No Pain, No Gain? Should Massage Hurt?

In my honest opinion the simple answer is no. No, massage shouldn’t hurt.

However, there is a smudgy grey area in between pleasure and pain.

Your massage shouldn’t have you gritting your teeth or clenching your knuckles or gripping onto the table for dear life.

Although if this is something you personally enjoy then carry on!

If your massage treatment turns into something you no longer enjoy or don’t look forward to, you need to tell your therapist to use less pressure, because we are not mind readers! We won’t be offended. Everybody likes a different pressure and if you don’t communicate your preferences the therapist won’t know that you’re not enjoying your massage.

On some occasions a massage may feel a little tender or a little uncomfortable, these feelings are ok. Sometimes if you have an old injury, or you’ve been carrying around muscle tension for a long time, there can be some scar tissue and knots in your muscles. These can feel a little uncomfortable when being massaged and it is to be expected. But this shouldn’t be painful.

There are also times when you might feel a little sore after your massage, sometimes into the next day. Again, this will usually be because of the breakdown of some scar tissue or long term adhesions within your muscles. Usually the soreness will disappear within 24-48 hours leaving you feeling better than you were originally. This soreness is likened to the soreness that comes from doing a new exercise routine (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – DOMS).

In sports massage a lot of people think of the term “no pain, no gain”. I think this is a misleading saying. Yes there might be some uncomfortable moments that you need to get through to feel better, but there shouldn’t be pain. The same as exercise; you might feel uncomfortable and have to push yourself to finish, but there shouldn’t be pain. Pain would probably indicate an injury.

I believe massage should be healing, and most certainly allow you to relax in order for your body to do the hard work of repairing itself. And how can your body do that when you have to scrape yourself off the ceiling after a treatment?

Above all, massage should be an enjoyable experience and if you aren’t enjoying it then please let your therapist know.

This does go the other way as well, if you feel your therapist is being too gentle please also let them know!

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Card Machine

I’m pleased to let you know that my card machine arrived this morning. This means that I am now able to accept card payments!

Tight Hip Flexors

If you spend a lot of time in a seated position (i.e desk job/driving) then it’s quite likely that you will have tight hip flexors.

These are the muscles responsible for bending at the thigh/hip. So if you are constantly sat with your hips bent these muscles will constantly be in a contracted and shortened position, so of course they will be tight!

I would recommend taking regular breaks and having a walk around and a stretch in an attempt to remedy this tightness, along with a regular massage of course!

The bottom picture below shows what a hip flexor stretch looks like.

In the top picture the models knee is line with her hip. If you have extremely tight hip flexors you may feel some stretch in this position, but as this is the position your hips would be in when you are standing you probably won’t be stretching your hip flexors very much.

It may remind you of the more commonly seen quad stretch, which is similar, but done in a standing position.

Only one of the quadriceps muscles crosses the hip joint (the rectus femoris) and this is why simply doing a quad stretch won’t quite target the correct area.

If you really want to target the hip flexors you must move your hip in front of your knee. This then takes your hips into extension, which is the position to best feel the stretch.

You can deepen this by lunging forward onto your front leg, pushing your hips forward and leaning backwards (from the hips) slightly. You can also intensify this by squeezing your bum muscles (gluteals).

Your gluteals are functionally opposite to your hip flexors and when one muscle contracts the opposing muscle must relax. This is called reciprocal inhibition.

If you would like further information regarding stretches I can provide this as part of the aftercare you receive at the end of a massage treatment.

Footprints In The Snow…

Check your footprints in the snow!

If your prints are particularly turned out (i.e. you walk like a duck!) it could indicate that you have a tight piriformis muscle.

Tightness in the piriformis muscle can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can cause back, buttock and leg pain. But, not to worry! A massage and a few stretches should help to remedy that!

Buying Vouchers Online

You can now purchase vouchers for massage online!

Please follow this link to the secure checkout: Gift Up!

Vouchers are available in half hour or one hour increments, or you can purchase an Indian Head Massage voucher!

If you would prefer a physical gift voucher then please contact me to arrange.

 

Sciatic Nerve

This is your sciatic nerve!


It is the largest nerve in the body.
Sciatic pain can be caused from a variety of reasons. Perhaps an injury has damaged the nerve, or perhaps wear and tear means a bulging spinal disc is pressing on the nerve.
However sciatic pain may also be caused by muscle tension. The piriformis muscle, located in the buttocks, lies over the top of the nerve, so any knots or restrictions in the muscle fibres may put pressure on the nerve, triggering the pain.


The nerve runs all the way down your leg, so muscle tension anywhere along the path of the nerve could also contribute to sciatica.


Luckily muscle tension can be easily remedied with a massage!

Level 5 Sports & Remedial Massage Diploma

I am very proud to let everyone know that I have passed the theory and practical exams for the level 5 holistic, therapeutic, sports & remedial massage diploma that I have been studying since January. It has been a year of hard work, taking a very interesting (and challenging) course!