We’re not here to hurt you, but to help you
“Pain Relief: What You Need to Know” is the lead story in the current Consumer Reports magazine. The second paragraph dismayed me:
The massage therapist “pounded on my back,” Slutsky recalls. “He kept saying, ‘See? Better!’ But it was not better.”
Of course not. An MRI later revealed that Ms. Slutsy had a ruptured spinal disc. Deep massage on that area is contraindicated. It shocks me that a massage therapist would “pound” on a painful area, much less without knowing what was going on under his hands..
When I meet new clients who have had bodywork in the past, I ask them: “What did you like most? What did you like least?”
The most common response to what clients have disliked is, “My massage therapist hurt me.”
The Consumer Reports article continues:
. . . pain triggers a cascade of responses from within. Inflammation at the point of injury alerts the body’s immune system to get to work on healing. Other chemicals are then notified and rush in to ward off infection, devour dead cells and tissue, and keep inflammation in check.
All pain has that systemic effect, including pain caused by a massage therapist. Pain begets more pain.
Noted clinical scientist and pain researcher Professor Lorimer Moseley says:
We now know that pain can be turned on, or turned up, by anything at all that provides the brain with credible evidence that the body is in danger and needs protecting.
When a client comes to us seeking pain relief, the body has already initiated healing processes to reduce pain. We avoid causing our clients additional systemic reactions to pain.
Our goal is to help soothe irritated nerves and increase clients’ comfort and ease.
What is your goal as a client?