I've had massages before, but never from a professional. Yesterday I went in and paid for a 30 minute massage. My acupuncture lady suggested I try getting a massage as part of the treatment for my migraines. I wasn't sure what to expect, having someone I didn't know touch me. Kind of creeps me out.
I'm not into the whole getting naked in front of strangers thing.
She massaged my back and neck and at the end used peppermint on the base of my neck. I wasn't sure if that would bother me. Strong odors usually trigger migraines, but she said she has migraines and the smell doesn't bother her.
The massage felt ok and I left feeling better than when I came in. I had a migraine going in, but then I have a migraine almost every day now.
I felt pretty good for about an hour and then the headache got worse and worse as the day went on. The smell got to me and I finally had to take a bath and wash the peppermint oil off. I had to take lots of medicines and still felt horrible most of the day. By the end of the evening, my back and neck were so sore. I asked my friends on Facebook what was up with that? Most posted that I should have been drinking lots of water. The lady told me to drink water and relax all day.
I was drinking water, every time I took medicine and with lunch and dinner, so about 40 ounces all day, but I guess that wasn't enough. That's more than I usually drink. Most people said it was because the massage was releasing toxins that were stored in my muscles. That just didn't make sense to me. Why would my body store toxins? So, I did some research. I'm a scientist you know :) Turns out, a massage is like exercise or bumping into a wall and getting a bruise. It puts stress on the muscles and makes them produce lactic acid. It causes trauma to the muscles, especially if there is any pain during the massage. I didn't know that going in and figured that if there was pain, that meant she was working out a sore spot and that it was supposed to hurt.
Will I make massage part of my long term health plan? Not sure. I have acupuncture on Tuesday and will talk to her about it. It certainly didn't make me feel better, but maybe combined with acupuncture and exercise I can find a combination that will work out so I can take less medication.