Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty: 3 Questions to Answer Before Your Massage
Massage can be the ultimate quiet time. I know. Which is why I stay fairly muted throughout your massage, leaving you to the sound of soothing music and the feeling of sore, tight muscles being tended to during your time on my massage table.
What you may not consider, however, is the importance of NOT staying silent on your part — at least when you first arrive. Why? Articulating you pain, tightness, or injury helps me offer the kind of targeted massage that can make the difference between a bit of relaxation and actually helping you heal. The better the details you offer, the better I am able to narrow the search of what’s driving a particular injury or discomfort. At the same time, you will end up with up with a better understanding of the progress being made in these sessions. So what should you think about telling me either before showing up to your appointment or right after your arrival?
(1) At what point did you begin feeling pain?If you are a runner or do regular strength training workouts, battling a number of nagging musculoskeletal injuries at any time, try to pinpoint when new pains or changes in intensity took place. For example, did something change after your last workout or cardio session? Did you have an injury you tried to ignore but went ahead and worked it anyway?It’s important to let me know because all too often, the muscular pain you feel may be as a result of compensating for other injuries further up or down the kinetic chain.
(2) Offer up what makes the pain worse. I am going to want to know which movements cause flare-ups.For instance, if you know you have thinning meniscus in your knee, I will know that twisting your knee in any way might be painful. When during your exercise does a particular area start to hurt? Does running uphill, downhill or moving different directions (such as side-stepping with a tension band across your knees) make things worse? And is your injury worse at the start of the run or workout, during a certain time interval, or just afterwards?
(3) Location isn’t important only in real estate. It’s important to me when I massage you. Take note of where the pain is as specifically as possible. A good way to pinpoint a leg injury is to press on the sore muscle while rotating the leg or bringing the toes up and down. Being able to identify the exact location of an exercise or running-related nuisance will help me target the specific muscle fibers and help me better understand why the muscle has become aggravated in the first place.
Any health and wellness service provider thrives on background information so that he or she can not only customize their service, but help you heal as well. I thrive on getting the details of all this either when reserving your appointment online (there is a space for it when you are confirming the time) or upon your arrival. But even if it takes 5-10 minutes to verbally discuss all this with you before our session, I promise not to shorten the length of your massage. Because what you tell me will only make for a better experience, hopefully keeping you coming back for subsequent treatments on a regular basis.