Since I’m on a slightly health related kick in these blog posts I thought I should share some of my experience with pain.
As a massage therapist I deal with pain. More specifically, muscular pain. And over the six years I’ve been massaging I’ve encountered lots of different types of pains, reasons for pain, and levels of pain. I’ve massaged people of all shapes, colors and sizes. And one thing I’ve learned from it all is this: pain is a difficult things to pin down.
Now generally, most of the pain I deal with is muscular. More often I get clients who already have had a massage before and know that the pain they have is muscularly related. So they come in to get the tension in their muscles worked out so they can go about their day with less or no pain. But sometimes I get clients who come in as a last resort, trying to figure out what is going on with them and why they’re in pain. And about 80% of these cases these people were helped with massage. I said helped, not cured or fixed.
It seems the general mindset is that if you’re in pain you go to the hospital or doctor. Pain indicates to us something is wrong. But most of the time people are getting their pain treated with things that only mask the problem, and nothing actually happens to address the problem.
The problem with this is that we have to first know the problem to even be able to address the issue. And so, without extensive research on someones body, it can be difficult for a doctor to find out exactly what is going on with your body. And sometimes that pain comes and goes and we never deal with the issue.
I would like to suggest that much of the pain people feel is muscular and structural. Your muscles, ligaments, joints, and bones. However, just because it is muscular and structural doesn’t mean that it’s simply because of tightness or tension. As a massage therapist I address the tension issue in muscles. We put pressure upon the muscles which cause the muscles fibers to unlatch and loosen, while stimulating blood to rush into the muscle, bringing with it oxygen for a much needed breath. This all deals with tightness and tension, but it doesn’t deal with other kinds of inflammation, and it doesn’t deal with the health of the tissue nor the chemical composition or processes that are going on in the muscle.
Meaning, I can loosen your muscles but that’s only if your muscle is able to be loosened. Some people have such unhealthy tissue that their muscles simply do not want to loosen. They are stressed out. They eat unhealthy. And they don’t rest. And now they want me to fix their pain.
I can make them relax, but I probably won’t be able to get those muscles to loosen and feel pain free because they’ve been abused from the inside out.
Pain is tricky. There are multiple factors playing into pain. From the flexibility or pliability of the muscle, to the nutrition that muscle is receiving, to the strength of the muscle. And all these factors cause the muscles to shorten or lengthen in an unhealthy and abnormal way, causing the bones and joints to be tugged and contorted in ways they don’t want to be.
Finding the main cause of the pain can be difficult, but it is possible. But if anything, a good massage will help everyone step in the right direction as to what is actually going on.