Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 671335

Shown: posts 1 to 18 of 18. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Massage therapy for trauma?

Posted by Racer on July 28, 2006, at 1:49:00

My T strongly recommended a massage therapist to me, saying she thinks it might help me with getting over trauma. (This relates to my above post.) I've called the massage therapist, but haven't been able to speak with her to arrange an appointment yet.

Has anyone else tried this route? How did it work out for you?q

 

Re: Massage therapy for trauma?

Posted by pegasus on July 28, 2006, at 12:37:45

In reply to Massage therapy for trauma?, posted by Racer on July 28, 2006, at 1:49:00

I haven't had massage therapy specifically for help with trauma, but I've certainly combined massage with therapy. I've found that it just makes me feel bad. What might work is massage *before* therapy, but I've never managed that. I tend to go afterwards, and then I waste the whole massage feeling bad about the stuff that came up in session. It doesn't feel like it helps me release any of the stuff.

What is the theory behind your T's recommendation? That you're storing the trauma in parts of your body? I think that massage work in that case could be hard, as it releases what you've been holding. Or maybe it'd be fantastic. What do I know.

If you do it, let us know how it goes.

peg

 

Re: Massage therapy (poss sexual trigger) Racer

Posted by toetapper on July 28, 2006, at 12:52:04

In reply to Massage therapy for trauma?, posted by Racer on July 28, 2006, at 1:49:00

Yay! I can finally contribute!

: >)

I'm new here and don't really know anyone or their stories yet, I don't know if your trauma is the same as mine, sexual violence. I have a massage a few times a month, at what had become the worst hour of the worst day of the week for me, and it has helped quite a bit. I have a high need to be touched but have difficulty with physical intimacy, especially the underlying current or expectation of it turning to sexual intimacy, massage offers me physical contact but in a way that is safe, non-threatening, and requires absolutely nothing in return. It took me a while to find the right one but I have had the same massage T for years now, he is intuitive and holistic and has helped heal me in ways no one else could, opening me to simple affection and physical contact with another human being, in much the same way as innocent, affectionate physical contact with my children. Sometimes I like to listen to music, sometimes I like to talk, sometimes I just want total quiet, sometiems I'm angry, sometimes I cry, sometimes I'm aroused, sometimes who knows what. But it's always SAFE. It's an hour of safe space to feel, whether thoughts, emotions, or sensations. It also has opened a way for me to communicate what I want/need to someone without negative repurcussions, like I don't want to roll over today or just work on my neck, and some days I can't even take my shirt off and he's completely accepting of that. He's great.

There are a lot of things I could give up or do without in my day-to-day life, but massage therapy is not one of them!

I hope you give it a try, let us know!

 

Thank you toetapper

Posted by Racer on July 28, 2006, at 17:42:50

In reply to Re: Massage therapy (poss sexual trigger) Racer, posted by toetapper on July 28, 2006, at 12:52:04

Yeah, my T had something like that in mind -- a safe way to feed my need for physical contact, while also experiencing my body. It's good to hear that it's worked so well for you, and I'm waiting to hear back from the massage therapist my T recommended.

Thanks for your response.

(And Peg? Thanks for yours, too. I can certainly imagine how it would be to have a massage AFTER therapy... Not what I'm shooting for... Although I just started *physical* therapy, and that's likely gonna have some days in common with the massage. Oh, well...)

 

Re: Thank you

Posted by happyflower on July 28, 2006, at 21:16:23

In reply to Thank you toetapper, posted by Racer on July 28, 2006, at 17:42:50

I am thinking about having a massage for the first time. There are so many kinds, I don't know where to start.

 

Re: Massage therapy for trauma? Racer

Posted by ElaineM on July 28, 2006, at 22:50:38

In reply to Massage therapy for trauma?, posted by Racer on July 28, 2006, at 1:49:00

Racer:

I've felt like I wanted to respond to this subject but I wasn't sure what to say exactly. I have a hard time with the idea of massage. My alt.med. doc has wanted me to have deep tissue (fas...? [don't know word])massage, but I've always been terrified of letting someone else touch me now. I actually haven't gone back to her in over two months, cause I'm afraid she'll ask if she can work on me again.

Anyways, I've heard that massage therapy is also used as a treatment for ED's too -- that it helps you own and accept your body more. I don't know anyone personally who's done it though.

I'm really interested in hearing what you experience is like. My T now also says that being touched has physiological effects. Is it endorphins? (is that the right word?) I'd better stop, I'm getting in over my head, and probably confusing terms.

Are you scared at all?

 

Re: Massage therapy for trauma? ElaineM

Posted by Racer on July 29, 2006, at 2:08:16

In reply to Re: Massage therapy for trauma? Racer, posted by ElaineM on July 28, 2006, at 22:50:38

> > I'm really interested in hearing what you experience is like. My T now also says that being touched has physiological effects. Is it endorphins? (is that the right word?) I'd better stop, I'm getting in over my head, and probably confusing terms.
>
> Are you scared at all?

Sure, I'll let you know, after I see this woman. If I see her. She still hasn't returned my last two calls...

Am I scared at all? Yes, partly because I'm always scared of new things, but partly because it's about being touched -- although I'm as afraid that I won't benefit from it as that something bad will happen. I'm too tired for that to make sense. But I know what I mean...

I'm hoping it will be helpful, and I'll let you know.

 

Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist

Posted by toetapper on July 29, 2006, at 11:26:22

In reply to Re: Massage therapy for trauma? ElaineM, posted by Racer on July 29, 2006, at 2:08:16

Hi again,

ElaineM brings up a good point, finding a "good" massage T is a lot like finding a good psych T. If she hasn't responded timely to two messages I wonder if she is the right one to start with. I would already be holding resentment or ambivalence, which I would carry with me into our session and would end up getting in my way. Did your psych T recommend her because she knows her to be intuitive/holistic? I've had several Ts who just gave a straight massage, which feels good and releases tension and all that, sort of routinized and mechanical and impersonal (like at a spa), but if you are unsure of being touched by a stranger that is probably not the best place to start.

Start somewhere you are physically and mentally comfortable enough to communicate what YOU need, if you want to be dressed or undressed, actually saying out loud to someone I like kneading but I don't like poking, I'd prefer you just work on my shoulders, I'd prefer quiet today, etc. The really cool thing about the guy I see now is whatever thoughts he has about me and my weirdness and my body he keeps completely to himself. Completely. I have never once ever felt uncomfortable around him about anything, but I definitely have around other massage Ts. Again, same issues as a psych T, feeling like you aren't being heard or respected, seeing something pass across their face, etc.

Bottom line though, I can't say enough positive things about having that physical intimacy/contact in my life, it opened and liberated me on so many different levels in very significant ways. I came at it the other way around, massage T is what finally gave me the oomph to pursue psych T, which in my particular case is the one that went haywire. Massage T has been an almost-weekly part of my life for 10 or 12 years now, and more than anything else I've tried heals my body and ability to be in my own skin. My head, different story...

As one of my kids would say "fingers, toes, thumbs, nose" I have everything crossed it is a positive experience for you.

 

Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist

Posted by llrrrpp on July 29, 2006, at 12:05:14

In reply to Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist, posted by toetapper on July 29, 2006, at 11:26:22

Hi Racer,
I do a kind of alternative physical therapy that involves gentle manipulation. clothes on, etc etc.

I knew I wanted to do this, because I was having bad tenditis in my arm, and I knew that something was wrong. I'll be happy to b-mail you more info if you're interested. It's not massage per se, but like most physical therapies, it's hands on, gentle.

I keep my clothes on. so that's no stress, but my PT is a guy, not much older than I am, so it's kind of strange. Basically, though, it comes down to trust. If you can trust a PT to touch you, and trust a PT to explore uncomfortable ranges of motion etc, then you emerge stronger. Rewarded.

Funny how trust leads to the paradox -- the more we give others, the more we get in return.

I have also done Thai massage (which is done in loose pajama like outfits, and involves a series of partner stretches and pressure-point massages) and spa-style massage treatments. Very nice, but I'm kind of sensitive to firm massage, so it was a little too intense for me.

Basically, I rationalize it like this- massage therapists have seen ALL sizes, shapes, and ages of bodies. They assume that everyone is private and sensitive about some or all aspects of their person. They'd rather have a nice conversation with their client than work on the most spectacular specimen who is rude and uncooperative.

I think you'll get a lot out of this experience. And it will be good for you to have therapy so that you can sort out what massage therapy makes you feel and why.

enjoy!
-ll

 

Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist

Posted by happyflower on July 29, 2006, at 12:57:48

In reply to Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist, posted by llrrrpp on July 29, 2006, at 12:05:14

Okay, I have a question,

Do they massage EVERYTHING? I mean are there areas (private ones) that they leave alone normally? I have a chance to win a massage at my workout place, but I just want to know what to expect before I do this for the first time.

 

Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist happyflower

Posted by llrrrpp on July 29, 2006, at 13:59:17

In reply to Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist, posted by happyflower on July 29, 2006, at 12:57:48

> Okay, I have a question,
>
> Do they massage EVERYTHING? I mean are there areas (private ones) that they leave alone normally? I have a chance to win a massage at my workout place, but I just want to know what to expect before I do this for the first time.

In my experience, in the US and abroad, they start working on your back first, keeping your legs and butt draped. then they work on legs, keeping the other leg and butt draped. They will ask before they massage your butt cheeks. After they flip you over, usually keeping everything draped. working on the legs and arms, shoulders and neck area. they should keep your crotch, tummy and chest draped during these sequences. therapist will probably ask if you wish your stomach and chst massaged.

I also got my neck and scalp massaged.

If anything is uncomfortable for you, always speak up and ask for more drape, less pressure, skip an area etc. the massage therapist wants to please the client and make him/her comfortable. Again, they've seen everything and cannot possibly be offended when you ask for something specific.
-ll

 

Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist happyflower

Posted by pegasus on July 30, 2006, at 10:08:19

In reply to Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist, posted by happyflower on July 29, 2006, at 12:57:48

I've had lots of massages, from lots of therapists, and very rarely have they tried to massage my chest, belly, or butt. I've never explicitly told them not to, although you could do that at the beginning. Usually before they start they ask you if you have specific things that you'd like worked on. You could say that you are nervous about being touched in places that make you uncomfortable, so please ask before you move to a new place. Or please just do the back, neck, arms and legs (or whatever). I've definitely asked to have the whole hour spent working on my back or neck at times.

I took my mom for a massage once, and she was totally nervous about the same things. She ended up just asking for a hand, neck, and foot massage, with all of her clothes on. Afterward she raved about it. She'd never had her hands massaged before, and does a lot of hand sewing, so if felt delicious.

peg

 

maybe I might try one (llrrrpp, and peg) more ?'s

Posted by happyflower on July 30, 2006, at 11:46:25

In reply to Re: Massage therapy - finding a therapist happyflower, posted by pegasus on July 30, 2006, at 10:08:19

Okay, you all have put my mind to ease. LOL

Okay, now I have another question, and I hope nobody finds this offensive. But my DH used to say he could never get massages because he would become too arroused. Does this happen for either sex? You can give "in general" anwsers since it is kinda of a private thing.

Also at my health club they do these massages with hot stones, is anyone familar with that? What kind of massage should I get for my first time. I want to make sure it is a postive experience. ;-)

 

Re: maybe I might try one (llrrrpp, and peg) more happyflower

Posted by Dinah on July 30, 2006, at 11:57:59

In reply to maybe I might try one (llrrrpp, and peg) more ?'s, posted by happyflower on July 30, 2006, at 11:46:25

Do you remember the Seinfeld episode on the topic?

I imagine it happens, although I personally hate having people touch me.

 

Re: maybe I might try one (llrrrpp, and peg) more Dinah

Posted by happyflower on July 30, 2006, at 12:00:06

In reply to Re: maybe I might try one (llrrrpp, and peg) more happyflower, posted by Dinah on July 30, 2006, at 11:57:59

No, what did I miss? I loved that show!

 

Re: maybe I might try one (llrrrpp, and peg) more happyflower

Posted by Dinah on July 30, 2006, at 12:09:41

In reply to Re: maybe I might try one (llrrrpp, and peg) more Dinah, posted by happyflower on July 30, 2006, at 12:00:06

George was concerned that "it moved" while he was getting a massage from a male masseuse.

 

Re: maybe I might try one (llrrrpp, and peg) more happyflower

Posted by llrrrpp on July 30, 2006, at 22:01:52

In reply to maybe I might try one (llrrrpp, and peg) more ?'s, posted by happyflower on July 30, 2006, at 11:46:25

> Okay, now I have another question, and I hope nobody finds this offensive. But my DH used to say he could never get massages because he would become too arroused. Does this happen for either sex? You can give "in general" anwsers since it is kinda of a private thing.

I did a couples spa thing with my husband once. we were in the room together, and there was an adorable little Asian woman working on him. He said he was kind of turned on, but that's only natural, because he felt really relaxed. He said the situation turned him on, not the adorable Asian woman (I'm only going to believe him about 80% *wink*). He didn't have any 'physical manifestation' of this arousal, if this is your worry.

personally, I never had a problem with being aroused.

-ll

 

Re: Massage therapy for trauma? Racer

Posted by littleone on August 1, 2006, at 21:36:33

In reply to Massage therapy for trauma?, posted by Racer on July 28, 2006, at 1:49:00

I haven't had massage therapy as such, but I do get massages and wanted to mention a few things.

I dissociate and my feelings are often pretty cut off. I think I store a lot of tension from the cut off feelings in various parts of my body. I find that the massages tend to bring out the feelings quite a bit. I've cried into the face hole thing during a massage. And sometimes if I'm feeling really something but don't know what, the massage brings it out more and I can see it better. Not sure if that made sense.

I find that especially with my current massage lady I feel really vulnerable afterwards and actually get the shakes really badly. So I take two jumpers to put on afterwards to try and stay warm.

I do find some things triggering. I panic when she touches my neck. Which is hard, but it also helped me see that there is a definate issue there to be addressed (as oppossed to me thinking all this time that I just didn't like having my neck touched). I think that if you have a known trigger area, then you should warn the massage person and either avoid the area or go real slow and softly there.

I also feel too vulnerable and exposed lying face up. I really need the distance provided by lying face down. So I think it's important that you stick with what *you're* comfortable with, not what the massage person wants to do.

I know that I had to try over half a dozen different massage ladies before finding a good one. One even massaged my ears. My ears! Who gets stressed out ears? So don't give up if this lady isn't what you're looking for.

I'd be really interested in hearing how it goes for you if you go ahead with it.


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.