For those new to therapeutic massage, it can be quite the surprise when your massage therapist asks you about how your digestion has been lately or how many hours you work at a computer a day. Where you may think that the two have nothing to do with your tightened muscles or increase in back pain, your masseuse knows different. In fact, there are a number of health factors that your body and back hint at through tender pressure points, tightened muscles or physiological responses to touch. Your body’s mechanics give up a lot about your state of health, signaling your massage therapist to areas of concern. Listen during your next sports or deep tissue massage and you may just learn something about yourself like:
- You may need a new pillow – By sleeping with your neck and back at weird angles, you strain the muscles in those areas. Where an in-home or mobile massage session can relieve the strain, avoiding it in the first place is smart. If your massage therapist hints at the fact that your pillow is not the best for you… hear him out.
- You’ve been under a lot of stress – Experienced massage therapists know that your chattiness or inability to lie still is a sign of stress. Plus, though some professionals disagree as to what level, your body responds to massage differently when its been subjected to a high amount of stress. During these times, the theory goes, more toxins are released and sweating and bad breath are often the result. Don’t be surprised if its suggested you find more avenues for stress relief and do more to let yourself relax during your massage sessions.
- You sit with crossed legs – Sorry, what? Yep, Crossing your legs, whether at the heels or the knees is not good for you as it puts negative pressure on your hip flexors and unnaturally bends your pelvic girdle. If your massage therapist suggests that you should be more aware regarding the position of your legs while seated, pay attention. You could save yourself a good amount of pain and discomfort.
- You are at risk for skin cancer – It goes without saying that your favorite massage therapist is more familiar with certain areas of your body than even you are. When was the last time you saw the underside of your left scapula? Not often. Don’t be offended if its recommended during a session that you contact a medical doctor about this funny-looking or odd-shaped spot on the middle of your back or the inside of your knee. They may be doing you quite the favor.
- You are going through hormonal changes – Trigger points give away so very much about you. When they become sensitive to you, they often feel sticky, hot or rubbery to your masseuse. Massage therapists are adept at knowing when you are due for your period or are ovulating thanks to those trigger points.
- You smoke – Massages often cause people to breathe heavier and deeper during a session; which is encouraged. But smokers exhibit more difficulty breathing and often have to catch their breath during their massage.
- You are wearing the wrong bra – Massage therapists can tell when your bra does not fit you properly because of the negative response of the muscles in the area. When tight bra straps cut into shoulder muscles and across the blade, they become tighter and agitated. Try not to be embarrassed if your therapist recommends a different size or style.