Massage Therapy – Not Just A Rub Down

I had a friend call me for a massage since she was having a lot of neck and shoulder pain. Unfortunately, I was out of town and of course could not help. She decided to call a place in town since she had a coupon for a cheap massage. Suffice it to say, I called her back to see how she was feeling the next day and she explained that she was in more pain than before she had the massage. I asked her to explain as best she could what the therapist did for her pain. She stated the massage therapist just “dug” in real deep into the area that was already painful. No pain, no gain the therapist said, and of course not knowing, my friend thought she was doing the right thing since that’s where she was having pain.

This is a very typical scenario when you’re in that kind of pain and the massage therapist who is probably inexperienced (of course with all good intent) and only worked mostly on the areas of pain. The fact is if you start to “dig” into the area of pain  you can and will make the problem worse. So, what should your massage therapist do?

1. Whole body evaluation in order to find the muscular imbalances that are causing your pain. This may include a postural assessment.

2. Check for flexibility and range of motion of the muscle/joint.

3. Stretches to do at home/self care techniques.

Often times a quality massage therapist is certified in Myofascial Release or Neuromuscular Therapy or is trained in some type of advanced manual therapy technique in order to stop pain due to muscle imbalance. These techniques take time and frequently neglected.  Remember, healing is a process and takes time to heal especially if you want lasting relief. There is no QUICK FIX!