Debunking Common Misconceptions About Massage Therapy


Massage therapy is a therapeutic practice with many health benefits. However, people still associate it with myths and misconceptions that prevent them from taking advantage of it. They might think that massages just aren’t for them when in reality, massages are good for anybody and everybody!

It’s important for us to debunk these myths and misconceptions and set the record straight.

1. Massages are All the Same

False! Inaccurate! Bogus! Unfounded!

There are lots of massages that use different techniques and target different areas of the body. At our Santa Monica massage therapy center, for example, we offer deep tissue, Swedish, Thai, hot stone, Shiatsu, and reflexology massages.

What massage to pick totally depends on what you prefer and what you want to achieve. For example, I personally prefer massages with lots of oil, which makes me prefer Swedish massages over Thai and Shiatsu. I also don’t exercise as much as I should, which makes deep tissue massages too intense for me.

Have a chat with your massage therapist to see what kind of massage would work best for you.

2. Massage is Meant to Be Pampering

There are various reasons why people get massages. Not all massages are meant to be pampering sessions.

Firstly, massages help reduce stress and tension. When we’re in stressful situations like school and work, the muscles tighten up in problematic areas like the neck, shoulders, back, and legs. This causes aches and soreness that eventually wears down on us. Massages loosen up tight knots of muscles and release feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin that help us feel relaxed afterward.

Secondly, massages help us find pain relief and prevention. It promotes blood circulation that helps people who experience headaches and migraines. It aids in recovery and makes the tissue more flexible, which helps people who exercise or play sports recover from muscle soreness quicker and prevent injury from happening. Massages can even help pregnant women deal with sudden changes in their bodies!

Lastly, and as you have probably guessed, massages are a form of self-care. It not only pampers you but also has numerous health benefits.

3. Massages are Detoxifying

You may have heard people tell you about the detoxifying qualities massages have, but there is actually no scientific proof behind this. In fact, one could argue that massages actually create toxins—they cause minor muscle trauma that you’ll eventually get used to.

Now while that might sound scary, getting a massage is actually like exercising—you could get some soreness when you first start doing it. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after exercise is pretty similar to post-massage soreness and malaise (PMSM). The latter is what people often mistake for that so-called release of toxins a massage causes.

What a massage does instead is reduce our stress and tension. Your blood and lymph circulation will start to improve, there’ll be more endorphins in your system, and your immunity will get stronger… all things that help flush toxins from the body.

So, while massages don’t directly detoxify, they do things that help detoxify.

4. Massages That Aren’t Painful Aren’t Effective

As we mentioned earlier, not all massages are the same. Some people would prefer lighter or heavier touches, some would prefer an area of muscle to get more care, and some even have a different kind of massage altogether.

The bottom line is this: just like how all massages are different, the experiences we get after a massage are different too. It all depends on the kind of body you have and what you wanted to achieve after the massage. People that just want to be relaxed and pampered don’t need to feel pain post-massage, and people that didn’t feel pain might just have a higher pain tolerance.

5. Massages are Short-Term Remedies

We mentioned earlier that getting a massage is like exercising—you need to do it consistently. You aren’t going to lose weight or gain muscles with just one session. Your muscles need to build endurance before you can start seeing results. In the same way, you need to get multiple massages for your muscles to be loose and flexible for longer.

This is why we have a monthly membership at our massage therapy clinic in Santa Monica. We know how important it is to have regular sessions as the relief you get afterward will last longer and longer the more you have them.


As always, you need to do your research before believing anything you hear. If you’re still unsure about massage therapy and how it can benefit you, feel free to reach out to us at (310) 928-9851 or We’ll be more than happy to assist you.