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  • Writer's pictureakalawilson

Updated: Misconceptions About Massage

A tray holding massage oil, towels, and hot stones for a massage. Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay.

1. A Good Massage Has to Be Painful

When I ask many of my clients about the pressure they prefer, they’ll say they want it to hurt, otherwise they don’t feel like the massage is working. A good massage should not equal a painful massage, too much pressure can actually do more harm than good. Your massage does not need to be painful to be effective. This is because pain causes you to tense up, which is counterproductive to the therapist’s effort of trying to relax the muscle. In some instances, a deep tissue massage may cause some discomfort, sometimes described as a “good hurt”, but it should not cause intense pain.

2. I Don't Feel Different After My Massage

Over the years I’ve heard the phrase “massage does not do anything”. This statement is false, according to the AMTA; massage has many benefits such as increasing range of motion, aiding in post-op recovery, relieving stress, reducing muscle tension, improving sleep and many other health benefits. Although a massage has many benefits, it is important to remember that a massage cannot “fix” everything. In some cases, a massage will maintain a certain level of comfort for a client and prevent their pain level from increasing.

The benefits of a massage are more noticeable with consistency. Getting a massage on a regular basis will produce more positive results than getting a massage every once in a while.

A professional massage should never make you feel sexualized.

3. You Must Be Naked to Get a Massage

During your massage, you do not have to be naked. You can wear whatever makes you most comfortable. To get the most out of your massage, I recommend you remove your shirt and pants so the therapist has access to those areas.

4. Massages are Sexual

No, not in the slightest. Massages are a relaxing therapeutic experience. There should be nothing sexual in the way your therapist behaves with you. If this is something that worries you, I encourage you to communicate with your therapist. Requesting anything sexual or making any advances before, during, or after your massage is the quickest way to be banned from scheduling a massage.

5. All Massages Do the Same Thing

Many massages have the same results such as promoting relaxation and improving muscle flexibility but there are many different techniques. There are many different massage modalities that can be used such as deep tissue, Swedish, Lomi Lomi, hot stone, Thai and more. Most therapists customize the massage to fit the client’s current need. In addition to customization, each therapist has their own style that will differ with each therapist.

Deep tissue massage focuses on the deeper muscle layers and connective tissue in the body and is typically used with those who have prolonged issues or injuries. Deep tissue typically uses firm to heavy pressure that targets specific muscles. The benefits of deep tissue include, breaking up scar tissue, breaking down muscle adhesions and reducing chronic pain.

Swedish massage focuses on the superficial muscles of the body and typically light to firm pressure is used. This is the massage most people are familiar with. Some benefits of a Swedish massage are increased circulation, tension relief and improved muscle flexibility.

Thai massage consists of the client being clothed and lying on a mat as opposed to a table (although there is also table Thai). During a Thai massage the therapist will stretch and use compression on the client. Benefits are increased flexibility and ability to be fully clothed and still get max amount of benefits.

Hot stone massage consists of the therapist using stones that have been warmed to massage the body. Usually a popular massage during the winter months as it is warm and extremely relaxing. Hot stones are also a beneficial tool to use during deep tissue massage, because they warm up the muscles quicker allowing for deeper work to be done.

Lomi Lomi is a traditional Hawaiian massage that consists of continuous strokes along the client’s body.

6. Massages Are A Luxury

Massages are more than just a way to pamper yourself. Many clients include massages in their self-maintenance routine, or they get them to assist in recovery from an injury or surgery. Whether you decide to get a massage for stress relief or an injury, massage therapy is for anyone who needs help healing from the day to day wear-and-tear on their minds and bodies.

7. You Have To Leave Gratuity For A Massage

A common misconception when it comes to a massage service is that you have to leave a gratuity. If you decide you want to leave a tip after because you received great service, it is always appreciated and not expected.



2 Misconceptions about Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)

1. MLD is Draining Fluid From Incisions

With the increase of cosmetic surgeries such as BBLs (Brazilian Butt Lifts), liposuction and tummy tucks, I have witnessed an increase in requests for MLD. The expectation is that the therapist will reopen the client's incisions and drain fluid from them. This is not the case. Reopening incisions in order to drain fluid is not manual lymph drainage or lymph drainage massage. Reopening incisions is also outside the scope of a practicing massage therapist, at least in the state of Michigan. Manual lymph drainage is the art of using pathways called anastomoses to “drain” fluid into healthy lymph nodes.

2. MLD Uses Heavy Pressure

I often encounter clients who are fearful of a post-op lymph drainage session. They assume the process will be painful and think they should take pain medication prior to the appointment. A lymph drainage massage should not use heavy pressure or cause extreme pain. Lymph drainage uses very light pressure along specific lymphatic pathways.

Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions about your future massage appointment. You can book your appointment online with me or by calling 989-980-2161.


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