11 Massage Myths Debunked

By Jackie Fedyk

 

Massage therapy is the manipulation of skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments by an licensed therapist to promote wellness, range of motion and many other health benefits. However, there are many myths surrounding the science of applied massage therapy, so make sure to educate yourself and get to know this therapy better and how it can improve your lifestyle.

 

A massage is a massage no matter where you go.

No!  There are many different types of massage modalities; you and your therapist will decide what is best for you. Not only that, each LMT will deliver these modalities in different manners, which will also play a roll in how you

  • Swedish Massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you. Swedish is for those who wish to relax and relieve stress, it may also improve circulation and lower blood pressure.
  • Deep Tissue Massage. Using slower, deeper strokes to target the underlying layers of muscle and connective tissue commonly helps with muscle damage from injuries and improve range of motion.
  • Sports Massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries and can be used to prepare and invigorate the body before an event.
  • Trigger Point Massage. Focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
  • Neuromuscular Therapy. Deeper tissue massage that focuses on movement patterns.
  • Orthopedic Massage. Focuses on rehabilitating after an accident or injury.
  • Table Thai Yoga Massage. Wear loose clothing, because your Massage Therapist is going to help you stretch and increase your range of motion.
  • And many more. These just name a few types of massage we offer.

 

Massage is only for pampering yourself.

No! Massage therapy has many benefits.

  • Massage can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression and can even help relieve symptoms of insomnia.
  • Massage can help the body heal from injury, improve, or even speed up rehabilitation.
  • Massage is a great way to maintain wellness and fitness even when you are not in pain.
  • Some massage techniques can relieve headaches.
  • Studies have also proven that massage can help lower blood pressure through long term and consistent use.

 

A sign of a good massage is being sore the next day.

No! Although it is normal to feel tenderness the day after, especially if you receive a deep tissue massage, it is also normal to feel no pain. Being sore is not the only indication of a productive massage. You may experience some discomfort during a massage and some pain is productive. It’s best to keep the pain range around 7 in a 1-10 pain scale, 10 being too much pain to tolerate.

 

Massage therapy flushes toxins out of the body.

No. This is a very common misconception. There is actually no scientific evidence that having a massage can release toxins from your muscles. However, a long term effect of massage therapy can improve circulation, which will help with your body’s natural ability to dispose of waste.

 

Massage can get rid of cellulite.

No–if it did, we would be millionaires! However exercising and engaging in a fitness routine can reduce cellulite, and massage can help you recover from that pain in the arse.

 

You must drink water after a massage.

It’s not a must, however a hydrated body is a happy body, and nice hydrated muscles tend to be healthier. So go ahead and drink some water, it’s good for you! You did also just spend about an hour on the table, likely mouth breathing for a bit, if not the whole thing (it’s okay; we don’t judge). You probably need to replenish your water.

 

Do not interrupt the therapist with questions or comments during a massage.

You should always say what you need to to your therapist to make sure you are comfortable with your massage. Let them know if you need more or less pressure. Let them know if anything feels too uncomfortable for you. If you need to chat to feel more at ease that’s fine too. If you don’t want to look or speak to another person during your session, that’s fine too. The session is for your benefit and on your dime so make sure you are comfortable and have good communication with your therapist.

 

It is unsafe to get a massage while pregnant.

Not true. Massage is safe for pregnancy and can be very beneficial to both mother and baby. Some women prefer to avoid massage in the first trimester to feel more safe, and that is fine. Massage in second and third trimester is more common. It reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and many aches and pains experienced during pregnancy. 

 

Massage is only for muscles.

No. Massage can improve range of motion in joints and help break down scar tissue. It is also helpful in reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety, PTSD, and depression.

 

I don’t need to discuss my medical history with my therapists.

Wrong! Your therapist needs to know about any conditions that might be contraindicated with massage. This includes some forms of disease, medications, and surgeries. If you’re not sure if massage is right for you, check with your doctor. You can also ask one of the Massage Therapists here, but we aren’t going to be able to guarantee an answer.

 

Massage is too expensive.

Most sessions are 60 to 90 minutes long and can range in price from $60 to $100. This is less money than what most people spend per month of lattes. If you think massage can help you feel better, try making a massage budget for the month or ask your therapist about discounts or memberships to save money. And truly: what is your health worth to you?

While there are even more than these 11 myths about massage, these are some of the more common ones we run across.