Question for massage therapists

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Question for massage therapists

Postby Massage Me! on Sun May 07, 2006 12:38 pm

A little info first. I'm a 39 year old male in good shape. I had a deep tissue massage back in Dec. '05 for some low back pain with sciatica and wasn't really impressed with the results, plus I couldn't really afford to keep going to see if it did any good in the long run. As it turns out, my low back pain and sciatica has improved on its own due to my exercising- walking every evening and weight lifting- can't jog as that was the cause of the pain and sciatica. I still have the pain, but not nearly as bad.

There was an ad in the local paper for a 1 hour full body massage for half price (she is just starting out at a local salon and needs to get a client base started) and I finally decided to try this mainly just for relaxation and stress relief.

I had my first full body massage a couple of weeks ago and it was great- but...

The MT didn't massage my chest, abs or glutes even after we discussed my low back pain and sciatica. I feel that at least she should have done my glutes because of the low back pain and sciatica. I have another appointment with her next Saturday and don't know if I should just ask her why she omitted these areas or what. I don't want to come across like I think she doesn't know what she is doing. Maybe there just isn't enough time to cover a full body in an hour?

There was something that she did during the massage that was kind of annoying. She kept shaking whatever container she had the oil in and it sounded like she was shaking a paint can. I don't know if it had marbles inside or what. I couldn't really see what the container was, but shouldn't she be using a pump bottle or at least something that doesn't make so much noise during the massage? I also don't know whether I should mention this to her or not- I don't want to make her feel bad.

EDIT: Other than these things, the massage was great- I felt pretty relaxed. When it was over, she left me wanting about another hour's worth. Now I'm hooked!
Last edited by Massage Me! on Sun May 07, 2006 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby fozzyo on Sun May 07, 2006 12:45 pm

Its very important to remember one thing - your the client, the paying client. You are paying for a service, if you are going back then that service must have been good, or at least good enough for you to go back.

As the client it is important you discuss what you want from a treatment with your therapist. Personally, if I was in your situation when I went for the treatment I'd just mention the back pain etc and ask for certain areas to be massaged - glutes, abdomen etc. Maybe say, I know its booked as a full body massage but don't worry about doing x y and z as I'd much prefer these areas worked on as I think that will help me a lot.

Then for the paint tin, just mention that you were curious to why she was shaking the oil last time - is it a particular blend?

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Postby Texas-gal on Sun May 07, 2006 12:58 pm

I couldn't really see what the container was, but shouldn't she be using a pump bottle or at least something that doesn't make so much noise during the massage? I also don't know whether I should mention this to her or not- I don't want to make her feel bad.


I hesitate to ever comment as to if someone should or should not be doing certain things in the way they practice, as the massage techniques and therapists vary greatly and are all unique.

However, I do believe if you want certain areas work, you can always request or talk about it to the practitioner. There is always the possiblity the therapist is uncomfortable doing the work, does not know how to do certain work or scheduled the time to work certain things and therefore had to leave other items out, d/t time conflict.

As for the shaking of the container, you can mention it was distracting, but it may be what the spa provided and she didn't have a replacement at the time, it may be that the spa required she use something that does not stay blended, etc. Who knows. I would say tread gently in discussing this.

If you have specific requests, make them known ahead of time. You'll be happier if they are important to you. As I said, we do all practice differently.
Last edited by Texas-gal on Mon May 08, 2006 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Shannon on Sun May 07, 2006 1:13 pm

I have always had time to do a full body even if its a deep tissue massage....glutes included.
I had a massage awhile back and complained of lower back pain...hour and 1/2 massage is what I scheduled with the person. They worked my upper body more cause they "thought" I needed more work up there cause I am an MT. I was FUMING afterwards and have never and will never go back to them. I stated what I wanted they did not give me what I asked for and there was amble time to do it in.

As for as myself I always work on someones glutes, as far as abs and chest usually no. Because I don't like working those areas. However if a client specifys they want me to work those areas I will, that is my job. I was trained to work those areas as should every MT.
Me, I would say something at your next appointment, tell her the areas you want worked on. It still can be done in an hour. If after you tell her she doesn't work those areas I would find someone else.

As far as the shaking the container, when I would hear the noise I would question her on it....politely of course along the lines of " Is that a blend of some sorts?" or laugh and go " Is that marbles in there?"
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Postby Massage Me! on Sun May 07, 2006 1:55 pm

Shannon wrote: As far as the shaking the container, when I would hear the noise I would question her on it....laugh and go "Is that marbles in there?"


I hadn't thought of this angle- this sounds like the best way to do it- sort of like hint, hint, it's kind of noisy- without actually saying it's annoying. As I said, I don't want to hurt her feelings.

Thanks!
Last edited by Massage Me! on Tue May 09, 2006 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby palpable on Sun May 07, 2006 8:13 pm

My thought is that if you went mainly for relaxation and stress reduction (which can in a roundabout way be good for your low back pain), she may not have thought you wanted more therapeutic work in that area. She may also have wanted to "play it safe" with a new client- a lot of folks do not like ab massage, and the glutes can be a sensitive area as well. So this may be a case of her wanting to get to know you, and vice versa before working these areas.

This is all, of course, a guess, as we all work differently, and are trained differently for that matter.

I would say that if you want specific therapeutic work, tell her you want to focus on your low back and glute pain, and (someone else suggested) don't worry about areas x, y,and z.

If you want a full body relaxation massage with some lengthy focus on those areas, try scheduling a 90 minute session.

Most important, though, is that you have to tell her what you are hoping to achieve in your session, otherwise, she has no way to know for sure.

Good luck.
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Postby maestra on Sun May 07, 2006 8:47 pm

palpable wrote:
Most important, though, is that you have to tell her what you are hoping to achieve in your session, otherwise, she has no way to know for sure.




This is IMO, the best advice. If you give your MT time to get to know your body, he or she will eventually learn where you hold your stress... and where your problem areas are.
By informing your massage therapist about what areas hurt, and what outcome you are seeking, you will be able to receive a more "customized" massage. Hopefully some good communication between you before the next massage will ensure that your next session will be your best!
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Postby Massage Me! on Sat May 13, 2006 2:40 pm

Just an update.

My massage went great today! I had hoped to book a 90 minute session, but my MT couldn't swing it. What I was hoping, was to get my low back, glutes, and legs worked a little more in addition to a full body massage.

Since I was scheduled for just 1 hour, I explained that my low back and sciatica had been bothering me, which seems to affect me more when I get stressed. I had her work my low back, glutes, and legs a little more than normal for a full body massage, leaving out my arms/hands. This actually did help my low back pain and slight sciatica- couldn't believe it. I think it was mainly due to the glute work since that was the only thing different from the previous session. I didn't think it would make that much of a difference. Maybe I can finally get rid of this low back/sciatica problem via massage. I'm going to have to see if my GP will prescribe massage for me so my insurance will cover it.

Whatever she was using in her oil must have been removed, because there was no rattling today, so I didn't have to mention anything about it. :D

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Postby Texas-gal on Sat May 13, 2006 3:50 pm

Congratulations! :)
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Postby Shannon on Sat May 13, 2006 3:50 pm

Glad to hear things went well the second time around!!! :)
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Postby Massage Me! on Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:51 pm

Another question. Thought I'd just post it here rather than start another thread.

First a little more background/update.

I have been getting a 1 hour massage every 2 or 3 weeks since my first one in April of this year. I have found that my legs and glutes need the most attention as far as relieving my low back and sciatica so this is what gets worked for the bulk of my one hour sessions.

About 4 or 5 weeks ago, I asked my MT if she could do ab massage to help relieve my IBS symptoms (diagnosed 6 years ago). She said she would, so I decided to wait until the next session to try it which was my last session about 2 weeks ago. I absolutely loved it! I was kind of apprehensive about getting my abs worked, since I didn't know what to expect. Now I'm going to make sure it's included in each session.

Now for my question. I had asked my MT to also work my adductors (she has never done them) while doing my legs, but she didn't touch them. I don't know if she doesn't know what they are or just forgot or didn't feel comfortable doing them. I didn't want to remind her to do them once I realized she wasn't going to. It seems the more my legs are massaged, the better I feel overall- I would have never thought this to be true without actually experiencing it myself.

I'm going to again mention to my MT to work my adductors at my next session which will be the 1st of July. I don't know if I need to say "inner thigh" just to make sure she knows what I'm talking about or just to say "adductors". This next session will be my first 90 minute session, so there should be plenty of time to work all areas.

Any tips or suggestions as to make sure she works my adductors?
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Postby betruetoo on Sun Jun 25, 2006 3:12 pm

A lot of massage therapists are taught to "red flag" a client when "adductors" are mentioned..

The majority of clientele that are looking for "happy endings" usually use 'adductors' when asked for areas wanting worked.. I'm saying majority.. not all. There are a lot of athletes that need adductor work but receive it fully clothed.

most MTs actually don't learn techniques to massage them since adductors are so close and connect with the groin area. Some MTs aren't phased by this kind of work.. and some won't do it, period.

It's really going to be up to your MT as to whether she'll agree to work them or not. But just thought you might want to know that a lot of schools.. a lot of them.. don't teach adductor work because of how close it is to the genital area and how it can and may cause sexual stimulation. And since Massage Therapy isn't about sex.. you can probably understand why many MTs avoid the area altogether to retain their professional status.
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Postby Massage Me! on Sun Jun 25, 2006 3:59 pm

Ah, I see. It's not that big of a deal, I just figured that if all of the current work done on my legs works as well as it does, then why not do the entire legs. I work my legs extensively weightlifting and they can get quite tight.

I probably won't mention it again then, since it's kind of taboo or could be considered ill intentioned. I think my MT knows me well enough by now to know I am there for absolutely nothing more than a relaxing and theraputic massage.

Thanks for the reply.
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Postby Shannon on Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:07 pm

Ask her again. All Mt''s are not opposed to massaging the adductors. I for one see no problems with it and would massage the adductors, as I always do with every massage that I do.
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Postby moogie on Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:34 pm

I would ask her again. I also have no problem working the adductors, especially on an already established client. If a new client asks, then I am more cautious. Even then though, I'd still work the problem area but only doing therapeutic modalities, not relaxation.

My guess is that either she forgot your request or simply ran out of time.

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Postby Talenyn on Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:45 pm

I would ask again too... It is an area I address in every massage. If deeper or more specific work is necessary, some leg position changes should give better access, without comprimising anything.
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Postby Massage Me! on Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:50 pm

I think I'll ask again- she'll either say yes or no and then I'll know whether she will do them or not.

Thanks for all of the replies everyone!
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Postby betruetoo on Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:27 am

Let me clarify myself.. I should have said 'red flag' to new clients.. especially new people that just want adductor and ab work.. You've gone to her on more than one occasion and have built a working relationship with her.. casually ask again.. at least if she says no, you'll have a better understanding why she might have said that answer.. :)
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Talking with your therapist.

Postby MassagesOnTheRun on Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:50 am

Hi, I'm new and just joined here a day or two ago. I work on many BIG Athletes. They don't know the names of the muscles, even after their own team trainer tells them what it is. Do the same things for your therapist, what the athletes do for me during their session.


This muscle hurts from here to here ...
The pain feels like ... (Dull throb, sharp, electrical, constant, etc)
I find that when you massage this muscle, this other area of my body feels better afterwards...
"Tuck me in as tight as you want" (when working on the innter thigh)


This will help put your therapist at ease and may help them understand more clearly what you need in your massage.


Lifting weigths helps the muscles hold the spine in place, in some cases helps reduce misalignment, which then the L2-L5 puts pressure on the nerve, then runs down you leg. SWIMMING is a great thing for you to do also! A hot tub, to a pool, back to the hot tub, back to the pool is what I personally do!


I hope this helped!


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