I've been getting regular professional massages for 15 yrs now. They really help relieve my muscle pain and tension. I think the author is a bit overly optimistic in his assertions that massage can prevent weight gain or even aid in weight loss. I do not believe this is true, except maybe indirectly--- people are less likely to stress eat when relaxed. Whether or not massage helps with weight control, I recommend it.
Tips for communicating with your MT- Know your goal for that session. If it is relaxation, great. If it is mostly relaxation and relieving tension in your upper back and shoulders, great!
Let your therapist know your workout schedule and a basic idea of what you do. If you compete, that schedule is important. You don't want a 90 minute Swedish session the day before a race.
Once on the table or mat, let the therapist know if you want more or less pressure. If your therapist hits a sore spot, let her/him know. Likely it was noticed, but verification is nice.
After the massage, drink water. Fluids have been moved all over your body.
And to respond to the lactic acid comment. It is true that massage within an hour of exercise moves lactic acid, basically wringing it from the muscle fibers. After an hour the metabolic system has cleared it up. Other waste products are present, and can be moved with massage. Post event massage in the two to 24 hour period is not clearing lactic acid in healthy people. It isn't present.
4/9/2012 6:48:40 AM
I agree,its makes sense,we eat more when stressed,we exercise less,our body has more aches and pains,its a vicious circle ! As well as a good massage I advocate 'a time out meditation'..a walk in the woods or by sea works wonders,eyes shut listening to some medative music whilst laying on my bed also does it for me..its finding a time to find that space where we can be still and peaceful and relaxation is automatic. Thank you for this article
I have Fibromyalgia and for me, a massage is the greatest thing ever! The Winter months really make me hurt worse,and I try to schedule a massage every other week. I found a great therapist that does deep tissue, and because I go so often, she cuts me a nice break on the price. The trick is to find someone who is able to massage you the way you like. I think I went through 10 people before we connected. It will be worth the effort to finally have some relief and relaxation.
12/23/2011 10:38:20 AM
I can't tolerate a regular massage but did very well with a massage water bed my chiropractor had in her office. The warm water pulsates against your body amazingly, and the speed and pressure can be adjusted. The pulses move from your ankles to your head (and the bed can also be set to target specific areas) and back again. My dear chiro said it releases so many toxins, she urged patients to drink at least 4 glasses of water afterwards.
Several months after my beloved died, my chiro gave me a gift certificate for a therapeutic massage from an excellent practioner, but I was in such a state of meltdown, she could barely touch me.
I just want to highly recommend the massage bed for those who cannot tolerate a massage from a person. I have no idea how you find out where you can find one!
I love this line of reasoning....I'm going to schedule a massage for next week and think of it as a necessary expense towards my weight loss goals. Thanks, Mike!
9/6/2011 1:42:07 PM
I agree. I'd have a massage daily if I could afford it. So considering that a decent massage is easily going to run you $60; is there any information on how often you need to get a massage to receive the benefits written about in the article? Somehow I don't think my twice a year splurge gets it done.
My first massage was 14 years ago...I was a non-believer and a friend of mine was a massage therapist - she finally convinced me to try it.
Between the breakdown of the lactic acid, the increase in circulation and the improvement it had on my sinuses (not to mention everything else already stated in the article) I was amazed! For me - I like bi-monthly massages with typically one a month being combined with reflexology.
9/6/2011 8:55:30 AM
I love being massaged. I've learned that if you find a massage therapy center/school, you can often get chair massages or even full body massages for a reduced cost because the therapists are still in training. Sure, you sacrifice the professional certificate and sometimes don't get the complete benefit of the massage, but it's a lot easier on the wallet. The local place I go I save about 50% or more off the professional price by going to this school and getting a therapist-in-training.
The only thing that I've noticed is that when I get massaged with oil (as opposed to lotion), my weight goes up because all the oil gets absorbed into the skin. So if you don't want to add about 5lbs from oil absorption, request the therapist to use an oil-free lotion if you have the option. It's not the same feeling as the smooth slippery oil massage, but you don't get the added weight.
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