The internet is a vast place full of information, conflicting opinion pieces by self-professed "experts" with no education or credentials to back them up, and increasingly, an echo-chamber. Just because it's been repeated a lot, by a lot of people, that is not enough to make it fact!
As a massage therapist with over 13 years in my field, and certified in prenatal and postpartum massage, these are the top 4 of the most common myths I hear:
"Massage therapy should hurt to be effective."
Massage therapy doesn’t have to be painful. Ever.
In fact, when your body is pulling away from the pressure, or you’re holding your breath to brace through the pain, your massage is causing a stress response in your body. The massage is actually LESS EFFECTIVE when this happens! Slow & gentle massage that helps you get into a “rest & digest” nervous system state is the most effective.
"Massage therapy isn’t safe during the first trimester of pregnancy."
This myth is rooted in fear and lack of training.
Massage therapy has been proven to be safe, effective, and beneficial during all stages of pregnancy, when you are seeking care from a massage therapist with specialized training in Prenatal Massage. Some providers may caution against it, and some spas/clinics may force you to wait until your second trimester. These are decisions made due to lack of adequate training.
"Massage therapy flushes toxins."
This pervasive myth is not backed by any evidence.
Massage therapy doesn’t “release” or “flush” any toxins. Massage therapy supports the “rest & digest” state of the nervous system. When your nervous system is in this state, many other systems in the body can work more efficiently.
In short, no, you do not need to drink a bunch of water to keep flushing toxins, or “pump and dump” because massage flushed toxins into your breastmilk. It didn’t.
"Massage therapy is a luxury service."
Massage therapists are licensed professionals who are highly trained in their specialized branch of healthcare and preventive medicine.
Massage therapy has a rich history going back thousands of years, represented in all ancient and modern cultures. It has been a significant part of medicine, healing rituals, midwifery, and athletics. Modern massage therapy expands on this ancient wisdom, including anatomical and brain and nervous system studies.
What have you heard about massage therapy? Comment below or message me so we can chat about whether it's myth, or if it's fact!