The health benefits of massage – from stress reduction to the treatment of pain and muscle tension –are well-documented. But despite the facts, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) reports that only 19% of adult Americans received at least one massage between July 2015 and July 2016, and an average of 32% of adult Americans received a massage in the previous five years. In other words, 81% of U.S. adults within the past year, and 68% of U.S. adults over the previous five years, did not enjoy the benefits of massage.
So why are so many people choosing to forgo massages when there are clear benefits for both body and mind? One of the primary reasons is the vast amount of misinformation and various misconceptions that exist around massage. While most people are familiar with massage therapy, few fully understand the process and what a typical session entails.
At Gainesville Massage Therapy (GMT), we’re in the myth-busting business and in this post, that’s exactly what we’ll do. Read on and join us as we examine, and bust, a few of the most common “massage myths.”
“Massages are a luxury, not a necessity.”
Chances are you’ve heard or even (gasp!) expressed this sentiment yourself. Perhaps Hollywood is to blame for this misconception, as the silver screen often portrays massages as occurring only within the context of some exotic resort spa; adorned with tropical flowers and decadent desserts. Actually…that sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? Sorry, what were we talking about? Right, misconceptions!
While massage is certainly one form of pampering, it is by no means limited to the walls of a fancy resort, nor is it accessible only to the wealthy. In addition to spas and resorts, licensed massage therapists serve clients in individual or group practices, as well chain locations.
But most importantly, the belief that massage is not an integral component in maintaining health is false. As previously mentioned, massage has proven to be effective in reducing stress and treating pain and muscle tension. But according to the Mayo Clinic, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
At Gainesville Massage Therapy, we have helped bring relief to clients from symptoms associated with chronic illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/ chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and more.
“No pain, no gain.”
For some people, the word “massage” conjures up images of burly therapists who work out knots with a firm elbow between the shoulder blades and are not afraid to stand on a client’s back. Thankfully, this cringe-worthy stereotype could not be farther from the truth, as is the belief that massage must be painful to be effective. While massage is intended to work sore areas of the body, an experienced therapist should be able to provide you thorough treatment with little to no discomfort.
Listening to your body is critical in any active or healthy endeavor, and massage is certainly no exception. GMT’s team of therapists are not only experts in massage, they’re also expert listeners. We’ll guide you through the process while asking for feedback and adjusting pressure and techniques based on your comfort and preferences.
“Massages are too expensive.”
This is a common excuse that many who elect not to pursue massage therapy provide. The truth is, massages are like cars – there is wide variation and a plethora of options. Just as you don’t need a Maserati to get from point A to point B, you don’t need an expensive massage package from a luxury spa to realize the health benefits of massage.
Gainesville Massage Therapy offers massages at an affordable price, with therapeutic packages starting as low as $45. In addition, you can enjoy further savings through our loyalty program.
It is also worth noting that some health insurance providers will cover massage, so be sure to check your plan and coverage benefits to see if you qualify.
“I don’t have time.”
We get it, you’re busy. But a massage does not have to be an all-day affair to be effective. The time necessary for optimal results varies based on the client and his or her desired outcomes – those seeking to reduce stress and improve overall wellness will likely require one or two sessions per month, while those suffering from chronic pain may be best served by weekly sessions.
But regardless of your situation, the time requirement is minimal. If you’re still feeling squeezed for time, start small. Do you have one hour to spare each month? That’s all you need to begin your journey to wellness and a healthier you.
“Aren’t massages done in the nude? I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with that.”
This is perhaps one of the greatest misconceptions surrounding massage. While it’s true that clothing can sometimes get in the way of a thorough massage, the degree to which you choose to disrobe depends on the type of massage you’re receiving, and of course, your level of comfort. Some people prefer to receive a massage in their underwear, while others opt to be nude under a sheet for therapy. Regardless of the situation, only the areas being massaged will be exposed and the rest of your body will be draped during the session.
At GMT, we know that your comfort is a key part of the massage experience. We’ll work with you however you feel comfortable to provide an experience that is both relaxing and healing.
Busting myths and winning customers
If any of these myths resonate with you, fear not – at GMT, your health and satisfaction are our priority. With over 25 years of experience, we’ve heard it all and we have the knowledge and experience to put your mind at ease. Contact us today at 352-519-5106 or [email protected] to learn more about our services and schedule your session.