Body Sense

SPRING | 2016

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Page 12 of 15—your resource for all things bodywork 13 FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION As the massage continues, your therapist will zero in on your pain area. When that happens, your attention will be drawn to the spots that are tender. For instance, if your neck is bothering you, your massage therapist will search for the tender or tight areas in your cervical muscles. In a short period of time, your therapist will find the epicenter of your pain and delineate its borders (e.g., it's tight underneath the base of your skull, but not a thumb-width below it.) Now, you are completely aware of your pain area and can start to evaluate whether massage is helping to reduce the pain. REDUCE PAIN Once the pain area is identified, your therapist will begin to work on reducing the pain through applying the appropriate pressure. Too much pressure may cause you to tense up, but just the right amount of pressure will evoke the hurts-so-good response. Depending on the issue, it's not uncommon to feel immediate pain reduction during the massage. Other times, relief may occur right after you get off the table or a day or two after the massage. MONITOR PAIN Experiencing pain reduction after a massage drives home the idea that paying attention to pain is a good thing. It's a 180-degree shift from viewing pain as If applied to everyday life, this perspective of paying attention to your pain—initiated and reinforced in a massage session—could actually help prevent injury.

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