- Posted by Andrea
- On October 18, 2016
All too often have I seen clients in my clinic with severe bruising all over their bodies from massages provided in other clinics. I am told these were often very painful massages and the bruising would last for weeks.
‘No pain – No gain’ is a Fallacy in massage therapy
I have on occasion had clients ask me for extra firm massages referring to the old saying “no pain – no gain”. However, in my experience this is not the case.
Pain equals absolutely no gain when it comes to massage. The body heals best when it is in a relaxed state, and if a massage causes pain then the body will go into a fight and flight state during which healing does not occur.
Even a deep tissue massage or trigger point therapy should not cause pain. Yes it can be more uncomfortable than a relaxation massage, but I always tell my clients that it should only feel comfortably uncomfortable. Certainly never painful. I still want my clients to breathe slowly and deeply through their massage as holding their breath or sharp sudden intakes of breath certainly create that fight and flight response.
You should never feel pain more than 7 out of 10 on the pain scale during a massage.
If you are taking blood thinners or you have a low platelet count, then you may be more susceptible to bruising.
It is this type of important information your massage therapist should be made aware of prior to commencing your massage. We insist on our clients completing a health summary before the therapist begins massage – even for a relaxation massage.
If your massage therapist is not familiar with your medical history then they are not in a position to provide a massage that is safe and compatible for your state of health.
The importance of providing a health summary
ALWAYS keep your massage therapist updated on your medical history. This includes any medications you may be taking, and injuries you have or have had in the past. No matter how trivial any of this may seem to you, any qualified massage therapist would want to know all of it in order to provide you with a safe massage that is beneficial to you.