By Angie Blakemore

Angie Blakemore, LMT, has been working as a licensed massage therapist for eight years. She graduated from the Florida School of Massage in 2011. But, her interest in massage came from her own health issues, starting with soreness in her leg that was not relieved by the usual stretching. It took one massage to fix her problem. She read about trigger point therapy and experimented on herself and family, it worked and resulted in her desire to learn about helping others experience relief through massage therapy.

What are the benefits of massage therapy?

The list is long! Massage therapy is great for stress relief, improving sleep, reducing migraines and improving range of motion, just to name a few. Ti any Field, PhD
with the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami states, “Massage has had positive effect on every medical condition we’ve looked at.”

Is massage therapy just for relaxation?

While massage is great for relaxation it can also help people with minor aches and pains as well as those who are recovering from injuries or surgery. Often times, clients will mention a pain in their arm or foot and be surprised when the pain improves after their session. Tightness and knots in muscles can be the cause of headaches, symptoms that mimic carpal tunnel syndrome and even buckling knees. For those who have had surgery, massage helps improve blood and lymph ow for improved healing times and can also help prevent tissue restrictions that limit motion later. Make sure to ask your doctor when this would be appropriate post operatively, write down any restrictions they would suggest and choose a therapist who is experienced with this type of work.

Can I get a massage if I am already in pain?

Absolutely! It’s best not to wait until that point but sometimes things sneak up on us before we realize it. Clients often experience great relief in their first session.

How often should I get massage?

If you are receiving treatment for long standing issue, it would be good to have several sessions within a few weeks, and then taper to once a month for maintenance. People who have physical jobs, sports enthusiasts or those with medical conditions, may find that more frequent massage sessions are beneficial.

Is there such thing as too much pressure or should I take as much as I can handle?

While working with a therapist, always communicate with them about your pain levels during the session. If the pressure they are using is causing you to tense up or guard against pain, you can ask them to use lighter pressure. The goal is to get the muscles to relax, not for them to brace for impact.

I have had a knot in my shoulder blade for a month, it comes and goes, do you think a massage will help?

It’s a great place to start. Getting a massage will definitely help with the muscle tension. If you find the knots come back after receiving multiple sessions, your massage therapist may recommend consulting with a physical therapist to strengthen and balance out the muscles of the neck and shoulder.