Massage Therapy - My Truth

Massage Therapy is more than the “stereo type” people like “spa massage” or relaxation massage and is so much more than deep tissue massage.

Massage therapy has so much to offer for those who are open and willing to educate themselves about the potential health benefits.

In the province of Ontario there is one general class for Massage Therapy. There are no “specialties” that College of Massage Therapists of Ontario “certify”. 

Massage therapy has more than one technique and one system of treatment. Traditionally many people put massage therapy in a box . People view it unclothed underneath sheets and treatment with lotion, gel or oil. There is more to massage than this.

Yes this type of treatment still and will always be available. This is one of the things I do as a massage therapist.

Do you think it is wise for a competitive swimmer to get a pre-event massage with oil, gel or lotion before they race? This would be one of the worst things for a swimmer prior to competing in a race. The gel, oil or lotion will block the pores of the swimmer and have a negative drag effect on their performance.

This is why we have the CSMTA – the Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association who teach Massage Therapists the proper way to prepare an athlete prior to competition. This is a perfect example of when soft tissue is manipulated without the use of oil, gel or lotion.

Next, many are so convinced that if does not hurt than then it is not effective. Ask someone who has deep massage on their back and was left with bruising and pain that lasted longer than four or five days.  ”Meathead” massage is not for everyone.

Massage therapists assess and treat many different conditions such as frozen shoulder, piriformis syndrome and torticollis (stiff neck). They take continuing education courses, read books to refresh themselves with techniques and gain new knowledge.

To paint all massage therapists with a single brush is a disservice to you and it is your loss that you do not benefit from excellent treatment. 

Massage Therapy Settings

Every massage therapist has something different to offer. There is more to massage therapy than meets the eye.

Massage therapists work in different settings such as hospitals, sports teams, multidisciplinary clinics, are mobile and some work out of their homes.

They perform other techniques that “manipulate” the soft tissue. Myofascial Release, visceral manipulation, craniosacral therapy, matrix repatterning and manual lymph drainage just to name a few.

Some assess your biomechanics and are able to treat the areas of the body that need to be balanced.

Massage therapists treat more than back and necks. You lose out on a great opportunity if focus on only neck and back treatments. Many massage therapists work in tandem with other health care professionals. They complement each other in the work they do.

I am fortunate to be around Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Athletic Therapists. They give me different perspectives when we share our experiences treating different musculoskeletal injuries.   

I perform Massage Therapy with informed based research with both intuition and experience.

You need to do your research to discover who works best for you.

Michael Wolfe Grafstein

RMT, CSMTA Sport Fellow, CAT(C), CMRP.