Chronic Pain - You can live without it!!

Walt Morrey, NCBTMTB #331446-00
25 Avenue de la Plage
29950 Bénodet

Massage can reduce or eliminate pain for many people. If you live with chronic pain, you may be able to eliminate it from your life. You've been to doctors, chiropractors, etc. and may have ended up on pain medication. You may have tried massage and had a bad experience. I've heard horror stories about people being black-and-blue for days after a massage. THIS IS BAD MASSAGE THERAPY.

There are as many styles of massage as there are Massage Therapists. Deep Tissue styles of massage are used to relieve chronic pain in muscles. Improperly used, Deep Tissue Massage can be extremely painful. This is unacceptable and unnecessary. If a Massage Therapist causes pain, you have the responsibility to insist that they reduce their pressure and/or speed. If they fail to listen, you should terminate the session. Under these conditions, most ethical therapists will waive any fee.

When a client needs Deep Tissue techniques, I use a 0-10 "Discomfort Scale":

No Discomfort
"Oh, that hurts so good"
Therapeutic Region
Client Feels Discomfort
and needs to control
breathing or tension
Back off - too many more
aches tomorrow
"Oh, that hurts"
"Ouch, ouch, ouch"
More harm than good

I request that clients on pain medication take as little as possible before receiving a massage so they know clearly where their "Oh, that hurts so good" limit is. In general, if massage is going to help, clients will know it after the first session, although it may take a number of sessions for full effect. If the pain / injury has been long-standing, a course of "maintenance massage" may be required to keep pain from returning, with massages every 2 to 6 weeks, as needed, to keep pain away.

In a typical session, I usually give a full-body massage, with special emphasis on known trouble areas. Frequently, I hear, "I didn't even know I hurt there" on initial visits. Muscle damage in one area can show up as pain in a totally different area, so Massage Therapists need to treat the body as a whole.

These days, many physicians and chiropractors recommend massage as a part of maintaining wellness, having observed its benefits.