When you make an appointment for a massage, you're expecting it to feel good, that it will release tension, stress, and ease tight or sore muscles. You should know that that's not all you can expect though. In rare circumstances, getting a massage can present health risks including nerve damage, a pulled muscle, temporary paralysis, or internal bleeding because of too much pressure. Having sore muscles the day after a massage is one thing, but if you are experiencing shooting pains, muscle weakness, or tenderness that lasts more than two weeks, you should call your doctor.
To make sure your massage is everything you expect it to be
- Before you show up for your massage, talk to the practitioner about his or her training, experience, and the type of massage. Not all massage therapists are created equal, and if you want an hour of relaxing and gentle touching, then you don't want to sign up for a deep tissue massage. You can also talk about any concerns or questions you have.
- Talk to the practitioner again once you show up for your appointment. Make sure you tell them about any injuries or sore areas on your body that you want them to avoid or be gentle with.
- Do your homework. Only see a massage therapist that a trusted friend or medical professional has recommended. You want to make sure they are a certified massage therapist. If you don't know of any in your area, check out this directory.
- Speak up. If at any time during the massage something doesn't feel right or is painful, tell the practitioner. Massages can be intense at times, but should never hurt enough to cause an injury.