What massage can, and cannot do for you.
My personal theme for this year is "clarifying my role." In terms of my professional life as a massage therapist, this is always important, always ongoing process. Though I am well aware of what it is that I do and do not do, it will always be my job to clarify to new clients just what it is that massage can and cannot do for them. There will always be new clients, there will always be a fresh crop of in vogue maladies that many will claim massage can help.
So let me narrow it down: I help reasonably healthy people optimize their existing health through preventative maintenance of muscles and joints. If you have muscle tension, I can help with that. If that muscle tension causes other problems (say, a headache) then what I do might also help that secondary problem.
I do help some people in pain, but that depends on the cause of the pain. If the cause of your pain is muscular in nature, it is likely that I can help with that. If you have neurological pain, I cannot help with that. Your pain is real, but I don't work on the nervous system. Find below a short list of things for which people have asked my help:
*Acute Sciatic Pain
Now, based on what you've read so far, can a massage therapist help with any of these maladies? I'm sure there is some massage therapist out there will claim that she can. I do not. I simply facilitate muscle and joint mobility. Now, if you have taken charge of your own health and add massage to that overall plan, fantastic. You might use massage as part of an overall plan to feel less depressed. It might even become your favorite part of that plan. Great. If this happens, I didn't help you solve your depression problem, you did. You took action, listened to your body and now you feel better.
So there's the crux of the matter: YOU are the puzzle master; massage may be one piece. No matter how many experts you consult on the subject of your own health, ultimately you have to take charge and put it all together. The best part is, when you succeed, you get the credit!