So you're pregnant and have been researching ways to facilitate a healthy pregnancy and potentially lead to an easier birth experience? If you are reading this post, you have likely come across a lot of the information about how beneficial prenatal massage is, but if you haven't here is the link to my post about it. Unfortunately, what many of those posts don't tell you is that not all massage therapists doing prenatal massage are actually qualified to offer it. Many establishments that offer prenatal massage are so worried about letting your money walk out the door, that they will assign you to a therapist who is not qualified rather than having you wait for someone who is. It happened to me all the time when I was working in day spas fresh out of massage school and had very little instruction in working with pregnant people. So, before you schedule that prenatal massage there are some questions that you may want to ask your massage therapist to find out if they are actually qualified to perform your massage. Here are my 5 signs that your massage therapist should not be performing prenatal massage:
After having some rather interesting conversations with clients about previous sessions with other massage therapists, I have found that there is a bit of a lack of knowledge about your rights as a client. There are several things about receiving massage that you may or may not know. Anytime I see a client who is new to massage, I walk them through what they need to know before the session begins, so for those of you who do not have massage therapists who did the same for you, here is my list of things that every massage client should know.
One of the most common questions that I get asked is "How often should I receive massage?". This is a great question, and one that I really cannot give a direct answer to. There are many factors that go into deciding how often to get a massage, which makes the answer different for each person. When trying to figure out the best frequency for yourself, there are 3 basic questions that you need to ask. First: What are you coming in for? Second: What is your budget? Third: How open is your schedule? In this post, we will explore how to answer each of these questions, and with that information, you should be able to make a better informed decision as to how often to come in.
I am a fan of massage therapy. There are so many benefits both physically and mentally, and it can be a great addition to your healthcare and to treatment plans for many diseases and disorders. That being said, there are times when massage is not an appropriate choice. Many of the things on this list may come as a surprise, and can sometimes be avoided, which is why I think it is so important to share them.
First, let's start with a little bit of terminology. The first terms I would like to introduce are indicated vs. contraindicated. If something is indicated, it means that it is safe and appropriate. If something is contraindicated, it means that it is inappropriate for the situation and potentially unsafe. Next we have systemic vs. local. Systemic refers to the entire body, while local refers to a specific area. So, if you have a systemic contraindication, all massage is inappropriate. If you have a local contraindication, massage is indicated except at the area affected.
In today's post, we will go over instances of both systemic and local contraindications to help you know if massage is the right choice for you.
One kind of massage therapy that I offer which many of you may not be aware of is scar tissue therapy. We all have scars. Scar tissue is the result of your body trying to heal itself quickly, so any time we injure ourselves, scar tissue can build up even if we don't see it or are not aware of it. The larger the injury, the more scar tissue builds up. In this blog post, I will talk about what scar tissue is and how massage therapy can be used to help.
What is Scar Tissue?
As I said above, scar tissue is the result of the body trying to heal itself quickly. Let's use the analogy of a brick wall. In order to build a wall, first the bricks and mortar must be created. Once you have those, you begin by laying down some mortar and placing the bricks evenly along it. You are careful to line them up properly and apply more mortar between each brick and the next, and you smooth the mortar out making sure that it isn't sloppy. When you are finished, you have a strong wall that looks pretty nice. Your body is constantly renewing itself. Old cells die and are replaced by new ones. This happens over time and your body can make sure that all of the cells are well formed and lined up properly
Back in January, I wrote this post about the differences between deep tissue vs. deep pressure massage. Todays post takes that topic and expands it beyond massage therapy. The topic in question is that of pain.
Pain is not normal. It should not be a normal part of your day and you shouldn't feel pain during activity or rest. Pain is our body's way of letting us know that something is wrong. Unfortunately, we have been conditioned to believe that pain means we are getting something done. We are bombarded by phrases like "No pain, no gain", or "Pain is good, extreme pain is extremely good", and fitness videos and infomercials encourage us to work until we "feel the burn", and then sometimes work even harder. I'm not sure when we took such a wrong turn in our thinking, but I am constantly working to change the perception that pain is a normal part of life.
Back in May, I posted a blog about things that people may get embarrassed about that their massage therapist won't judge. With any new experience it can be hard to know how to act or what to expect, and while there are a lot of things that you shouldn't worry about, there are certain niceties that really should be exercised.
Below you will find a list of do's and don't of getting a massage. If you have not followed them to this point, have no fear. All behavior and information is new to us at some point. The point is to not continue behaviors that may be seen as rude or unhelpful. Most of these are not things that people do out of malice, which is why I try not to encourage shame, but rather educate for future exchanges.
Whenever I see a new client, the first thing they do before their massage is fill out a basic health history form. Most people don't mind, but occasionally I have a client who seems very put out at the idea that I would ask for health information. I have even have clients get upset about the form, telling me that it is none of my business what conditions they have and what medications they are on. I always tell people to never trust a massage therapist who doesn't do a health intake. There is some important information that we need to know in order to best serve you, for your protection, and also at times for our own protection. For this week's blog post, I want to address some of the things that I ask for on a health history form, and explain why I need to know them.
There are a number of reasons that people don't go to get a massage when they need one. In a previous post, we discussed what to expect at your first massage, and while I hope that it helped many people to feel more comfortable about going in, I am aware that there are still many things that people may worry or feel embarrassed or self-conscious about. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't one of those people once upon a time. This week, I present you with a list of common hang ups that your massage therapist truthfully won't care about or maybe even notice.
There are a lot of massage therapists out there. With so many, how do you know you are choosing the right one? Each therapist works differently, and while many of us have similar styles, none of us is exactly the same. Whether you have received a lot of massage, or are hoping to book your first, finding the right therapist can make or break the experience for you.
Here are a 5 tips for selecting a massage therapist to work with.
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to furthering women's health through bodywork and education, and helping women to have healthier lives and positive birth experiences.