Frequently Asked Questions
Why might I want a massage?
A massage is one type of therapy that can aid recovery from injury, support physical and mental wellbeing and can be a mechanism to allow individuals to manage conditions such as osteoarthritis and to challenge persistent pain that individuals may have endured for many years.
Who do you work with?
Everybody! We have treated clients who have suffered soft tissue damage as the result of a fall or operation, who are not sporty, through to recreational sportspeople, club players and even a professional ballet dancer.
I have heard lots of talk about what massage can and can’t do. Can you provide some clarity?
There is simply no evidence to support frequently used statements about massage such as “it removes lactic acid from muscles”, “it lengthens muscle”, “it increases blood circulation around the body”.
However, what massage does do is provide an input to the skin- interacting with the nervous system. This means that massage is great for stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (the component that allows our body systems to slow down and relax), therefore it is useful in stress reduction, ‘downregulating’ the strength of pain feedback to the brain, which in turn allows the body to move possibly in a greater range of motion or with less pain, than before. There is a low correlation between pain and danger, and part of what we do is to re-educate the body and brain with non-threatening movement patterns.
Does a massage need to hurt to work?
In short- no. There are different sorts of massage, some are deeper and hence provide more force the tissues. There may be some discomfort but outright pain will invoke the body’s protection mechanism, leading the muscles to contract tighter and therefore producing the direct opposite effect to the one we are trying to gain. As you may imagine, this is therefore not something we seek!
I have had aches and pains for years- can a massage actually help me?
Yes! Rather than thinking in terms of physical change to the structure of muscles, ligaments and tendons, we are effecting the nervous system and the feedback that the receptors in the muscles give the brain. It will take time and a team-approach between client and therapist, but ‘muscle memory’ is a thing! Our body reacts to certain movements and feelings and builds a library of experience to draw on. Sometimes our job is to re-educate the body; for example just because a movement created a certain feeling does not mean that every time that movement is made the same feeling will occur- but the brain will use previous data and predict. As 80% of pain experienced does not correlate with danger, we need to re-programme the body and “prove” to it that we can bend down without triggering back pain, for example.
Why should I come to Pulse Therapy… I am not a sportsperson!
Although Pulse Therapy was born out of sport we treat a very wide age range (13-80+) many of whom would not class themselves as sporty. We pride ourselves in providing high quality service to all members of our community, including those who stay at Devon Hills holiday park or are visiting the area on holiday. Our aim is to support anyone who needs it and we are lucky to have the facilities available to supplement that. We even work remotely with clients, currently as far away as the NW of England.
We are true to our mission statement: Movement, Performance and Pain-free living- and this applies to all!