Five Massage Myths Busted
You might think you know all there is to know about massages – but some myths still seem to hang around, and we’ve probably heard them all. Here are a few we hear all the time…busted!
Massage can spread cancer
One of the biggest and possibly most enduring myths puts a lot of people off massage that could really benefit from it. The myth is that having a full body massage can spread cancer because it stimulates your lymphatic system, which produces white blood cells to fight infections.
There is absolutely no evidence that cancer can be spread by massage, of course. Manipulating tissue in the way a massage therapist does won’t make tumor cells move, and not only is having massage therapy non-harmful for cancer patients, it’s actually good for most of them.
Don’t get a massage if you are in your first trimester of pregnancy
Massage is great in pregnancy, and the best thing is that it’s perfectly safe in all trimesters and can be really beneficial. Having a massage absolutely won’t bring on early labor or a miscarriage. Even so, you should always tell your massage therapist if you are pregnant when you attend for your massage so that she can adapt the techniques.
There are some essential oils that aren’t recommended in the first or last trimesters, too, so when you book an aromatherapy massage, let the therapist know in advance. Other than that – lie back and enjoy being spoiled.
Massage removes toxins
Massage therapy has many benefits, but although this myth is still repeated – sometimes even by therapists – it’s not true. Massage doesn’t detoxify your body at all. True toxins are thin. gs like mercury, lead or botulinum toxin which are dangerous to your body, and massage won’t help you if you need to eliminate any of those! The truth is, your body is very efficient at filtering most waste products and unwanted substances out of your body using your lymphatic system, and ultimately by your kidneys and liver.
Massage could possible help your body to expel the by-products of your muscles post-exercise, like lactic acid, but in truth, your body is perfectly capable of doing that all by itself.
Soreness is a sign of a good massage
Soreness is no indication of how good your massage treatment has been. The amount of discomfort you feel the following day isn’t a badge of honor. If it’s your first ever massage (or first in a long time) or you’re not very active, you might be a little bit sore after a session, but although it’s nothing to worry about, it’s not compulsory and if you don’t feel anything at all, that’s great! If you’re used to regular massage therapy you’re unlikely to feel sore afterwards.
You don’t need to drink extra water after a massage
This one is a definite myth! You really do need to drink water after your massage and that’s why we offer it to you. Drinking water after a massage will keep you hydrated, and stop you getting any soreness. Drinking plenty of fluids also helps to get your lymph fluid moving, which is one major plus point of a massage.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have a massage every day of the week? Sadly, most of us don’t have the time or the money to indulge in quite such a regular massage routine, but we can make the most of massage treatments by taking care of ourselves in between massages.
First rule – drink the water!
There’s a reason why your therapist gives you a refreshing glass of cool water after a treatment; it’s to help hydrate your body and keep your muscles relaxed. Water is great for your skin and your muscles, plus staying hydrated can even help to prevent headaches.
Keep up with the stretching
It’s a very common problem, but there’s a very simple solution…if you are one of the many people who feel achy and tight after a day at work, stretch!If you make a habit of including stretching in your daily routine, it will really help you with any muscle aches and soreness, and will make the effects of your massage last longer. In between sessions, having a good stretch helps support the work that’s been done to relax your muscles on the treatment table. It doesn’t matter when you fit your stretches in, as long as you make a habit of it.
Stretches shouldn’t ever hurt, so don’t overdo it. Easing into stretches gently, and holding them for at least a minute will give you better results than shorter, deeper stretches.
Epsom salt baths are great for keeping any muscle aches and stiff joints at bay – they contain magnesium which is also good for relieving stress. To prevent soreness after a massage, add Epsom salts to your bath as directed and relax.
Heat or Cold
In between massages you might start feeling that tell-tale build-up of tension – nip it in the bud with heat therapy. Applying heat can help to sooth aching muscles and relieve any tightness and tension. Heat can also improve and stimulate blood flow to the area. Try a heat pad, or heat up a damp towel in the microwave using 30 second intervals to check the temperature.
If you injure yourself in between massage sessions, try using cold therapy to numb the pain. Cold therapy is good for strains, sprains and other minor injuries (if you’re unsure, or are in serious pain, see your healthcare provider).
One last and very important tip; make your massage sessions part of your regular self-care routine. If you’re unsure about how often you need a massage, the best person to ask is your therapist. She will know if you need extra sessions or just maintenance care, and will make sure your massage is tailored to your needs.