12 Things You Didn’t Know About Massage

Posted on November 1, 2017 by Allissa Haines

Image of woman getting a massage

Only 32% of adult Americans got a massage in the past 5 years. And even fewer get massage regularly. So it’s not surprising that most people don’t know much about massage.

Here are some fun facts to build your knowledge:

Massage can help you sleep better. (Even if you don’t nap during the actual massage.)

When your back hurts, that might not be the only area that needs massage. Sometimes back pain comes from the hip, legs or even the abdomen.

Likewise, sometimes hand and arm pain is caused by dysfunction in the neck and shoulder. The body is so crazy and weird and neat-o!

You can stop a massage session at any time. You never cede control of your body. At any time during a massage you can say “no”, “stop”, or even “can you just work on my neck for the rest of the time and skip everything else?” If you are uncomfortable or feel like the therapist isn’t hearing your feedback, or if you just feel like the table is too hard and you have to pee and gosh, this is awful. You can end it.

Massage can help your mood. It’s been shown to be helpful in treating both anxiety and depression.

Massage doesn’t ‘detoxify’ your body. That whole thing is a silly myth. It was taught in many schools and you may have heard me say it, back before I knew better. But we know now that it’s just not true.

Massage is for every body. Big, little, old, young. Fake hip or ample arm waddle. It doesn’t matter. Even if you have complex health issues, I can probably find a way to provide safe and effective massage. Every body deserves access to safe, non-sexual touch. Period.

Deep tissue massage, or any massage, doesn’t need to be painful to be effective. For reals. Run screaming from any practitioner who insists there needs to be pain in a treatment.

Scars are living tissue that can be transformed with massage and other manual therapies, no matter how old they are. And they can be affecting you in places farther away from the visible scar than you’d ever suspect.

It’s OK to focus on certain areas of discomfort and not always get a full body session. If you only want your arms massaged, that’s fine, too. When I was in school, I performed a full hour massage just on my instructor’s calves. It was kinda awesome.

Your massage therapist loves feedback. I like to know if you hate having your feet touched, and if you looove having your ears massaged. I like knowing your musical preference and if you prefer to start face down or face up, or if you want a hot or cool pillow.

I’m also cool if you just want to chill and let me use my judgement to design the treatment.

Do you have questions about massage? Ask at your next appointment and I’ll answer all the questions you have!