We are not miracle workers, unfortunately. We try our best, always, and we will suggest many things to help you reach your goals, but sometimes, we just can’t and you need to go somewhere else for further help. Here are the top 10 times massage isn’t the answer:
- Concussions: While a massage might help you recover from most injuries, it is important to seek other health care professionals to help you recover from a concussion before you come in for deep tissue massage. Usually with concussions, receiving biofeedback, craniosacral therapy, or physical therapy can help restore the soft tissues to a better point to receive massage. We really cannot perform much in the way of deep tissue massage at the beginning because it can actually make symptoms worse. The ABMP said “…that deep, specific work, especially on the neck, can exacerbate symptoms: it seems to overwhelm the sensory system and can be hard for clients…” recovering from a concussion and other head injuries.
- Bad Mattress or Pillow: If we are doing our best and you’re still not getting the results you want, maybe it’s time to take a look at your bed. If you haven’t replaced it in about 10 years, it might be time to do so. Having a comfortable and good mattress is extremely important to, not only the comfort of your sleep, but also the quality of your sleep. Your pillow is also important. If it doesn’t support your neck, you will wake up with “cricks” in your neck. Most importantly, sleep is where your body will relax and heal the most. If you aren’t sleeping well, you aren’t healing well. Check out 10 Annoying Health Side Effects of Sleeping on a Bad Mattress.
- Torn Muscles, Tendons, or Ligaments: Truth be told, we cannot tell you if you have a tear in your muscle. You need to get an MRI or see another health care professional who can. We cannot do much for a torn muscle–the only thing we can really do is help prevent tension and compensatory tension from the injury, and maybe help with some scar tissue. Torn tendons, ligaments, bursae, and other joint related cartilages cannot be healed through massage. We can alleviate some inflammation and help your muscles from becoming too irritated, but you will not be able to regain all of the strength and range of motion without a good physical therapist or other health care providers.
- Skeletal Anomalies: If you have a leg that is shorter than the other because your bones actually make your leg shorter, we cannot do anything about that. You will need to work with a podiatrist or someone to help you with that. If you have scoliosis, we cannot magically reset your vertebrae back in place. If you have a crown that doesn’t fit right in your mouth and it’s causing jaw pains, we cannot make it fit your mouth. What we can do is help reeducate muscular imbalances which will help expedite your treatments with your other providers. Sometimes for these kinds of ailments, you need to see someone once or twice to fix the main issue, e.g. a crown that isn’t fit correctly, and then you should come see us to finish the healing process.
- Massage is the ONLY thing you’re doing: If you are using your deep tissue massages as your only health care plan, you’re doing it wrong! We are not miracle workers! You HAVE to take charge of your own health. What that means is if you don’t exercise and stretch at home, you won’t see the benefits of massage after a short time. If you don’t eat well, you will still feel like crap. If you don’t see anacupuncturist, chiropractor (we have several we refer to), physical therapist, or a myriad of other health care providers, your recovery will take extra long and you will not reach your goals in any kind of timely manner.
- Your Baggage: This can be a purse, briefcase, tote, child, luggage, wallet, really anything that you carry around all day, every day. Having a wallet in your back pocket can throw your hips off, which will cause lower back pain, which will trickle up your back into your neck and all the way down your legs. A 25 lb. purse or briefcase can cause unnecessary tension in your shoulders and neck, which can create headaches and other unhappy circumstances. Picking up your child repeatedly can cause tension in your shoulders, back, and neck if you don’t have the appropriate muscle strength. So really look into your life and see if your baggage is making our jobs harder.
- Serious Injury: This seems like a no-brainer: Don’t come in if you’ve just been hit by a car on your bike! Go to the emergency room! Wait until your injuries have healed enough for us to touch you, then we can help. Now, this also includes severely herniated spinal discs, muscle tears, broken bones, Achilles tendon ruptures, and more. We really cannot do much for serious injuries until you’re on the mend. After you have taken care of the initial injury, we can absolutely help you expedite your recovery!
- Heart Attack and Strokes: If you have suffered from a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, or any other serious condition, please get a doctor’s approval before coming in for massage. We care about you and want you to be healthy, and one way to do that is to make sure you are cleared from other complications before we treat you! If you had an episode because of a clotting issue, we don’t want to massage you until it’s resolved! What we do is very manual and can exacerbate certain conditions. We just want to make sure you’re healthy before we go digging around in your muscles.
We can aid in many of the chronic or acute difficulties with each of these instances and we can help with recovery from these; however, we cannot fix them. If we could, we would be millionaires!