4 Things your Massage Therapist wishes you knew (Part 2)
1. If you don’t get massages often, one session probably won’t fix everything
Short Answer: If something has been sore or tight for a long time, it can take more than one attempt to get it worked out because you pretty much have to ‘retrain’ your muscles to know the tightness isn’t “normal” and that doesn’t happen fast.
More details: I often tell my clients, "However long something has been broken, that can be how long it takes to fix." Now, a chronic issue may not exactly take that long, however whenever anything happens, the body adapts and accepts that it is the "correct" way to be - wether good or bad. So if there is an injury or something tight, and it has been that way for a long time, it can take a while to not only fix or relieve the issue, but also to retrain the body to accept that the "fixed" way is "correct". This is why we recommend that massage be done regularly and may recommend frequent massage at the beginning of a treatment session to help get the issue started to repair.
2. We don't care about how you body looks - but appreciate it being clean
Short answer: We do not judge if your body is fat, thin, hairy, or tatooed. However one thing that we do appreciate is if the body is clean. While it may be nice to work out and then immediately recover with a massage, sweat and dirt can make it harder to do the needed massage strokes and manipulations.
More details: Some people shy away from massage because they are self-conscious about the way their body looks - the size, shape, hairiness, etc, which Massage Therapists have no problem with. We do not judge bodies' appearance. However basic human courtesy such as keeping your body clean and odor-free when someone else touches you is greatly appreciated by the person that has to touch you.
3. Let us know all the areas you want focus on at the beginning - not halfway through the appointment
Short answer: When a massage therapist starts a session, they structure it based on what areas need more time or focus according to the intake discussion. If the massage starts and you say "Oh, by the way, this also hurts" - it can throw off other areas getting the focus and time they need.
More details: Nothing is more frustrating for a Massage Therapist to have to change gears mid-massage. For example, if on intake, a client says they want focus on a back injury, so the therapist allots a certain amount of time for the back, but before then, the client adds "Oh, by the way... can you also fix this, this, this, and this?" That then takes the time that was allotted for the big thing and the the session gets rushed and not as complete. The same goes for any undisclosed medical conditions. That can also throw off an appointment if changes need to be made or a type of massage needs to be changed mid-appointment. Be upfront about everything at the start to make the session most effective and calm.
4. Sometimes where you feel pain isn't where the problem is - so trust us
Short answer: Muscles and nerves are very closely related, so just because you feel pain in a certain place, doesn't mean that is the location of the problem. We know where referred pain can come from, so trust us even if we aren't working exactly on your sore spot.
More details: Sometimes when a client comes in with a complaint, it is rarely something that hasn't been seen or studied before by the therapist. Massage Therapists have very in-depth knowledge of the body and how it is all connected. They know the paths that pain can travel, so just because pain if felt in one place, doesn't mean the pain isn't coming from another place. Trust your therapist if they aren't working in the exact spot you feel pain, or ask why they are working in that spot, and they should be able to explain it. However, don't repeatedly tell the therapist that they are in the wrong place - they probably know something that you don't.