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Busting the Myths About Massage Therapy

Busting the Myths About Massage Therapy

Let’s get real about massage, busting the myths about massage therapy. Like with any alternative treatments, there are many misconceptions. Today’s topic is specific to massage therapy. Read on as we bust the 10 most common myths associated with massage therapy.
  1. Anyone can give a massage.
Yes, this is true, however, there is a great difference between a qualified accredited therapist in comparison to a friend/family member. A qualified therapist has knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and knows best how to treat areas of tension and/or pain.  
  1. A massage is a massage, it doesn’t matter where you go.
No! There are many different types of massage therapy modalities. You and our massage therapist will decide which modality is the best option for you. Here are some of the different types of massage we offer at Mount Lawley Physiotherapy and Podiatry:
  • Remedial Massage: Remedial massage therapy is the assessment and treatment of soft tissue dysfunctions (knotted, tense, or immobile) that cause pain and restrict human movement. The assessment helps the therapist identify which muscles are functioning incorrectly and muscle and postural imbalances. To help alleviate these dysfunctions remedial massage uses a range of techniques and movements (gentle, strong, deep or shallow). This helps to stimulate blood supply, making the joints more mobile and helps to repair damaged tissues. Inevitably, working to rebalance the body and contribute to optimal health.
  • Relaxation Massage: Relaxation massage uses smooth, gliding strokes that aim to promote general relaxation, relieve muscular tension and improve circulation and range of movement. Compared to other therapeutic massages, it is slower in pace and a lighter pressure. The therapist can also target a few trigger points if desired by the client. Swedish massage is the best-known form of relaxation massage.
  • Deep Tissue Massage: Deep tissue massage employs a firm pressure that works specific muscles and tension areas. It can help to relieve muscle spasms and any associated pain whilst aiming to improve flexibility and posture. It is designed to help relieve severe tension in the muscle and connective tissue. It also allows the therapist to target more trigger points, while also focusing on the dense layers of muscle and fascia (connective tissues that surround the muscle).
  • Sports Massage: Sports massage is an application of massage, not a massage technique. The type of technique or treatment applied is dependent on the nature of the stage of training or competition, sports injury or condition and the assessment of the remedial massage therapist. The aim of sports massage is to reduce the stress and tension that can build up in the soft tissue of the body that occur during exercise, helping improve performance, reduce the chance of injury and reduce the recovery time after an injury.
  • Pregnancy Massage: We are fully equipped with a pregnancy massage bed, this means you can lay face down for your massage rather than on your side. This leads to the relaxation you need whilst having your massage. Please be aware pressure is decreased overall to approximately 4-6/10 intensity, due to your growing baby and hardworking circulation system.
  1. Do not interrupt the therapist with any questions or comments you may have.
You may feel uncomfortable while the therapist is trying to release your muscles/fascia or a “knot”, but if pain and/or discomfort persists, you must inform your massage therapist, so they can adjust the treatment accordingly. If you want to chat with the therapist throughout the treatment you are more than welcome too, or if you don’t want to speak, that is completely fine too.  
  1. No pain, no gain.
This is one of the most common perceptions about massage therapy, is that it must be “hard” to be effective. This is not the case, a massage that is too hard can be disadvantageous, as too much pressure can cause muscle tightening, which can then cause greater levels of discomfort. When receiving a remedial massage and/or deep tissue massage it is common for people to experience some level of discomfort, however, extreme pain and/or discomfort should not occur, and the therapist must be informed.  
  1. The sign of a good massage is soreness the next day.
This may be the case if it’s a client’s first massage, or they’ve been sedentary for an extended period or the muscles and fascia are tight and causing pain. If the massage therapist works to relieve the tightness or works to break up lactic acid or they have done some trigger point therapy, or if the client hasn’t drunk enough water post-treatment, then they can experience some soreness the next day. Maintenance treatments and regular hydration throughout the day can help to reduce feelings of soreness post-treatment.  
  1. Massage gets rid of cellulite.
We wish, unfortunately, there is no quick fix or magic lotion that gets rid of cellulite, massages are an excellent addition to a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. Massages are great for post-workout muscle soreness and tightness.  
  1. The effects of massage are only temporary.
Being as comfortable as possible after a massage is crucial in the maintenance process. Poor posture, lack of appropriate muscle activation, lifting and holding objects incorrectly can create muscle imbalances. This can then trigger tension, tightness and discomfort in areas of a person’s body. It is important to have regular massages (ideally 4-6 weeks), as the therapist can address your areas of pain and aim to improve functionality in between sessions.  
  1. It is unsafe to get a massage if you are pregnant.
Not true, prenatal massage is safe through all trimesters of pregnancy. Some women avoid massage in their first trimester, whereas massage in the second and third trimester is more common. Massage therapy can help to increase circulation and can be an excellent way to help expecting mothers to relax. Although, if you are still unsure, contacting your doctor for more information can help to give you some clarity.  
  1. I don’t need to discuss my medical history with my therapist.
WRONG! The therapist needs to know if there are any contraindications with massage. This includes some forms of allergies, disease, medications, and surgeries. If you’re still not sure if massage is right for you, please check with your doctor.  
  1. Massage is too expensive.
Massage sessions can vary from 30-minute to 90-minute sessions, ranging in price from $50 (30-minute) – $112 (90-minute). People can associate getting a massage as a treat, however, when you add up a month’s worth of coffees, the cost of a massage is considerably less. Mount Lawley Physiotherapy and Podiatry is competitive with its massage prices and offers clients a five-session loyalty card.

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