What Is Massage Therapy?

Body massage therapy is considered one of the oldest healthcare practices. The treatment has various benefits for the body and the mind. Unfortunately, a number of myths surrounding massage therapy have surfaced. 

To ensure that the public understands the significance and benefits of the treatment and quell any misgivings, here are a few massage therapy facts.

This treatment is defined as the systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. Massage therapy techniques involve applying fixed or variable pressure on muscles and body tissues using the hands and fingers. 

How Is Massage Therapy Used?

Massage therapy has a wide variety of uses and benefits for both adults and children. However, its primary purpose is to improve blood flow and reduce muscular tension or flaccidity. Here are some ways on how the therapy is used to benefit the body:

  • Used to improve posture
  • Helps in reducing emotional or physical stress and anxiety
  • Promotes feelings of well-being
  • Reduces muscle tension and stiffness
  • Helps relieve muscle spasms
  • Increases joint and limb flexibility
  • Helps in promoting deeper and easier breathing
  • Enhances blood circulation and lymph movement
  • Relieves tension-related headaches and eyestrain
  • Allows soft tissue injuries to heal faster
  • Reduces the chances of scar tissue from forming
  • Promotes healthy skin
Moxa Massage Benefits | Chrysalis

Common Massage Therapy Myths

Rumours and hearsay have a funny way of persuading people of either trying or avoiding something, and the same goes for massage therapy. If you are interested in or have reservations regarding this treatment, it’s an excellent idea to learn more about it and set the right expectations.

Here are the most common myths and their corresponding facts:

Myth #1:
Massage is Only for Pampering

While it’s true that massages feel luxurious, they are much more than a treat. Research has shown that regular massage therapy may lower cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone. This reduction in cortisol can lead to decreased blood pressure, improved immune function, better mental states, and reduced chronic pain. By promoting the release of endorphins, massages not only soothe the mind but also help in managing chronic conditions like arthritis and migraines.

Myth #2:
An Effective Massage Is a Painful Massage

If you’re familiar with the phrase “No pain, no gain”, then you’ll be surprised that some people think this applies to massage therapy as well. In fact, this belief has convinced others to avoid massages altogether because they are afraid of getting hurt.

In reality, massages might cause a little bit of discomfort, but this does not last throughout the entire session. Massage therapists use deep and concentrated pressure that targets knotted areas. 

After a surprisingly brief moment of pain or discomfort, you will start to feel the effects of the massage — relief. Since the applied pressure has effectively addressed the problem in the muscles, you will feel a decrease in pressure and pain. Furthermore, before a massage session begins, the therapist will ask the client what kind of pressure he or she prefers.

Myth #3:
Massage During Pregnancy Is Harmful

Contrary to the common myth that massage during pregnancy is harmful, recent studies have shown that it can be quite beneficial and safe. This misconception often stems from outdated beliefs and a lack of understanding about the techniques and benefits of prenatal massage. In fact, research conducted by Fogarty et al. (2019) dispels this myth, demonstrating that massage during pregnancy, including foot massage, is not only safe but can also provide significant relief from common pregnancy-related discomforts. Their study reported no physical harm to the mother or child, challenging the long-held fears and misconceptions about prenatal massage. This finding is crucial as it opens the door for expectant mothers to safely explore massage therapy as a means to alleviate pregnancy-related stress, pain, and discomfort

Myth 4:
Getting a Massage Helps You Lose Fat!

This myth has convinced many with weight issues to get regular massage sessions in the hopes of getting rid of the extra fat in the arms, stomach, buttocks, and thighs. However, getting a massage does not burn fat. 

Massage therapy targets muscle fibres, not fatty tissues. If you wish to lose weight, you can start by regulating your eating habits and developing an exercise routine. If you do work out, massage therapy can help you make the most out of it by alleviating muscle pain.

Myth #5:
Massage Rids Your Body Of Toxins

The idea that massage therapy can flush toxins out of the body is a popular myth, but it’s not quite accurate. Although it’s unclear where this myth started, it’s important to understand that the body’s detoxification process is primarily managed by the liver and kidneys, not through massage.

While massage has many benefits, including improved circulation and muscle relaxation, it doesn’t directly detoxify the body. It can support the body’s natural processes by improving blood flow, but the actual elimination of toxins is handled by your internal organs. So, while enjoying a massage for its relaxation and health benefits is great, remember that detoxification is a complex process handled by other systems in the body.

Myth 6:
The Body Feels Sore a Day After a Good Massage

Some expect a hint of discomfort the day after the massage, believing that the lack of pain means that the session was a bust. 

This cannot be further from the truth. Soreness depends on the type of massage received and the individual’s own muscle condition. While it’s perfectly normal to feel tender a day after a massage, it is also normal if you don’t. Neither is an indication that the therapy was ineffective.  

FAQs About Acupuncture For Deep Tissue Massage Singapore

What is a Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. This technique is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains, as well as contracted areas such as a stiff neck, lower back pain, and sore shoulders. In Singapore, this therapy is highly sought after for its effectiveness in relieving tension and improving overall wellness.

How Does Deep Tissue Massage Differ from Swedish Massage?

While both deep tissue massage and Swedish massage involve the use of hands, fingers, and elbows to manipulate the body’s soft tissues, they differ significantly in their approach and pressure. Deep tissue massage uses more intense pressure to reach the deeper layers of muscle and fascia, making it ideal for those with chronic muscle problems. In contrast, Swedish massage is generally gentler, focusing on promoting relaxation and improving circulation.

What Are the Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage?

The benefits of deep tissue massage in Singapore include:

  • Relief from chronic pain: Effective for conditions like lower back pain and stiff neck.
  • Improved mobility: Helps in breaking down scar tissue and improving flexibility.
  • Stress reduction: The deep pressure can alleviate stress and tension.
  • Posture improvement: Regular sessions can correct posture by addressing imbalances.
Are There Any Risks or Side Effects of Deep Tissue Massage?

While deep tissue massage is generally safe, there are a few potential side effects, especially if the pressure is too intense. These can include:

  • Soreness or tenderness: It's common to feel sore for a day or two after a session.
  • Bruising: Sometimes, the deep pressure can cause bruising, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Temporary pain: Although the goal is pain relief, the deep pressure can sometimes cause discomfort during the session.

It is essential to communicate with your therapist about your comfort levels and any medical conditions you may have.

How Often Should You Get a Deep Tissue Massage?

The frequency of deep tissue massage depends on your individual needs and health conditions. For general wellness and muscle maintenance, once a month is typically sufficient. However, if you're dealing with chronic pain or specific muscle issues, you might benefit from more frequent sessions, such as once a week or bi-weekly. Consulting with a professional therapist in Singapore can help determine the best schedule for you.