What is massage?
Massage simply is the manipulation of soft tissues (muscles, skin, fascia). Massage relaxes the body & mind, eases pain, releases tension, aids in blood flow and more.
How is massage done?
Usually you are lying face down or face up and oil is applied to the area that needs work. Gentle or firm strokes are applied to the body to engage the different tissues, mainly muscles.
Draping is always used. Draping is the use of blankets so that only the area needing massage is uncovered. It also keeps you warm and snug during the massage.
What does it actually do?
Massage can be applied in a number of different ways to have different effects. With NMT massage is specific to the anatomical structures that need work.
Different techniques have different outcomes. NMT can ease tension, switch of trigger points, promote blood flow, calm the mind, strengthen or stretch muscles, increase flexibility, improve breathing and more.
Does it hurt?
Massage should never hurt. Pain is the body's way of saying "nope, I don't like this". In fact, more often than not a subtler approach is more beneficial.
Although massage can be firmer, NMT applies its strokes in a way that works with the nervous system and not against it. Trigger point therapy can often be a little intense, especially as it stirs up referral patterns of pain. Once again, this pressure and intensity should not be so much that you can't breathe through it.
Will I be sore afterwards?
Although NMT will not cause pain during a session, sometimes tissues afterwards can feel a little tender. This usually happens the next day and can last 24-48hrs.
The reason for this is because deeper tissue work is like having a passive work out. The manipulation of tissues creates a therapeutic inflammation and micro tears in muscle fibres.
As you receive more massage your body becomes more accustomed to it. It's also important to rest after a massage and not do any strenuous physical activity. A light walk and hot bath is always helpful.
Is massage right for me?
When applied correctly massage is generally safe for almost everyone and because NMT uses a variety of different techniques sessions can be adapted based on your needs.
If you are ever unsure then consult your primary health physician.
How many sessions do I need?
This can never be answered with absolute certainty and will depend on the condition you present with. Yet, the good thing is NMT is always adapting and takes a holistic approach to every situation.
This means that the whole body is taken into consideration and sessions will change and be geared towards getting results and what you would like on the day (ease tension, relax etc.)
Usually at least some change is felt in the first session. Even if it's just feeling a little less stressed, to give back your body's ability to heal.
Can I get massage if I'm getting other therapy?
Absolutely! Massage works well with other types of treatment such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture and others.
advance NMT can help with acute or chronic conditions by assessing you and figuring out a treatment plan that works in conjunction with other treatments you might be receiving.
Can I get a massage if I'm pregnant?
Pregnancy massage has been typically said to be unsafe in the 1st trimester. However, a lot of research says this is a myth and massage is safe throughout pregnancy.
I say always check with your doctor or midwife before booking in for a massage.
Will I be in safe hands?
There is no denying that massage gets into your personal bubble. That is why it is important to know that you are in control of the session. You have the right to speak up if the pressure is too much, or you're too cold or whatever. You also have the right to terminate the session for any reason.
Currently in New Zealand there is no regulation on massage therapy.
I am a fully qualified therapist with advanced knowledge of the muscle skeletal anatomy and application of massage therapy, which was all gained at The New Zealand College of Massage.
Chris is a fully trained massage therapist, registered with Massage New Zealand,
he has two diplomas in therapeutic and clinical massage therapy and a certificate in relaxation.
Chris works from the historical Orewa House on the Hibiscus Coast and with the team at Lifestyles NMT in New Lynn, Auckland.