Working with pain

How massage therapy can help when you are in pain.

Pain is relevant to massage therapy in a number of ways. In this article I look at the treatment of painful conditions such as lower back pain.

I have seen how pain can impact people’s lives. Pain effects everyday activities and can be upsetting and worrying. Pain makes it hard to concentrate on other things. People suffering from pain adapt their movements and activities in an attempt to avoid it. Clients say things like, “The only position I’m comfortable in is x, y or z and that’s getting worse.” The body also adapts unconsciously by changing posture and calling on other parts of the body to take the strain.

Of course pain can be a symptom of many things and if you’re not sure, do see your doctor. If however your pain is muscular then you might find that your GP doesn’t offer much help to address its cause.
Massage works to relieve pain in a number of ways. 1. by finding and relaxing muscle tension that is causing or contributing to your pain. 2. by relaxing the whole person 3. by changing the way you perceive pain 4. by helping you understand the mechanics of the problem you are experiencing. 5. by helping you make beneficial changes in your life 6. by changing the way your body feels and the way you feel about your body.

As I therapist I need to be sensitive. I don’t want to trigger the pain – which would exacerbate the problem. I have a range of techniques so I can adapt around the sensitivity yet still be effective.

A client I saw recently had stiffness in his neck which caused pain up into his jaw and temple and behind his eye. During his massage sessions I’m working to help release his neck which is the immediate cause I’m also working around his hips and back to help his posture – and we’re discussing the influences which affect his everyday posture. It’s also a supportive environment where he can talk about his health and take time to relax.

As I work into painful areas I’m using my sense of touch and my clients reaction to judge what’s needed. As well as providing physical relaxation, I want my client to experience that part of their body in a new way; a way that can respond positively without pain. I think this is an important part of my treatment as it breaks the cycle of pain and tension.

After treatments clients report feeling looser, have increased movement and simply feeling better. Sometimes there are great steps forward in a single session, but I can’t promise.
Once a particular issue is resolved, people often opt for a regular treatment to keep them supple and head off any future problems.

If there’s anything you would like to discuss, please call me on 07941 094318.