I once brought my Mum a massage gift voucher for Mothers Day because she said her back was hurting.
Having not lived close enough to give her a massage myself, I thought a massage voucher was definitely the best gift I could give her at the time. She said she was feeling stiff and in pain, so I told her to call the therapist and book an appointment to use the gift voucher straight away. Although she definitely felt that a massage would help, she insisted that she didn’t want to have an appointment until the following week. When enquiring as to why she wanted to wait, she said “I have some work to do around the house this weekend so I want to wait until it’s done before I get a massage” Feeling a little annoyed that she was willing to endure her discomfort, I insisted that she make an appointment as soon as possible. To my persistence she revealed that she didn’t want to have a massage and feel better, only to do some strenuous work on her days off and be back in pain again.
Her line of thinking was that if a massage would fix her discomfort, then there was no point in getting a massage before doing any work that would potentially leave her feeling sore again.
I have since found that many others find logic in this line of thinking. However, I am here to tell you that there is no logic to it at all.
Your body is continually needing maintenance and it communicates to you all the time. It tells you when it needs food, water, sleep and many other things too. It truly is an amazing machine. But imagine if the mind decided that it only needed a meal once a week? Your stomach rumbles and you know that it wants food, but you’re only going to get hungry again so whats the point? Right? Sounds ridiculous. So why do so many people have this perception of pain? Your body is telling you “I need some maintenance”. When a part of the body is stressed and needing some attention, it will communicate the problem to the brain by sending a pain signal to get your attention.
Don’t ignore the pain, listen to your body!
For the most part, muscular pain doesn’t just spring up overnight. It is usually accumulated over a period of time using the same muscles, in the same way, day in, day out, with little allowance or means to heal. Repetitive movements use the same groups of muscles over and over while neglecting the use of others. This is not balanced. The over utilised muscles become tight and knotted and they begin to be less effective. Other muscles try to help out but also start to become tight and knotted because they’re compensating for movements they weren’t designed to be prime movers for. A domino effect begins in motion and before long, the initial problem is buried and a heap of muscles now need some TLC. And because you ignored all those little pain signals for so long, you now have one big pain signal to stop you in your tracks.
Massage Therapy can certainly help reduce the effects of sore, tired muscles, however, it is not a one off magical solution. You may also need more then one session to stimulate and assist the body to heal. It is important to listen to your body. If you’re thinking you need a massage, then book one. Don’t wait. If you need another one next week, then you need another one next week.
Give yourself permission to be rid of pain.