Massage is an amazing way to aid your body and promote good health. Nowadays it's mostly associated with 'pampering' and special treat's - but it's also important to remember why and how massage has evolved. Massage will benefit your health, increase flexibility & circulation, it is detoxifying and will promote healthy skin and - most importantly - a calm mind. Holisticly.
Change is in the air...
I think one of the biggest changes over the last few months, has been the sudden awakening to massage and massage therapy. We as therapist have always known what the benefits are. Out training is on going, depending on our angle of interest.
However, where we are placed within the "health industry" and how we were regarded by the government has really woken our industry up.
When it came to reopening business after the first lockdown, Sports and Soft tissue therapy was grouped with Massage Parlours and Spas. So, with a lot of lobbying - we have changed that. We are fully aware that we have to work harder to be respected for it. As an industry, we are going above and beyond to make sure our clients are safe.
Track & Trace
Track & Trace has been one of the biggest changes, besides wearing a mask and PPE equipment. I realise there are different standards depending on where you go, but as a soft tissue therapist and a member of the Sports Therapy Organisation, we have certain standards to which we have to follow. As things develop and change, these too will also develop and change.
The Benefits of Massage
What is massage?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Depending on the massage, it can be done using hands, fingers, thumbs, forearms, elbows, knees and even feet. Pressure may range from light stroking to deep pressure.
Benefits of massage
Considered a part of complementary and alternative medicine, Massage is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Despite its benefits, massage is not a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you're trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.
Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. It is a great way to help deal with anxiety, and digestive disorders. As well as fibromyalgia, headaches, stress related insomnia, myofascial pain syndrome, Paresthesias and nerve pain, Soft tissue strains or injuries, and temporomandibular joint pain. It will improve blood and lymphatic circulation which in turn helps promote good skin and hair.
“The physician must be acquainted with many things and most assuredly with rubbing”
- Hippocrates (‘Father of Medicine’), Greece in 460 BC
When can I get a Massage?
Relaxing, non-invasive, and natural, massage is an amazing way to aid your body. It will help with aches and pains. Calm your system. Get you through pregnancy, prepare you for sporting events and then help you recover. But it is not a replacement for regular medical care. And there are times when it is not advised to have a massage. Chat to your doctor about this. or at least to double check with your doctor. To help you decide, I have listed some examples of contraindications below. If you are still unsure, just get in touch.
When you have any of these conditions, please do not book a massage:
Contagious diseases - including colds or flu, no matter how mild it may seem
If you feel you have been in contact with / or have Covid -19, pleased follow the recommended steps to take.
Under the influence of drugs or alcohol-including prescription pain medication
Recent operations or acute injuries
Neuritis - damage to the peripheral nervous system
Botox & Fillers - if you have had it in the last 3 months, you cannot have a Natural Face Lift massage
Other Contraindications to consider:
Diabetes: Please make sure you eat at least 1.5 hours before you're massage and you bring any necessary equipment with you, eg: insulin, glucose.
Pregnancy: You need to wait until you have passed your first trimester (12 week) or have had your first scan.
Recent injury: Ice it for 72 hours and allow the inflammation to reduce before booking a treatment.
The medical term for healing crisis is the "Herxheimer Reaction." This occurs when the cells release toxins into circulation but the elimination organs (skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, bladder & GI tract) are not able to eliminate them quickly enough.
The healing crisis is very natural and unique for everyone. Most people experience very mild symptoms while others experience severe issues. You need to understand that these symptoms are temporary and will subside as the body gets healthier and toxins are eliminated. Symptoms usually reduce or are eliminated within two to three days but on rare occasions can last a few weeks. You may experience:
stiffness, aching muscles, tiredness
Shivery - this is due to blood capillaries opening up to increases blood flow to the muscles and the skin surface
frequent visits to the toilet - this allows your body to get rid of waste
runny nose / coughing - again this allows your body to get rid of toxins
your body is in a repairing phase and might take some time to re-adjust.
Try not to:
Have a heavy meal after a treatment - allow 4-6 hours. Your body is in a healing state and is resting - massage stimulates the digestive system and therefore might make you feel nauseous.
The same goes for caffeine drinks (tea, coffee, red bull) or stimulants and Alcohol and Smoking. Really you should give them a 12-24 hour rest.
Rush around - exercise vigorously - allow a few hours. This will limit the effects of the massage.
Ignore your body's messages. You might feel faint, tired and / or thirsty.
Do try to:
Wrap up warm when leaving.
Have a bath, read a book, listen to soft relaxing music, have an early night - to continue the relaxation process.
Drink plenty of water. We are 90% water. The brain and heart are about 73% water. The lungs are about 83% water. Your body might have been drained of lymphatic waste and toxins which may result in being thirsty and the water will help flush all the waste and toxins away. Water will help the detoxifying process and to rehydrate your body. Look into ways of filtering metals out of your drinking water.
Water literally is life.
Check out your work set up, and think about the little things you can do to reduce stress in your life.
Let me know how you felt after the massage, what surprised you.
Come back if you can, massage can help you re-train the system. But it is a gradual process. It's how we work. As humans.