Top 10 Massage Myths

By Ian Chow, Cerftified Massage Therapist / Infant Massage Instructor / Oncology Massage Trainer

Length: 5.5 mins read (927 words)

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As a treatment massage therapist, these are some common myths that I have came across. At the end of the day, guess the moral of story is always trust what you feel when you are rendering the treatment and go with that instinct or ask the client further so you can make a more informed deduction.

Myth No.1: Dominant limbs will create more tension than the less dominant limbs.
Fact: If you are a right hander, it doesn’t mean that your right side of the body may have more tension than your left. When your right get exhausted, you may then rely on your left more; in fact, as the left is not the stronger one, it can get tense much faster and in the end, the left may end up with more dysfunctions than the right. This is refer to as “compensation” (Compensating, in a general sense, is an innovative way that the body adapts to a misaligned musculo-skeletal movement pattern.)

Myth No.2: Body stiffness mean the receiver is having muscle soreness.
Fact: Sometimes, some people muscle tones are just naturally hard (stiff) but yet, they feel perfectly fine. And if they have less fat in their body, the feeling will be different too and that rigid feeling is not necessarily a dysfunction. 


Myth No. 3: Massage will make you lose weigh.
Fact: It seems more likely that the therapist will lose more weigh than the receiver from the vigorous routine that the therapist does on the receiver.  😛 Massage certainly doesn’t burn the fats of the receiver in huge percentage until it can make a significant difference in your weight. Exercise and healthy diet are still two main ways to go for losing weigh and massage can definitely provide you with a more positive outlook while going through these regime.

Myth No. 4: One symptom related to an area means that specific area has dysfunction.
Fact: It is not necessary and this could also be a symptom of other underlying problems. At times, the issue could originate elsewhere and not on the pain site itself. If you are uncertain, best to always seeks professional medical advice.

Myth No. 5: Massage will spread cancer cells.
Fact: Many argue that massage increases blood and lymphatic circulation which in return will spread the cancer cell. However, research has indicated that oncology massage does not cause any more of an increase in blood flow than exercise and normal physical movement. In fact, many cancer patients find massage to be helpful in improving their overall psychological wellbeing plus giving some comfort to the symptoms while they are going through treatment for their cancer. Do find a qualified therapist in oncology massage to ensure that you are in good hand.


Myth No. 6: Urut batin (manhood therapy) equals a hand job / massage with a “happy ending”.
Fact: It is true that there are many that disguise it as a form of sexual service. But there are many others that offer genuine and proper treatment too. You can always clarify with your therapist before you sign up for any of the treatment. (Side note: Click here to read more about manhood therapy)

Myth No.7: Massage remove toxin / waste stored in your body.
Fact: This can happen but not in a literal way. Massage does aid the process. Massage as we know can help to promote the release of good hormones, provide better blood and lymphatic circulation and give a boost to your immune system. These processes will then in return help to flush out the toxin or waste in your body through numerous complex homeostasis process.

Myth No.8:  Pain at certain reflexology point means the corresponding organ has problem.
Fact: If you believe in “chi” energy, on certain times, our energy flow may not be that good in that corresponding area (in which this may also affect the effectiveness of the organ / system function) hence it is slightly more painful at that moment. In fact, reflexology treatment can aid in restoring the flow and make the organ function more effectively. But this doesn’t always mean you are having problem with the organ. Unless it is prolong pain or soreness, better to then go for a medical check up. (Side note: Click here to read about self care: 5 Glands Reflexology points)


Myth No.9: Massage cause miscarriage.
Fact: Well, like I have written before in my other article, some of the pregnant ladies might have unknowingly gone  through a massage session when they are in their first trimester and they are perfectly fine after that. On the other hand, as long as it is done by a qualified therapist, massage during any stage of pregnancy can be done safely. If you have any doubt, always consult your gynecologist.

Myth No.10: Massage needs to be painful to be effective.
Fact: Unfortunately, in our Asian massage culture, a lot of receivers always have the notion of, “the more pain I feel, the better I will be” after the massage.
I personally don’t believe in no pain, no gain at all time. For a massage to be effective, it definitely doesn’t have to be painful all the time. You may be feeling some form of soreness or non lasting pain at certain spots but it never should be prolong excruciating pain. Some soft techniques can be as equally powerful and I have personally experienced that too. It all depends on your root cause and the technique chosen to address that. 

Next: Benefit of Massage


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Ian Chow 周 奕 延

Your personal massage therapist

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