Myth 1: Massage is just for relaxation.
Truth: There are a just few massage techniques specifically applied for relaxation, such as Swedish massage. However, there are many massages specifically geared for clinical benefits, such as to relieve pain and tension, treat injuries, reduce symptoms from medical conditions, prevent injuries, and improve overall quality of life. A few examples of these are injury massage, medical massage, sports massage, and deep tissue massage.
If you would like both therapeutic and relaxation benefits, your Massage Therapist can always include techniques to reduce stress hormones and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, making you feel relaxed, while still performing clinical techniques to achieve your therapeutic goals. So you can get treatment for an injury, for example, and still get the relaxation benefits of feeling like you just went on vacation.
Myth 2: Massage should hurt.
Truth: Out of a pain scale of 1-10, 1 being barely noticeable pain and 10 being the worst pain imaginable, the most a massage should feel is a 7, where it is uncomfortable, but never to the point of “ouch!” When a massage reaches beyond a 7, your body goes into fight or flight and tries to protect the area by tightening, making the problem worse! For massage, the saying, “no pain, no gain” should never be followed!
If you ever feel pain during a massage at any point and the therapist is not in tune with you enough to know they should lighten up, say something! Take the responsibility to inform the therapist, so they do not continue hurting you or others!
Myth 3: Massage is sexual or a form of prostitution.
Truth: In the late 1800’s, many massage schools undereducated and overproduced massage students, saturating the industry and leading to false advertisement and prostitution under the guise of massage. This led to the social distinction between a “Massage Therapist,” who performs therapeutic massage and bodywork, and a “Masseuse,” who is performing sexual favors under the guise of massage therapy.