Even though the process of massage therapy has been around for thousand of years there are still many myths floating around about massage therapy. To help provide accurate information for our clients interested in our massage services and to help educate the masses about the truth behind massage therapy, we are going to bust a few myths commonly heard about getting a massage.
Myth 1: My therapist didn’t ask about it, so I don’t need to tell them about it.
In actuality, if you have anything in your health history, such as an allergy, medical condition, surgery, or you are currently taking medications, you should advise your massage therapist in advance. Knowing this information about you can help your massage therapist tailor the massage to you more effectively and avoid creating undue stress or discomfort with the depth of their touch. Individuals with certain health conditions shouldn’t partake in some or all types of massages.
Myth 2: Next day soreness is a sign of a good massage.
Soreness is actually not an indicator of whether or not you had a “good” massage, in fact, you should never be so sore that you can’t get out of bed the next day. Mild soreness may occur if you have never had a massage before, are not active, or it has been a long while between your massages. The reason you are sore is due to the depth of the touch used to break down “knots” (and how used to it your muscles are) and the amount of lactic acid that was worked out of your muscles. Failing to drink water after your massage can intensify your soreness.
Myth 3: Pregnant women can’t get a massage, it’s not safe.
Contrary to popular belief (and possibly the hope of late-term pregnant women), there are no trigger points on the body that can induce labor. A regular massage may be more uncomfortable for a pregnant woman because of the positioning, which is why there are massages custom tailored to pregnant women – prenatal massages. Prenatal massages are safe in all trimesters of normal pregnancies and can actually be very relaxing and beneficial for mom and baby.
Myth 4: I don’t need to drink water after a massage.
This isn’t a weird clip of advice from your massage therapist on your way out. It is actually a solid and beneficial piece of advice meant to aid in your body’s recovery and reduce your level of soreness the next day. During a massage, especially those that employ deeper and firmer strokes, waste products (like lactic acid, toxins, and other byproducts) that are trapped in your muscles and tissue are worked loose and enter your blood stream. From there, they make their way to your liver and then your kidneys or intestines for excretion. Drinking plenty of water following you massage will help keep your organs happy and healthy as it processes these waste products and flushes them out of your body – and keep them from reentering your muscles.
Myth 5: If it hurts, it’s working.
This is commonly said about deep tissue massages. To be clear, there can be discomfort during a deep tissue massage as firm pressure is placed on tight muscles, scar tissue, or “knots” in your muscles – but this is very different than pain. If you are experiencing pain, or cannot handle the level of discomfort, speak up! Your massage therapist will not take offense and will attempt to work the area or muscle from a different approach in order to ensure your comfort.