It's no secret that massages can be incredibly beneficial for both physical and mental health. From reducing stress and headaches to helping with serious illnesses such as Parkinson's and sickle cell disease, massages can be a great way to relax and improve your overall wellbeing. But can massages also damage muscles?The answer is yes, if done incorrectly. Scientists from the Wyss Institute and Harvard John A.
Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences conducted a study on mice with injured muscles in their legs, and found that when precise and repeated forces were applied to the muscles, they recovered faster and stronger than untreated muscles. This is likely due to the compression squeezing the cells that cause inflammation in the muscle tissue. But don't worry - massages don't have to hurt to be effective. Many massage therapists are trained in multiple techniques that vary in pressure and time, so if a technique doesn't feel therapeutic, speak up! It's important to communicate with your massage therapist about your medical history, changes in medications, allergies, and recent illnesses, as these factors can influence the massage techniques used and the body's response to them. If you're wondering “is too much massage harmful?”, the answer is yes - if done incorrectly. Robert Gotlin says that about 15 percent of patients who receive a massage end up needing corrective treatment afterward.
It is always important to consult your massage therapist if you are pregnant, have a health condition such as heart disease, cancer or fever due to a cold or flu, as well as to reveal any previous injuries. Swelling and discomfort usually last from a few hours to about a day and a half after a massage. The same things you do to treat sore muscles after exercise can ease pain after a massage - drinking plenty of water helps eliminate toxins released into the system by the massage, so make sure you've drunk enough. Skin redness after massage is common and usually not something you need to worry about. However, it's important to set aside enough time for your massage - for example, an entire afternoon instead of an hour - so you can take full advantage of both the physical and mental benefits. Finally, remember that pain or discomfort may be a normal part of a massage, especially methods such as deep tissue massage, but it shouldn't be unbearable. If you've had a bad experience with deep tissue massage before, don't give up - speak up! Communicating with your massage therapist will give you the most benefit from your massage.