Monday, November 4, 2013

Painful Massage

Yesterday I had a regular client who is challenged by severe migraines, fibromyalgia, low back pain, and TMJD. Her sister, who has an integrative health degree, has been counseling her on the use of juices and supplementation of vital nutrients, such as magnesium. The nutritional therapy is giving her significant relief. Her goal is to ultimately stop taking meds for fibromyalgia. As she weans from the meds, she feels overall achy-ness, but not specific pain. This is all new to her and therefore new to me, as she relates her health changes during the intake interview. So she says to me, "You've never hurt me before, so just do whatever you do to your less picky clients."

I get some clients who believe that if a massage doesn't hurt, they didn't get their money's worth. Others, come in with pain, and do not want it beaten out of them. This client yesterday never wants to feel pain from a massage. I never want to deliver pain to my clients, especially the really sweet ladies with debilitating migraines.
My high school band director was a big proponent of "Sounding Good." He would say that playing highly technical and difficult music won't matter, if it doesn't sound good. If nobody wants to hear it, why are we going to play it? The band as a whole has to sound good- balanced, warm, accessible.

I take that philosophy into my massage practice. If it doesn't feel good, at least in some way, all of my technical, nerdy skills won't matter. If I can warm up the tissue (hot towels, hot stones, Prossage, heating pads) and stretch the problem area gently instead of bashing it with my elbows, that's what I'm going to do. I guess I'm passive aggressive that way. 

Photo courtesy of ABMP

No comments:

Post a Comment