This is where we talk about wellness, spirituality, and healing.
Let's Talk About Pain
Let’s Talk About Pain!
The general consensus is that pain is bad, right? What if I told you that sometimes pain is good? Just not too much pain though.
I listened to a podcast the other day that was discussing research into the relationship between pleasure and pain, and that we are overdoing on happiness. The back and forth of dopamine increase and depletion is causing us to become increasingly more depressed and suffering pleasure hangovers.
Okay, this isn’t what I want to talk about, but thought you might find it interesting. While listening to it though, it made me think about pain levels and the work that I do. Massage can be very pleasurable and it can be very painful. For anyone who has tension or muscle pain, a combination of both during a massage is the most effective treatment.
Most people initially come to me because they are in pain or discomfort and they want me to help them get rid of it. Totally understandable. Here’s the thing though, depending on the condition of the tissue, the level of pain during a treatment can be anywhere from mild to excruciating.
The goal with massage when addressing painful tissue (muscles, tendons and fascia) is to find the source of the pain. The source is not always where you happen to feel the pain or discomfort on a day to day basis, but it usually is where the tissue is most tender when pressure is applied.
When I find those tender spots, you know it! Sometimes that first initial touch is like a burning knife. If that happens, I can use a feather light circular motion to ease the tissue before using any pressure. This will help calm the pain receptors that are close to the skin, and eventually allow me to slowly increase my pressure so that I can get deep enough to release the adhesion or tightness that is causing the pain. So please, LET ME KNOW WHEN IT HURTS TOO MUCH!! And, tell me as many times as you need to. You may have several areas of tenderness, and if your pain receptors are on fire you need to let me know. Don’t worry, I won’t get upset or annoyed. We are a team working together, and your feedback helps me to do my job better.
Sometimes using cupping techniques or a massage gun is helpful and can be less painful. The cups can hurt a little at first, but the pain tends to dissipate after only a couple of minutes. The massage gun is useful for large areas of tight tissue, especially fascia, and it’s not always necessary to use a lot of pressure.
Taking breaks from working the affected tissue is also a good idea. Switching periodically from a more targeted tissue technique to soothing and relaxing techniques is better for the body than spending 100% of the time just working out the issues. This gives your body time to return to a relaxed state and helps the affected tissues to respond better to applied pressure. It also makes for a more enjoyable experience. Don’t be afraid to tell me when you need a break. I incorporate them when I feel it is needed, but you can also tell me when you feel that it is needed as well.
Communication is key to a successful massage. I don’t know what you’re feeling, so you have to tell me. I do have an idea of where things are going to hurt and will adjust my pressure accordingly, but I don’t know exactly what you’re feeling. A little pain is good because we know that I’m working in the right location, however; if that pain is making you wince and tense up, tell me to reduce the pressure. It is better to work through it slowly than to cause you extreme pain and discomfort during your massage.
Putting Your Wellbeing First
You have a lot on your plate. You're taking care of children or parents or both, helping out your friends, and trying to make a living. All while trying to stay healthy both physically and emotionally.
According to the American Psychological Association's (APA) 2017 survey, 77% of Americans said that they regularly experience physical symptoms of stress. In the APA 2020 survey, 67% say they have experienced increased stress over the course of the pandemic.
Stress can cause tension and tightness in the tissues of the body and in turn you experience pain and discomfort. If you let that go for too long it can become a chronic condition. Regular massage and Bhakti Healing treatments can mitigate this. If you're not feeling well, how helpful are you to your family? How productive are you at work? It is imperative that you take care of yourself so that you can be at your best for everyone else who is counting on you. If you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for them.