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Massage therapist performing a deep tissue massage on a man

January 31, 2023 at 8:33 am | 6 Massage Therapy Myths — and the Real Facts

How much do you know about massage therapy? Massage as a health and relaxation technique dates back thousands of years, so most people know a few facts about the practice or have even mastered some basic massage techniques. But are the facts you know actually true, or have you fallen for any of these frequently spread massage misconceptions? Read on to discover a few common myths about massage therapy — and the truth behind the fiction.

Myth: All Massage Therapy Is the Same

When you watch a massage happen, it can look very repetitive to the untrained eye, no matter what type of technique the massage therapist is using. However, this doesn’t mean all massage therapy is the same. There are various kinds of massage therapy, including deep tissue, Swedish, sports, and prenatal massage therapy, just to name a few. If you’re thinking about scheduling a massage, make sure to check out our piece on Swedish vs. deep tissue massage to learn more about the differences and similarities between these techniques. 

Myth: Massages Only Target Muscles

A good massage doesn’t merely reduce soreness in your muscles. Getting a massage has many other benefits, too! Receiving regular massages will…

  • Increase circulation
  • Promote healing for tired muscles and joints
  • Reduce or even eliminate tension headaches
  • Relieve pain and discomfort caused by nerve problems (such as sciatica)
  • Help reduce symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Improve posture
  • Induce relaxation

Myth: Massages Eliminate Cellulite

In the list of all the massage benefits above, you may have noticed that fat loss wasn’t one of the perks of massage therapy. That’s because getting a massage has no effect on your body’s fat composition. However, massage therapy can be part of a specific weight loss plan when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. For instance, you might rely on massage therapy as a method of reducing painful soreness after a hard workout. Because getting a massage increases blood flow to your muscles, you’ll be able to heal faster and get back to the gym sooner.

Myth: Massages Can Worsen Cancer

One of the most perplexing myths heard by massage therapists is that some people avoid massages for fear of spreading cancer cells throughout their bodies. This myth definitely sounds scary, but thankfully, it’s a total misconception. No evidence has ever been found that massaging tissue releases toxins or cancer cells in this way; in fact, many oncologists actually recommend massage therapy for cancer patients.

Another closely related myth is that the effects of massage therapy can cure cancer. As wonderful as it would be for this to be true, it’s unfortunately false. There is a specific field of massage therapy (oncology massage) that is designed with cancer patients in mind, but it’s designed to target symptoms such as aches and pains. In addition, since getting a massage reduces stress, massage therapy can provide a mental respite from the intense and emotionally fraught process of cancer treatment.

Myth: Pregnant? Skip the Massage

Pregnant women are often in serious pain during their time carrying a child to term. This pain can present itself as neck, back, and leg pain or other difficult symptoms. However, some pregnant women are hesitant to schedule massage therapy because they fear harming their little one before he or she is born.

Here’s some good news for all the moms-to-be out there: when performed by experts, massage therapy during pregnancy can still be safe and effective. Of course, it’s important to check with your doctor before scheduling a massage if you are pregnant or have specific health conditions, but there are many benefits to pregnancy massage, and special techniques are used during the process to protect you and your baby. 

Myth: Massages Are Painful

One massage myth that’s persisted for years is that massages are supposed to be painful. Because of this myth, some people worry about disrupting the process of massage therapy by requesting the therapist change or alter a technique they are using. However, if you are in pain, speak up! If the pressure your massage therapist is applying is too uncomfortable, let them know how to make you more comfortable. They’re here to help you, after all.

A massage doesn’t have to be painful the day after you get it, either. Some people use massages as a way to relieve stress and expect a feeling of post-workout soreness the morning after a massage session. But just because you aren’t sore the morning after doesn’t mean your massage didn’t work. The benefits are still there, even if you aren’t “feeling the burn.”

Stop By SV Massage Today!

Now that you know the truth about massage therapy, it’s time to schedule your appointment at SV Massage! Our talented therapists are always happy to help you find what works best for your body’s needs. Give us a call or book a massage online anytime. We’re excited to hear from you!

Young woman with a tension headache working in a public workspace

December 13, 2022 at 8:35 am | What Are Tension Headaches, and What Are the Best Ways to Treat Them?

You know how annoying it can be if you’ve ever had a headache. The repeated throbbing in your head can make even accomplishing the most basic tasks feel like wading through a battlefield. If you have tension headaches or have ever struggled with them, you know how miserable it can make your life. Fortunately, there are plenty of solid solutions that won’t cost a fortune and can help you return to normal. Explore the world of tension headaches and how to prevent them from taking a toll on your everyday life.

What Are Tension Headaches?

One of the most common forms of headaches, tension headaches, can range from highly annoying on the lower end to extremely painful on the high end. This headache is caused by pain or discomfort in the head, neck, or scalp, usually resulting from muscle tightness in these areas.

When your neck and shoulder muscles tense up or contract, it’s often a reaction to depression, stress, anxiety, or some bodily injury. Tension-type headaches can also result from keeping your head in one steady position for an extended period like one would do during their daily work shifts. It can also result from sleeping in a cold room or with your neck in an abnormal position. Other things that might cause you to experience a tension headache include:

  • Physical or emotional stress
  • Too much caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
  • Sinus infections, the cold, or flu
  • Excessive smoking
  • Fatigue or eye strain
  • Alcohol use

How Do You Know That You Have Tension Headaches?

For many people, symptoms of tension headaches can be described as:

  • Tight bands around the head
  • A dull throbbing that feels like a build-up of pressure
  • Pain all around the head and not just in one set location
  • Pain that worsens in the scalp, temples, or back of the neck and can reach as far as the shoulders
  • Pain that worsens with stress, fatigue, or loud noises
  • Difficulty sleeping

Individuals are usually diagnosed based on a few criteria. As described, the pain is usually a pulsating feeling with high intensity. For most, tension headaches aren’t debilitating, but they can make it tougher to work or sleep comfortably. If further evaluation is needed, it’ll be completed with an MRI or CT scan to give your doctor a clearer picture.

What Are Some Ways to Treat Tension Headaches?

Now that you know a tension headache is the cause of your stress, what can you do about it? Doctors will recommend solutions, of course, but there are lifestyle and self-care remedies you can perform at home to help soothe your stress. Additionally, don’t discount the impact a good massage can have on your condition! Applying these methods is your best bet to find a surefire solution and prevent tension headaches from occurring once more. 

Home and Self-Care Remedies

Healthy lifestyle choices seem to be the best way to solve many life problems, right? Making healthier choices can mean incorporating things like regular exercise or eating nutritious meals regularly. 

It can also mean avoiding large caffeine amounts to avoid withdrawal or getting adequate amounts of sleep each day. Apply ice or a heating pad to sore muscles, and work on bettering your posture at work so you don’t strain your neck, shoulder, or back.

Support Methods

For those struggling with chronic tension headaches, consider talking to a professional therapist or counselor for more help in dealing with the mental and physical toll they can take. Join a support group of other people having trouble with tension headaches to keep you aware of the latest treatment methods and facilities.

Medicinal Methods

Have you tried alternative medical methods to help ease your symptoms? Acupuncture is a great way to relieve your symptoms, or you can take advantage of your job’s on-site massage therapist. Massages are also effective ways to ease stress in your entire body, relieve tender and tight muscles, and bring you the relaxation you never thought possible. Try other methods like deep breathing and biofeedback, which a qualified therapist can help you with!

Relax Your Mind and Body With SV Massage Therapy

A relaxing massage can take the sting out of any condition, and we have all you need at SV Massage Therapy. Enjoy a calming and soothing massage at an affordable rate with our team of massage therapists. Reach out to our team for a comprehensive back, neck, and shoulder massage and keep your tension headaches to a minimum. Schedule your appointment today!

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