There are a great many therapeutic benefits of massage therapy, supported by the fact that massage therapy has been around for hundreds of years across various cultures. Just as there are many health and well being benefits to massage, there are quite a few massage myths that have been circulating as well.
We live and breathe massage therapy so Milk & Honey Massage are massive advocates, however, there are some myths out there that are a little misleading and need to be set straight; we’re sure you’ve heard a few of these before.
#1 – Massage therapy can help flush out toxins
This is a common misconception and as of today, there is no scientific evidence that concludes that massage can remove toxins. A healthy body has an effective way of processing excess waste such as by-products of food, drink and other pollutants in a few different ways, either through sweat, urine, faeces or by vomiting in some scenarios. What massage therapy does do is that it helps to increase blood flow and supply to various parts of the body which has its own health benefits, but by having your muscles massaged, it isn’t likely that more ‘waste’ products will be flushed out.
#2 – Massage therapy is the solution to cellulite
Cellulite is the bane of many women’s lives but it is nothing more than fat beneath the skin that appears bumpy because it pushes against the connective tissue which causes the skin above to pucker. Its appearance (or non-appearance) is determined by hormonal factors, genetics, diet and lifestyle; which is why even women with slim figures can have it. The only way to prevent or reduce the appearance of cellulite is through regular exercise and eating a healthy, low fat diet. Massage therapy cannot be used to ‘iron out’ the skin to make the tissues smoother nor can it push the fat out of your body! While massage therapy cannot be used to “fix” a cellulite problem, it can certainly aid in contributing to a healthy lifestyle and well being regime.
#3 – The sign of a good massage is that you feel sore the day after
Every person is unique and some people are more sensitive than others and prefer different levels of pressure. Just because you don’t feel sore the next day, it doesn’t mean you had a bad or ineffective massage. The real sign of a good massage is that you feel better than you did before the massage. It may take a little while to feel the full benefits but you should experience some of the following: relaxation; less muscle pain; renewed energy; increased mobility; better sleep; alertness and a reduction in tension and headaches.
#4 – Don’t have massages if you’re pregnant
There are benefits to getting massages during normal pregnancies with the necessary precautions. It offers mothers-to-be a chance to relax and rejuvenate during a physically and mentally tiring time. Post-natal massage can be equally beneficial, too. Just as it is safe to exercise with precaution, adjusting the type of exercise or the amount of exercise you do during a pregnancy, the same goes for massage therapy. Be sure to let your massage therapist know if you’re pregnant, and if you’re unsure, consult your doctor or massage therapist to get a full understanding of massage during pregnancy.
#5 – Massage spreads cancer cells
Massage does not cause cancer to spread. According to the Cancer Council, “researchers have shown that cancer develops and spreads because of changes to a cell’s DNA (genetic mutations) and other processes in the body. A light and relaxing massage can be safely given to people at all stages of cancel, however the tumour or treatment sites should be avoid discomfort or pressure on the affected area. Once again, if you have any concerns, make sure you consult your doctor.
It’s important that myths are critically examined with scientific evidence to separate fact from fiction. If you have any questions or have heard of some other misconceptions about massage, do let us know!