Massage Therapy Myths

There are numerous myths surrounding massage therapy. These are just a few. If you ever have questions, ask a Registered Massage Therapist to clarify!

Myth # 1 – There is no need to discuss medical history
It is very important to tell your RMT about your medical history. This should include your medications, medical conditions, and any injuries or surgeries you have had. Medical information can help your RMT tailor the massage to your needs or direct you to a more suitable therapy/treatment.

Myth #2 – You cannot get a massage if you’re pregnant
This is an extremely common myth. Prenatal massage is safe in all trimesters of a normal pregnancy and can actually be beneficial. Some people think once a woman can no longer lay on her stomach, that she can no longer get a massage. Rest assured, RMTs have ways to make massage in any trimester comfortable, such as extra pillows, pregnancy pillows/tables, side lying and seated positions.

Myth #3 – Massage during the first trimester can lead to miscarriage
This phase of pregnancy is a delicate time in which the body determines whether the fetus is viable. Due to the high chance of miscarriage from natural causes many avoid advertising their pregnancy and avoid massage. There is no research to support this precaution. The fetus is so well protected within the body. Layers upon layers of fascia, muscle, adipose tissue and a growing amniotic sac with its fluid, create a great buffer against movements and pressure. Regular day to day activities are more likely to cause strain than the actions of an RMT who is treating within their scope of practice.

Myth #4 – Massage makes cancer cells migrate and can spread tumours
Cancer cells are caused by the body’s immune system functioning improperly. If muscle manipulation could cause spreading, a cancer patient would do much worse just by the movements involved in everyday living. The complexity of metastasis requires a variety of factors to be present at the same time. Cancer cells must shed from the original tumour before the blood or lymphatic system can transport them. Cells must then be planted in tissue that can support their growth before a secondary tumour can be created. Precautions for the type of cancer and the treatments the client is undergoing will ensure a safe massage treatment.

Myth # 5 – All massages are basically the same
There are many different types of massage and each has their own role. In most spa settings, massage techniques involve the whole body and promote relaxation. Sports massage is useful for athletes of any kind, from Olympians to weekend joggers, and helps to keep muscles and joints in top shape. Therapeutic treatments are geared toward healing specific injuries and keeping bodies mobile while they recover. Some techniques are extremely gentle while others will cause temporary discomfort. There is a type of massage for everybody!

Myth # 6 – One massage should do it
It may take more than one treatment. Some conditions have been in the making for years before they present themselves as pain and dysfunction in the body. It will take time to resolve them. Once the condition is understood, your RMT can form a treatment plan to get you on back on track. That being said, in some instances, one treatment will be enough.

Myth # 7 – Longer is better
It is possible to over-treat; many times shorter is better. A 30 minute treatment is perfect when pain tolerance is low or certain health conditions require it.

Hope this helped 🙂

Suzanne Shynkaruk RMT