5 Common Myths and Worries About Massage Therapy

The benefits of massage are clear. But with so much misinformation floating around online — not to mention personal opinions — other aspects of massage are not as clear.To help you make the best healthcare decisions for yourself, here are some of these myths about massage therapy and what you should know about them. 

Myth 1: Massage and Massage Therapy Are the Same

Massage therapy is a proven therapeutic technique designed to realize a specific goal. Massage, on the other hand, is a more general wellness technique to reduce stress and improve overall discomfort. Both have their purposes and their roles, but the provider approaches them in very different ways. A massage therapist works with the client to identify and target certain medical needs and complement other treatments. 

Myth 2: Women shouldn’t get massages while they are pregnant 

What?! There is a grossly incorrect misconception that massage will cause early labor or miscarriage. I even had a client worried about having a certain pressure point avoided at all costs. No, no, no people. Massage has been around for centuries. Therapists don’t go around setting ladies off into labor left and right. Massage does no such thing.In fact, massage therapy can be very helpful to expectant mothers because it helps improve circulation. Better blood circulation and lymph movement often reduce swelling associated with pregnancy. And the therapist will work to soothe sore muscles and reduce the discomfort of pregnancy.

Myth 3: Massage Therapy Is Painful

Have you or a friend had a massage that was uncomfortable — or downright painful? If so, you may be understandably reticent to try it again. But massage therapy doesn’t have to hurt in order to work. A skilled therapist will work muscles and manipulate portions of the body according to what the client is comfortable with. They won’t force you to go beyond what you wish to do. No one in a massage therapy session is expected to just endure pain, and the adage of ‘no pain, no gain’ isn’t the goal. Instead, you work as a team with the therapist to identify your goals and challenges. The therapist may work up slowly to certain goals or they may recommend multiple less-intensive sessions to achieve the same effect as a harder workout. 

Myth 4: Massage Therapy Is Only for Muscle Pain

Certainly, massage therapy’s primary target is the muscles in your body. But these are far from the only part that it can help. The deep treatment of a good massage therapist works with the fascia that connects various elements of your body. It can aid with the flow of lymph to reduce inflammation. Pressure points may help fight off migraine and other headaches. And increased blood flow speeds healing. Many people use massage therapy alongside chiropractic care to improve the effects of both treatments. By loosening up the body and reducing inflammation, for instance, you may find better results from chiropractic adjustments on the bones and joints.

Myth 5: Getting a massage can spread cancer

Just as the health of an unborn baby is of great concern to those It was once thought that massage could spread cancer cells throughout the body. Cancer cells form due to a malfunctioning immune system and would form regardless of having the area massaged or not. Massage increases circulation but does not cause cancerous cells to “move” or spread. If that were the case, simply exercising would spread cancerous cells.Rather than avoiding massage therapy if you have cancer, consider adding it to your treatment plan. All the beneficial effects, such as improved circulation and help with headaches, can help you feel better during cancer treatment. 

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