100 lb. Club - OT - Massage therapy
Has anyone been for massage therapy before? I had been a few years back, the first time I was pregnant and with a different therapist and really I can't remember much about it. I have been having some back pain and some sciatic pain and so I thought I would try massage therapy and also physiotherapy. Anyway this morning was my first massage therapy appointment and I didn't enjoy it a whole lot. I have very tight shoulders and she was just digging away at them. I didn't say anything because I'm not sure if this is the way it is supposed to be. I don't know if she needs to dig at them to get them to loosen up. Then she was just digging into the spot where my sciatic pain is and that definately hurts more now than it did before I went in. The nicest bit was when she massaged my lower legs and feet. I don't know if I kept going if it would get better as the muscles loosened up. Any thoughts?
05-14-2008, 11:39 AM
You definitely should communicate your pain with your MT. She can probably already tell it hurts by your physical reaction (tensing up). But she needs to know if something she is doing is particularly painful or not. Depending on what needs to be done, some pain during the process helps the healing in the long run.
In the meanwhile, ENJOY it!!
05-14-2008, 12:25 PM
No, it's NOT supposed to hurt. That's BS. You might feel a bit of discomfort at times, as knots are worked out, but you should be able to breathe through it. Actual PAIN is wrong.
This was a topic with my supper club recently. A couple of girls said they never speak up if they're in pain. I say, balderdash! You're paying big bucks to feel better, not worse. BUT the patient/client has a responsibility to let the massage therapist know when the pressure is too great.
That said, the M.T. has a responsibility to LISTEN to the client/patient. I had one lady who refused to lighten up one time, and when I got a little less friendly-sounding in my requests to lighten up, she asked me if I was "in menses." EXCUSE ME?
"Oh," she said, "sometimes when women have their periods, their bodies are a little more sensitive to pressure." (Oh, I thought you were accusing me of PMS'ing, like my boyfriend does, right before I deck him for being a jerk.)
I assured her I was not "in menses" (ick!) and that massaging my internal organs would NEVER be acceptable to me, so lighten up, already! And she did.
I love massages. It's a fascinating practice, and it's interesting to see how everyone does them differently, with different techniques, pressure, etc. I like "collecting" 'em and finding out what each massage therapist thinks of the practice, what their specialties are, etc.
Massage is like pizza. Even when it's not great, it's still pretty good.
05-14-2008, 12:49 PM
If its painful to the point where I'm just flat out uncomfortable (not that "yeah right THERE! kinda pain), I speak up. I messed up my upper back/shoulder area and my MT really dug in under the blade. I was definitely sore for a couple of days, but it resolved the issue. I go every other month or so when I really feel things start to get out of whack and it helps tremendously.
If you are not able to relax and are tensing up, it won't be very beneficial, so I would say speak up. You know your pain threshold, not her.
05-14-2008, 01:56 PM
I get a massage every week for medical maintenance. I seldom enjoy it because it's uncomfortable, but it does loosen my muscles up. However, if what the MT is doing is at all painful, then it's definitely time to tell him/her. Uncomfortable--okay; painful--no way. I notice that when I go out of town and get a massage from someone else, my muscles often rebound that night or the next day because they've become used to what my regular MT does.
05-14-2008, 04:11 PM
No...you shouldn't be in pain. I would say something. I had to do massage therapy and physical therapy after a bad car accident. Sometimes it hurt and I would let him know and he would ease up. They will let you know if it has to be that hard. My MT had to dig in parts of my hip to "wake up" some nerves and stuff like that. I would say it hurt and he would just say "sorry, has to be that hard."
05-14-2008, 04:15 PM
For some people with chronic pain (e.g. ME) a massage IS going to hurt.
What happens with me is sometimes it hurts a lot, but feels better later.
However, a MT should be sensitive to your needs - most will tell you to tell them if the pressure is too much.
05-14-2008, 04:22 PM
I have to disagree that it should never hurt. Also we need to clarify if we're talking about theraputic massage vs. "feels good" massage. I get a massage every other week during my busy season and part of it is theraputic - the parts where my arms, shoulders, and wrists are worked on. There are times that it DOES hurt because of the pressure needed to work the tendons and joints.
There should always be clear lines of communication between you and the therapist, and pain should never be unbearable - if it's that bad, then the therapist should back off and schedule a 2nd or even 3rd session and work the problem areas over time. But in a therapeutic situation, some pain is possible, and is normal.
I have to disagree that it should never hurt. Also we need to clarify if we're talking about theraputic massage vs. "feels good" massage. I get a massage every other week during my busy season and part of it is theraputic - the parts where my arms, shoulders, and wrists are worked on. There are times that it DOES hurt because of the pressure needed to work the tendons and joints. .
See this is what I was kind of thinking. If it were just a matter of going and having someone rub my back and feet with some nice oils that would be nice but this because I'm having back problems related to my pregnancy and my thinking was that she's got to get into these muscles. I wouldn't say it was 45 minutes of pure agony but there were times when it was more than just uncomfortable it was painful. Then I had physiotherapy in the afternoon and talked to that therapist about it and he asked if I was going back and I said I didn't know. He said I might be able to tell more next week if it helped or not. I might try a different therapist, I don't know how comfortable I was going to this lady, I liked this one I went to a few years ago better. There is a woman at work who gets massaged regularly so I might talk to her about it and get her therapist's number. Thanks so much for everyone's replies!