The world is filled with misinformation about massage therapy as a practice and I’m here to set the record straight about the most common massage myths around.
As a practicing massage therapist for over a decade I have had the greatest privilege of working first hand with many clients who have the wrong idea about what it is that I do.
Let the record show…
Massage therapy is no joke. I work hard at my job and I take great pride in being able to help people understand their aches and pains and get them moving again.
However, there are always those who test my tolerance once in a while with the many ridiculous questions or comments I get about my profession. I have compiled a list of my favourite massage myths for your reading pleasure.
1. I am NOT A MASSEUSE
Nowhere in my job title does the word masseuse come up. I am a Registered Massage Therapist and I practice Massage Therapy. It says so on my diploma. Unless you work past 10pm, work in a “parlour” that has flashing neon lights and bars on it’s windows and doors, the business name is some form of asian slang like “Massage 4 U” and your “therapist” has a perfect manicure then you’re in the wrong place…
Don’t call me a masseuse.
2. Massage Therapists are a bunch of tree-loving, vegan, voodoo hippies
I love the outdoors and travelling but I could never be a vegan. Find out why here. I’m a science proof leads to facts type of individual. I know there are many therapists who love the idea of being categorized as “holistic healers” or “body workers”.
I don’t like those terms. They make me sound like a hippie who drops acid and believes I can heal someone just from believing or praying. No room for voodoo in my life. The term “holistic” simply means “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease”.
I do not aim or claim to heal any other part except the physical. As for “body workers”, see number 1 above.
3. A Massage Therapist’s aim is to hurt you, otherwise it doesn’t work
Deep Tissue massage. This one is a doozy. A part of me sometimes wonders if clients secretly just enjoying being hurt and therefore should maybe partake in some S&M action. If that’s the case, seek guidance elsewhere…
Let me explain. Most clients don’t like to feel pain. Some feel pain and take that to mean that it’s working. Unless I’m treating the tissues that have caused you to feel pain in the first place I’m not doing you any good. I can dig “deep” and cause pain anywhere on the body. That’s easy. I can even punch you in the throat for calling me a “masseuse” and you can feel pain. (see number 1 above)
To expand on this you can read my earlier post about pressure here.
4. Massage Therapists are mind readers
Equally important for clients to understand is the need to speak up.
For example, some clients can’t stop talking for an hour straight while others only give you one word answers. I can cater to both extremes but unless you give me more information about your particular issue or ailment, I cannot help you.
In most cases, if you leave and then complain afterwards, there is nothing I can do at that point to correct the issue.
5. One treatment magic
Not to mention there have been occasions where clients want to be fixed on the spot.
Chronic pain cannot be fixed in a hour.
As a result, years of abuse and neglect to your body will not get resolved in a hour, or two of 20 unless you actually make the effort to change your habits on a daily basis.
Therefore, unless you are willing to take full responsibility for your own life and how you treat yourself I cannot change that. I wish I could. However, my 12 years in the industry has taught me that nothing except self-care and self-awareness will change your daily habits.
So do yourself a favour and take my advice when I offer it. Take the proactive approach to your life.
meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective) word used to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be