"1 Ounce of Prevention is worth 10 Pounds of Cure"
A number of clients come who come to us on a regular basis, use massage as it is best purposed, as a preventative therapy. Through regular massage, clients enjoy a comfortable & relaxing experience, where their muscles are kept loose & flexible. When your muscles are strong & healthy, the feeling of having your tissue massaged and flushed is among the best of experiences going. Massage works to keep them this way.
However, we also work with clients who are in pain at the moment and seeking relief ASAP. This is a bit different scenario where by we are no longer working on a healthy & relaxed muscle. Often times when we see patients in the pain stage, discomfort is arising from their muscles causing an uncomfortable amount of tension, either by injury, or by the body's natural ability to guard, protect & compensate for other areas which may be injured or not as strong. This can be incredibly uncomfortable for people, and getting their muscles back to a balanced state can be quite a chore. (But the reward is worth it)
By times, our therapists must carefully work against the inflamed or over tense muscles in order to get that muscle to relax & loosen up. We literally have to exhaust the muscle, so that it is forced to relax and go into a repair mode. These tensioned muscles can also put extra strain on joints as well, masking the perceived cause of the pain. Many people assume they should go to a Chiropractor in these situations, yet often times the joint & skeletal issues are being caused by too much muscle tension.
We also work to flush the area through pressure application which draws fluids into the region, then can be flushed out, taking with them build ups of lactic acids. This is one of the key reasons it is important to have a glass of water both before and after your treatment.
Patients who are in this discomfort, may find their massage to feel a bit "Sharper" as they the therapist is working around an already damaged & guarded region. Communication with your therapist is essential here so they can gauge your tolerance; and be sure to stay within your comfort level. The therapist will have to work on those "problem" muscles directly and they can often times be far more sensitive than a relaxed muscle.
The reward though, is more than worth it. If you have ever found yourself in an uncomfortable state, and had your pain massaged away, you can certainly understand the value of that relief. Any time you can remove excess tension from a body in repair mode, the more comfortable the patient is going to feel, and the faster they are likely to heal.