In order to get the most out of your massage treatment. There are a couple of things you can do.
- Arrive 10 minutes prior to your initial consultation to fill out paperwork.
- If you have any investigations or scans, or letters that have been obtained from other healthcare providers, it is useful if you bring these along.
- Read the two sections below on "how often should I get a massage?" and "how firm should a massage be?" These will give you useful information regarding what to expect and will ensure you are comfortable during your treatment.
1. How often should I receive massage?
The effects of regular massage is cumulative. While a single massage will be beneficial, several massages in succession provide a significantly greater benefit. A massage every week or two can make a big difference to your overall health and tension levels.
Regular massage is the best way to get the most out of your massage therapy. You really need to think of your body as a machine, like a car, and massage therapy as a regular tune up or service.
Regular monthly to six-weekly massage is extremely beneficial as part of an overall health maintenance program. Good nutrition and exercise are also essential. In your first treatment your therapist will discuss the best treatment program to suit your needs.
2. How firm should my massage be?
All forms of massage therapy involve pressure being applied to the body. To receive the maximum physical benefit from massage a level of mechanical stress must be imparted on the tissue. Depending on the type of massage you request, you may feel different sensations including; no pressure, moderate pressure, deeper pressure, or different stretching sensations.
With Remedial treatments, it is important that your therapist communicate with you during your treatment. This is to ascertain whether the techniques used are having the desired effect.
Everyone receiving massage will have their own perception of the pressure they like. Likewise everyone will have a slightly different perception of how a deeper tissue massage should feel. For this reason it is important that there is good two way communication between the treating therapist and patient.
Everyone's threshold of stress or pain is different. Some people prefer deeper pressure for an endorphin release and others want lighter work to help them relax. Some common feedback provided by patients is that deep massage on tight, chronically contracted muscles may feel good and bad at the same time.
At Advantage Healthcare and Physiotherapy we like to make a distinction between treatment stress and pain. It is important to remember that stress on the muscles will encourage a beneficial relaxation effect, feeling of warmth etc. Whereas, if you experience what you would call pain when massage is provided it can have a negative effect on the muscles and not allow the nervous system to relax. This can take away from some of the benefits massage can provide.
Trigger points (knots) are known to cause discomfort or pain in a variety of ways. The common way of treating trigger points is to apply direct pressure to the specific tight nodule in the muscle. By pressing into a trigger point it may elicit different sensations either at the point being pressed, or at a point which is away from where pressure is being applied.
If you feel sharp pain or different sensations during massage, you should let your therapist know because this may indicate inflammation, nerve damage or aggravation. If deeper pressure is required, the therapist will monitor your level of discomfort or the sensations your experiencing.
Be sure to make your pressure preference known to your therapist and don't hesitate to give feedback if you would like the pressure and depth of stroke adjusted. Do not tolerate too little, or too much pressure. Your role as the client is to inform your treating therapist as best you can with regards to your experiences during treatments.