Massage Therapy is Also About ... putting your health in your own hands
“…the clients showing the best results are not always the ones getting more massages. The desire to understand the causes and aggravating factors of our own musculoskeletal conditions and the willingness to develop self-awareness, are key to gradually improving posture, range and quality of movement and thus achieving a body in balance.”
“Welcome to the pain or discomfort industry!”, a college exclaimed when I first ventured into my career as a Massage Therapist. In the beginning, I thought that assumption was exaggerated, but eventually I realized 95% of my clients were suffering from “stiffness”, pain or general discomfort in their everyday lives with most of their complaints involving the back and neck.
Analyzing the posture and body mechanics of clients suffering from this type of chronic condition, I noticed the following common ailments: thoracic kyphosis, medially rotated shoulders, forward head posture, weak and overstretched Middle Trapezius, Lower Trapezius and Rhomboids, and hypertonicity in Pectoralis Major, Levator Scapulae, Upper Trapezius, Subscapularis and Scalenes. Essentially, the “cobra-like” posture. Furthermore, I noticed a directly proportional correlation between signs and symptoms. In other words, the more “cobra-ish” the look, the higher the chances to suffer from back and neck pain or discomfort.
Unfortunately, most of us can easily think of at least one person close to us presenting and suffering from the musculoskeletal pattern described above, if not ourselves. This is the most common musculoskeletal condition that I have encountered with my clients, likely due to our modern world’s daily activities generating poor postural habits such as prolonged sedentary positions at the office, studying at a desk, gaming or “relaxing” in front of the TV.
Chronic Musculoskeletal imbalances are not reserved to the back and neck, they can happen everywhere in the body and if these imbalances are not addressed, musculoskeletal disorders are more than likely to develop. If we just look at the upper body, Upper Crossed Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, tension headaches, and Shoulder Impingement are conditions that may surface in the short and mid-term. If left uncorrected, conditions such as Spinal Stenosis, Facet Joint Irritation, and intervertebral disc pathologies such as Disc Avulsion or Herniated Nucleus Pulposus will have more chances to develop in the long term.
An effective Massage Therapy treatment, followed by appropriate home care helps reduce the levels of stress, pain, discomfort, hypertonicity and it improves the client’s range of motion and quality of movement. In that sense, Massage Therapy is awesome. However, in my experience, the clients showing the best results are not always the ones getting more massages. The desire to understand the causes and aggravating factors of our own musculoskeletal conditions and the willingness to develop self-awareness, are key to gradually improving posture, range and quality of movement and thus achieving a body in balance.
At postureffect, we believe Massage Therapy is not only about making our clients feel better. We are convinced that Massage Therapy is truly about putting our clients’ health in their own mind, heart and hands, by offering tools that will allow them to be a proud builder of their own body condition. As our client or our YouTube follower, we are happy to show you the fundamentals of what happens within and between some of the structures that live under your skin, how they can be subject to injury and what to do for prevention and healing.
Our environment and our activities at work and play are external forces that can threaten our bodies wellbeing. However, that is only the case if we give them the power to do so by giving up responsibility for ourselve