Massage has been practiced as a therapeutic and healing modality for several years in numerous cultures all over the world. Some people are still unsure about massage even as the obvious proliferation of discount massage salons have made massage therapy ubiquitous and accessible to all. It is my belief that the lack of equal hours in training and various laws regarding massage have spurned certain attitudes and misconceptions regarding massage therapy as a legitimate practice. Below are some common misconceptions regarding therapeutic massage that I’d like to clear up for everyone.Massage is an expensive luxury service. When you say massage, the image that most people conjure up is a scene at a luxury destination spa where people are waiting at your beck and call. This sort of imagery can make most people feel that massage is not within their reach financially. There is a massage for every price range but remember, you get what you pay for.Massage therapists are shady. It’s unfortunate that many people are doing other things under the guise of massage. It makes it frustrating and a bit insulting to those who are working hard to promote the positive benefits of legitimate massage and then be grouped with those that are offering less than legitimate services under the heading of massage.Massage isn’t a viable treatment for pain and injuries. Europe and Canada have long recognized massage for its therapeutic quality as a stress reliever and for injury treatment. All over the world, many countries practice a more preventative approach to health care.Massage is going to hurt. Massage should never hurt. If it hurts, the therapist is either not paying attention or is not checking in. A good massage therapist is also a good communicator. If a therapist is not listening to you when you mention that something hurts, then end the massage right away. A massage is never supposed to be painful. A comfortable soreness is acceptable but pain is not.Massage is going to tickle me. If a massage is tickling someone, the therapist is obviously not using enough pressure. If you are prone to being ticklish, let your therapist know so they can apply a different quality of pressure.If you think that everyone likes tapotement, you are kidding yourself. Seriously, if you’re using tapotement in every massage you do, it’s time to break it up. tapotement is loud and stimulating. Quieter techniques are appreciated by those who need a massage for relaxation.Governmental bodies that were late to regulating massage have caused therapists in those areas to be taken less seriously than other areas where massage has been a regulated wellness practice for years. In the United States you’ll find a large gap in the hours of training and license requirements. This is unfortunate for massage therapists when trying to move their license to another state.All massage therapists are vegetarian, into new age and worship crystals! I always laugh when people ask me these things. It’s amazing how quickly people make judgments on lifestyle preferences based on an occupation. There are many massage therapists who are vegetarian, new age and believe in crystals and that’s cool. please don’t assume we all belong to that club. By the way, I do think that crystals are beautiful to enjoy.The massage therapist will judge my body. I have yet to meet a massage therapist who is judgmental on someone’s body. Over the years I’ve been asked the annoying question, “How does my body rate from a scale of 1-10?” Seriously, I tell clients that I’m looking for limited range of motion and compensation in the body. That will usually get them off that topic. You can come up with your own clever response to that line of questioning!So there you have it folks, a few of the misconceptions about massage therapy as a profession and massage therapists in general. I’m sure you’ve heard others. It’s important to show the world the professionals that we are so we can spread the positive messages about massage therapy as a positive addition to a healthy lifestyle.
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