Have You Heard This Before?

I was taught some things in massage school that I have learned over the years, are just not true. It sounded good and in theory seemed right, but scientists have done actual research to debunk some of the myths that massage therapists promote. Here are some of those:

Myth #1 – The sign of a really good massage is that you feel quite sore the day after

Everyone is different and some people are more sensitive than others but just because you don’t feel sore the next day doesn’t mean you had a bad massage.  The sign of a good massage is that you feel better than you did before – it may take a while to feel the full benefits but you should experience some of the following:

  • Relaxation
  • Renewed energy
  • Increased mobility
  • Less pain
  • Better sleep
  • Alertness
  • Reduction in headaches

Myth #2 – You shouldn’t have a massage if you’re pregnant

Massage Therapy does not induce an early labor and is perfectly safe for both mother and baby during normal pregnancies.  It can be extremely beneficial for the Mom-to-be and offer a way to relax and unwind during a physically and mentally tiring time.  Post-natal massage can be equally beneficial too.  Ask your Massage Therapist about prenatal massage.

Myth #3 – Massage will get rid of cellulite

If Massage Therapists could really banish cellulite we’d never see a dimpled thigh ever again. However, cellulite is persistent subcutaneous fat and it’s appearance, mainly in women, is determined by hormonal factors, genetics, diet and lifestyle.  Eating a healthy, low fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber and taking regular exercise is the best option to prevent and reduce the appearance of cellulite.  Massage is an excellent addition to your healthy lifestyle and wellness routine.

Myth #4 – Toxins can be flushed out of the body via Massage

This is an interesting  myth as it’s probably the most popular.  The body processes excess waste (by-products of food, drink, airborne pollutants etc.) in a variety of ways i.e. sweat, urine, feces, or if you’re ill by vomiting.

Your liver, kidneys and skin do a remarkable job of getting rid of these ‘toxins’ on a daily basis.

Massage does, however, increase blood supply to various parts of the body and can regenerate a lack-luster circulation.  This may be what is actually being referred to.  Drinking water is a pleasant thing to do after a massage and is a great reminder to drink more fluids that aren’t laced with sugar, coloring or other additives.

Myth #5 – You shouldn’t get a massage if you have cancer

Until recently, it was thought that the action of massage could actively spread cancer cells throughout the body.  However, we now realize that cancer cells are caused by the body’s immune system malfunctioning and cells that turn cancerous will do so regardless of massage therapy stimulus.  If massage did cause cancer cells to move through the body then the same could be said of any form of exercise.

If you ever have any concerns. please do not hesitate to discuss these concerns (in private) with your massage therapist.

Posted in 2013.

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