At least once a week a client tells me that "they can take it" and to go ahead and just dig in there. This statement alone tends to get my goat. Maybe it's because I became an equine massage therapist first. Maybe it's because I'm more sensitive. Or maybe it's because that you should NEVER be taken to the upper end of your pain threshold during a massage in my honest opinion.
When your body is sending signals of pain it is unable to relax. It's unable to undo the holding pattern that your body has been maintaining. Muscles are not released only tightened when pain is introduced. It doesn't matter whether you grit your teeth and say "It's okay" and breathe through it or let out a loud "OUCH!". Your brain still recieves the pain signals and responds accordingly with the appropriate chemicals.
I'll be honest, I've had trigger therapy. deep tissue and medical massage done to me personally when I'm looking for a quick fix. While the area that was treated does function better, I was left sore 2-5 days later and the rest of my body was no where near relaxed. Do these modalitles have their place? Yes. Do I practice some of these techniques? Yes. Then how am I any different?
You will not find the "No Pain, No Gain" way of thinking on my table or in the barn. Why? Maybe it's because my early career I soley relied on feedback from my equine clients and owners. If the pressure was too deep too fast feet or teeth were presented in protest. No only was I in a position of bodily harm but I noticed that I would be back to square one and have to start all over to relieve tension in the muscles and regain the horse's trust. There's just no way to tell a 1000 pound animal to "breathe through the pain." That they'll "be okay in just a minute." So instead of asking you to tough it out I blend gentle, yet effective, techniques to achieve your goals. Tigger point therapy is only applied if the area is already warmed up and we are down to the same depth as the TP. This decreases the amount of pain you experience and shortens the duration that a TP need to be "held" in order for the release to occur. Deep tissue techniques are only used when there are no other options left. If the same results can be achieved using swedish massage, myofacial release and active isolated stretching why not use those before causing pain?
Thank you for reading this far and hopefully you can understand my view point.
This has been Kate Meyers REMT, LMT with her honest opinion and post number 5 of 20 in the blogging challenge.