life. Whether it be constant headaches, injuries, chronic pain, arthritis, or many more reasons. Massage can improve quality of life in many different aspects.
Massage isn’t safe during pregnancy
As long as the massage is provided by a therapist trained in pregnancy massage (like Seashelle Massage), there are many benefits and it is quite a relaxing experience. Pregnancy massage differs from general massage, as it avoids techniques and areas that may cause harm. There is an extra level of sensitivity and care for both mum and bub.
In the second and third trimester you will be massaged while lying on your side, or semi-reclined on your back, as this is safe for blood circulation for the baby. Please avoid massage treatments that have a table with a hole in it for the stomach, as this is bad for blood circulation and worsens low back pain. Women in high risk pregnancies are recommended to see their GP for added reassurance.
For more information to help you through your pregnancy, please check out the Bub Hub.