Massage therapy can be effective without being painful. It’s actually counterproductive to be in extreme pain. When your body is in pain, your sympathetic nervous system (Fight to Flight Response) is active.
Among other things, your muscles tense up which negates the effectiveness of the massage session. So RELAX and let your massage therapist do the work.
Q&A with Wellness Club’s Director of Massage, and Head Anatomy/Physiology Instructor, David S. Fireside, BCLMT
Massage Therapist, Anatomy/Physiology Instructor
Q: What is the key to getting the right type of massage at your visits?
David S. Fireside, BCLMT: At Wellness Club, your session is not limited to one type of massage such as deep tissue or Swedish massage. Instead, it’s a combination of techniques based on what your body requires that day. Our massage therapists, who average 20 plus years of professional experience, have an endless list of skills in their toolbox. Sharing information with your massage therapist such as current medications, past or current injuries and expectations as to what you want and expect from your session, will optimize your results.
Q: What symptoms help you identify which type of massage a client needs?
David S. Fireside, BCLMT: There is no such thing in our Wellness Club as “one type fits all.” A client presenting with Fibromyalgia is going to have a different session compared to an athlete coming in for muscle overuse soreness. The moment hands are on the patient, the 3 Ts must be considered: Tone of the muscle, Temperature of the tissue in relation to surrounding areas and Texture of the muscle regarding fiber direction. For example, if an area is warm to the touch, there’s possible inflammation in the tissues. This would require less pressure to avoid additional inflammation and possibly inviting a Naprapath or physical therapist to your treatment. If the area of focus is cold to the touch, that may mean poor blood circulation due to tightness in the muscles. For that, more pressure would be appropriate.
Q: What are the health benefits of a massage?
David S. Fireside, BCLMT: Massage is generally considered part of integrative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. At Wellness Club, we often invite a massage therapist to our (post) physical therapy treatment for best results. Massage benefits can include: reducing stress, easing muscle soreness and tension, improving circulation and energy, lowering heart rate and blood pressure, and improving kidney and/or immune function.
Q: What can a person do post-massage to retain the benefits of a massage?
David S. Fireside, BCLMT: Drink extra water and add electrolytes to support proper hydration. Water also aids the detoxification process after the massage. When the blood and lymphatic flow are restricted due to tightness, toxins are stored in the tissues closest to the skin. During and after massage, improved circulation triggers the natural process of the elimination of toxins. This is why staying hydrated is important.
In addition to electrolytes, our Wellness Club nutritionist also recommends adding lemon and raw honey to your warm water to support your liver detoxification function and maximize your results.