Online massage booking        Find us on Facebook    Google+    twitter RSS

Should Massage Hurt?

Ask 10 therapists this question and you are likely to get 10 very different answers. Some therapists do not believe that massage should be painful, ever, and if you are in any sort of discomfort then you are being massaged too hard. Other are at the opposite end of the spectrum and if you are not squirming, squealing and wriggling as they beat the knots out of you then they are not going hard enough.

My answer….it depends.

If you are purely after relaxation massage at a day spa or for stress relief then you would be looking for a massage that is be blissful and pain free. If you have never had a massage before then this is probably the end of the pain spectrum that you can reasonably expect to receive.

You should not feel sore or uncomfortable that day (or the next morning) and any pain is an indication that the therapist wasn’t listening to you or your body.

However, I’m sure I gave one of those massage in 2004.

Deep Tissue massage of a woman's thighPeople who book in to see me are generally after remedial, deep tissue or sports massage and for this group of massage recipients then some degree of discomfort both during and after the massage should be anticipated. Sometimes you have to take one step back to move two forwards.

If you are suffering from a sore back or a stiff neck then myofascial restrictions and adhesive scar tissues need to be worked. Polishing the skin just isn’t going to cut the mustard even if it does calm the nervous system and relax the sympathetic nervous system. You need to get into the muscles (and other soft tissues such as ligaments and fascia) and disrupt their current condition in order to obtain the response that you are looking for.

Now although a deep tissue massage sounds as though it should be excessively painful, this is not necessarily the case. Deep tissue merely means working the deeper levels of tissue, working through superficial layers of fascia and muscle to achieve a change in the structure of the deeper tissues.

But while it needn’t be excessively painful, in reality it is almost always the case that it can be uncomfortable. Personally I do take issue with therapists who say that deep tissue massage should never hurt and feel that either they have never experienced genuine deep tissue massage or they are doing it wrong.

By the same token, though there are therapists who work at such a pressure and intensity that a client is literally bruised and in more discomfort than when they started the massage. “No pain – no gain” may the mantra of the therapist. This doesn’t sit comfortably with me but if it works for them and their clients then so be it. So long as they are genuine with their intentions, explain how they will work and warn their clients how they will feel after the massage then that’s ok with me.

It’s just not the way I work.

  
I like to work within the clients pain threshold so that whilst it may be uncomfortable and bordering on painful (when I consider it to be appropriate), it should never be so heavy that they are wincing and flinching on the table. By the way, the level of pain threshold does tend to increase the more massage you receive and arguments have been made that this isn’t necessarily a good thing (eg needing more and more pressure to achieve the same response is almost an addiction).

Ultimately it is up to you to find a massage style and therapist that suits you. If you have never had a massage before and you are in pain during the massage, then speak up. Similarly if you know what you want and the therapist is one of those who insists on not hurting you at all then maybe you need to find someone else who can give you the type of bodywork you are after.

By Richard Lane

Massage and Back Pain
– Research Findings

There are many reasons why people book in for a mobile massage in Sydney with us. It can be purely to de-stress and wind down. It can be as a reward for working hard. It can be part of a sportsman training regime to include a regular sports massage. However, the majority of people that we see are suffering from physical discomfort and they are looking for remedial therapy to help them reduce the pain and tightness they are experiencing.

Massage for back pain reliefNeck /shoulder pain and headaches are probably the top of the list for the reason why people book in for a remedial massage and many people know that massage is a great way to deal with these problems. The next most popular reason for getting a remedial or deep tissue massage is for lower back pain and there is some good news that recent research has found that massage may very help is dealing with the pain and suffering that lower back pain can cause.

When suffering from lower back pain many people seek out medications from their doctor to treat the pain. Others try exercise regimes from physiotherapist. However, a significant proportion of experiencing and secondly as a form of preventative maintenance once they are relatively pain-free. Researchers set out to ascertain whether massage compared favourably against usual medical intervention for treating lower back pain.

In the study (1), carried out by researchers from the Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, the study participants were randomly assigned to receive either a relaxation massage, a structural (remedial/deep tissue) massage or usual medical care without massage. Their symptoms had been assessed and also recorded was the impact of the back pain on their daily life.

Those in the massage groups had a one hour session weekly for 10 weeks.

The symptoms of those in the study were recorded after completing the massage program, at six months and finally a year after they initially began the massage.

The results obtained were encouraging for the massage industry. After the 10 week assessment, the researchers found that those who had received massage had lower levels of pain and they were able to perform daily tasks better than those who had only received the usual medical care. These results were similar regardless of which type of massage they received, be it relaxation or structural.

Whilst the benefits did not remain after one year, there was still a significant difference with the results obtained after 6 months and so it may be reasonable to conclude that massage can be an effective treatment for those who are suffering from lower back pain.

(1) Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Kahn J, Wellman R, Cook AJ, Johnson E, Erro J, Delaney K, Deyo RA. “A comparison of the effects of 2 types of massage and usual care on chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial.” Ann Intern Med. 2011 Jul 5;155(1):1-9.

By Richard Lane

Massage in Newtown

If you walk down King Street in Newtown you will see that there are quite a few places where you can get a massage. This may be from a Chinese massage clinic, a Thai day spa or a remedial massage clinic. Some of these will accept walk-in appointments, some of these will require you to book.

If you are looking for a massage from an accredited and professionally trained therapist then it is probably best to avoid most of the establishments that will take walk-in appointments as some of the therapist’s massage experience might be a little limited.

One of the problems with getting a massage in the area is that parking on King St can be a challenge at the best of times. If you have booked an appointment at a certified clinic then you may find that you have to allow yourself a fair amount of time to get there and park so that you are not rushing to get to your appointment on time.

There is an alternative though which can overcome some of the problems of getting a massage in Newtown. Inner West Mobile Massage provides a service in which professionally trained therapists come to you.

No more worries about parking for you.
No more worries about whether you are getting a massage from an accredited therapist.

All of our therapists are recognised by professional associations in Australia (such as ATMS) and are registered with health funds to provide rebates for remedial massage. The services we offer include remedial, sports, deep tissue and pregnancy massage and we bring all the equipment we need, massage table, towels and oils.

Therapists are available 7 days a week, including evenings. Obviously the more notice you can provide the better but some therapists may be available at short notice (online bookings are available for some therapists through Online massage booking).

Please note that we only provide therapeutic massage services and whilst there are both female and male therapists available for mobile massage, we will only accept bookings with female therapists from females.

If you want any more information then please give us a call on 0421 410057.

Remedial Massage in Newtown, NSW

By Richard Lane

Health Funds and Remedial Massage

In Australia, many people are encouraged by the tax and health care system to take out private health insurance. For high income earners, they are penalised by a Medicare Levy if they do not register for suitable cover. health fund rebate and massage

If you take out private health insurance then chances are that you will be offered and will probably take up extras packages which will include some degree of cover for things such as physiotherapy, chiropractors, osteopaths, optical, dental and massage. Currently all of the major health funds in Australia, such as BUPA, HCF, Medibank Private, NIB, Grand United, AHM and Australian Unity offer rebates but generally only for remedial massage (ie other massage modalities may not be eligible for rebates).

Occasionally we are asked to provide recommendations about which fund we believe to the best. As we are in the health profession then people suspect that we will be “in-the-know” and assist them with information that can help them make a decision. Unfortunately this is not the case as the optimum choice of health fund will vary very much depending on the individual circumstances. In addition, the best fund can also change from time to time depending on you and any changes in the terms, rebates and fees of the fund.

In addition, even within a specific health fund the level of cover can differ significantly and the only way to work out which health fund is best for you is to look at your individual position and make an assessment as to the level of cover you require.

To be honest, it is rare that rebates for remedial massage should enter significantly into the calculation as there are many more bigger picture items that are likely to govern the decision making process. For example, do you require family care, obstetrics, joint replacements, etc? The amount you will be covered for and the amount of rebates that you would get will be significantly more important than whether you receive $25 or $28 back on your remedial massage. Whilst it is tempting to consider not opting in for cover for particular items to save a few dollars, be mindful that your health insurance should cover you for what you cannot afford to cover yourself. Although you might not think that you will need a joint replacement in the near future, unfortunately you never know what is just around the corner and adding a few dollars a month may save you from a major decision in the future.

======

Whilst we do not specifically recommend any particular health fund, I would just like to mention a cool feature that is offered by Australian Unity. If you are a member with them then you can just download their app and whenever you incur a claimable medical charge then all you do is simply send a photo of the receipt and they will automatically transfer the rebate to your account.

  
======

Please note that a significant issue with health funds is perceived to be fraudulent claims. Receipts for remedial massage can only issued to a person specifically receiving a remedial massage so if you receive a Swedish/relaxation massage then your therapist will not be able to provide you with a receipt that you can use to claim. Similarly, if your partner is the one getting the massage then we are not allowed to put your name on the receipt, even if you are the one paying for the session.

======

By Richard Lane


Tweet