Medical massage is a method of massage that allows the therapist to work deep into the soft tissues, especially into the joint complexes, of the body. One of the techniques used to do this is known as, "folding". Folding is a way of positioning the body so that deep manipulation can be performed with less discomfort.
The treatment you will experience is dictated by the therapist's continual assessment of the body. It tends to be more focused on the site of dysfunction rather than a full body, relaxation type massage. The goals of medical massage are improved body alignment, decreased pain, increased range of motion of the joints and increased functionality.
In addition to manual massage therapy your treatment session may include a variety of assessments, discussion, diet and supplement analysis, kinesiology taping, therapeutic stretches and exercises and patient education with a focus on retraining the body and creating new muscle memories that will ultimately have you feeling better!
Is it ok to talk during the massage? Does the therapist prefer it if I talk?
Sometimes patients prefer to talk during their sessions. If it is in your nature to chat, chat! Some find it useful as a distraction from the discomfort. Others find the opposite to be true and go inside themselves and focus on the work.
This is your treatment. Do what feels most comfortable. Do what YOU want to do.
Should I take my clothes off?
You want to be as comfortable as possible. Most people take all of their clothes off. Some leave their undergarments on. Some even wear comfy clothes or shorts, bathing suits, etc. It is easiest to treat the body unclothed, but can be done with clothes on. You will be covered by sheets at all times, if unclothed.
Will this hurt?
This is a therapeutic massage. Oftentimes the patient experiences discomfort before he/she begins to feel better. Sometimes the point of dysfunction that is being manipulated has been that way in the body for a very long time. It may take a series of treatments to regain function and health. Sometimes it is better for the patient to work in shorter, more frequent sessions.
The first few sessions can be the hardest and it becomes more comfortable over time. Like exercising the body, the more consistent the patient is, the less discomfort he/she will experience over time.
What if it’s too much or I don’t like it?
Most of the time I am very connected to what the patient is feeling and can adjust the pressure accordingly. Always verbalize how you are feeling and give me feedback so that you are comfortable.
For various reasons, sometimes this therapy is not a good fit for the recipient. It may be that the timing is not right for the individual. The patient may not be ready for or open to this type of work and release. If that is the case, I am happy to recommend alternative therapists.
This treatment requires participation from both the patient and the therapist. Things you can do to improve the outcome of your session include:
▪Breathe slow and deep.
▪Focus on long exhales to keep the body relaxed.
▪Send the oxygen as you inhale into the tissue being manipulated.
▪ “Talk” to your body- tell your body to let go of dysfunction.
▪ Visualize your body releasing the dysfunction.
▪Don’t “help” the therapist when I move you around. Keep your body relaxed and heavy.
Again, like exercise, the muscles and other tissues of the body are being “worked” in a new way. You may be sore after the first few massages. If you exercise regularly, the chances of experiencing soreness are less. It is rare, but you may feel nauseous or exhausted. You may feel emotional or have a headache. Things you can do to improve your post-massage experience:
▪Drink lots of water!!!!
▪Rest if you feel tired.
▪Allow yourself to feel if surprising emotions arise.
▪Ice sore areas for the first 24 hours. Heat is okay thereafter.
▪If deep work occurs in the joints and lots of tension is released, move those joints gently and frequently during the following 24 hours.