Is Pain During Massage Normal?

What does massage pain mean? Can it be a good thing? Should it be avoided?

*PSA: It should be noted that pain during bodywork or massage may have any unlimited number of reasons, and that any pain experienced during your session should be communicated to your therapist at the time of pain presentation.*

In the culture of massage, certain modalities are known for their somewhat–erm–vigorous–techniques. Take Deep Tissue, for example. If you didn’t make it “hurt so good,” did you even do it right? In Trigger Point release, tissue adhesions and inflammations are compressed until they…pop? Dissolve? Or otherwise deactivate. Sports massage often addresses healing injuries, and Thai massage therapists are known for twisting civilians into contortionist poses. Any of these modalities and more may cause some discomfort or even pain. Let’s dive into some common causes of pain during massage, which sensations might be beneficial or necessary, and which are best to be avoided.

First, let’s get on the same page about the terms pain vs. discomfort:

Pain is any body sensation that is unpleasant enough to cause guarding or dissociation, both of which I will explain in this article. These feelings might be shrouded in uncertainty or anxiety. This type of touch will likely not contribute to a healing environment for the body, and even has the potential to do more harm than good.

Discomfort is something that is able to be managed with concentration on the breath. It has a sense of safety surrounding it. The client knows that the sensation is temporary and purposeful and that the technique is being carried out by a practitioner that the client trusts. This type of touch may be beneficial to the massage session.

While we can’t possibly cover every scenario, let’s dive into some of the most common reasons I’ve seen clients in pain. It’s important to note that although these body conditions can cause pain on their own, massage techniques applied to these conditions may exacerbate these sensations. Much of how effective the massage is in these situations comes down to the amount of pressure or suction (when cupping) applied to the therapist's techniques as well as the therapist’s ability to guide the client through their breath and stages of release.

Common Causes of Pain During Massage

  1. Muscle soreness or tightness due to frequent or overuse-I see this with athletes and with people who are very active, but they rarely stretch, roll, or otherwise soften their soft tissues between their active sessions.
  2. Myofascial restriction due to chronic holding patterns-I see this with people who have been sitting in the same position or engaging in a repetitive motion for years as a part of their careers. E.g. Dental hygienists who must keep their head forward and shoulders rounded for hours at a time multiple times per week.
  3. Injury-An unpleasant experience that most of us can relate to. This is a huge topic. It’s not something I specialize in, but I have a great recommendation.
  4. Joint stiffness or de-stabilization-This is usually caused by inactivity and presents as either a limited range of motion or hyperflexibility.
  5. Lymphatic build-up-This is another symptom of low activity levels over time and can be associated with chronic holding patterns as well as surgery interventions. Lymph build-up can also be associated with feelings of ticklishness or itchiness.
  6. Anxiety or Trauma-Emotions live in the body tissues, and if the nervous system is not relaxed due to chronic stress or an old trauma, the brain may interpret even safe touch as threatening, causing the nervous system to fire pain signals.

So, Will My Massage Hurt?

I have two follow-up questions:

  1. What is the goal of the session?
  2. What is the state of the body?

Lots of bodies are in pain before they even get to the massage table-that’s what brought them there! Some levels of pain may be unavoidable for those who have experienced years of overuse, underuse, trauma, or neglect. In these cases, it’s best to mitigate the pain that already exists by using gentle and mindful touch. This is why I’ve chosen to specialize in nervous system massage, since many pain disorders can be addressed by way of relaxing old, engrained pain-oriented neural pathways. If your bodywork session goals go beyond relaxation, however, and you’re looking for some serious results in soft tissue rearrangement, you may be heading toward some of these more–ahem *intensive* modalities. Let’s look at what can happen when the nervous system is not taken into account prior to sessions that are likely to elicit the pain response.

The Body’s Response to Pain

Ok, let’s get back to the explanations of Guarding and Dissociation, two common responses to pain and what they mean for your bodywork sessions.

Let’s talk about Guarding. It’s probably the most common nervous system dysfunction I encounter. I call it a dysfunction because in many if not most people, they don’t know they’re doing it, and many times, they can’t control whether they’re doing it or not. So what is it? Guarding of the limbs (and nervous system) occurs when the client is not fully relaxed on the table. Even after being prompted to allow their limbs to be heavy, the client continues to “hold” or control the limb in a stiff way, rather than surrendering the weight of it to the therapist. Sometimes we call them zombie arms or rigor mortis legs. Ok, no one calls them that. But I hope that gives you a good visual.

Dissociation. This one gets a little trippy, but stay with me. Have you ever had a dream in which you were watching yourself move about like you were watching from above? Have you ever experienced this while you weren’t sleeping? I know some people who have. Dissociation is a separation of cognition or spirit from the body. This usually occurs during states of intense pain like injury, trauma, or extreme emotional distress–or maybe all of these at once. It is associated with feelings of numbness and lacking a mind-body connection.

It’s important that your therapist is educated on these bodily reactions because in these cases, the nervous system is the one that must be addressed first in order to prevent pain and execute an effective bodywork session. Addressing the nervous system will include conversation, guiding the breath, light touch, guided movement, energetic palpation, and soothing massage strokes. If the nervous system is stressed, and then intense modalities like Structural, Injury, or Sports techniques are applied, pain may occur without much long-term benefit to the client.

Myth: A painful massage is an effective massage.

Truth: In most cases, massage should be pain-free. 

Ok Ok, but what if it just FEELS better to be SQUISHED? As lovers of massage, we can all agree that compression feels great. However, when the client begins confusing pain for pleasure, it’s time to set the record straight. It’s important that we understand our body’s natural ability to feel pleasure and pain simultaneously due to the fact that both are experienced by common areas of the brain like the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, the nucleus accumbens, and the ventral pallidum where opioid release occurs during both pleasure and pain. Just because pain CAN feel good doesn’t mean that a painful massage will be more effective. A responsible therapist understands the morality of massage, and will always strive to do no harm.

Because the body/mind/spirit axis is complex, and because we are all unique, some pain may still occur during your sessions, even after addressing an initial nervous system relaxation and accounting for the pain/pleasure experience of having a body. Let’s talk about how you can mitigate these intense physical sensations in our aforementioned scenarios of pain during massage.

Mitigating Pain During Massage

  1. Stay connected to the breath. Remember, if you can breathe through it, you’re likely experiencing discomfort rather than pain.
  2. Ask your therapist to lighten up. There’s no reason to suffer in silence. A good therapist wants to know if the pressure is too much for you.
  3. Ask your therapist to slow down. Slowing down technique will allow the client to connect deeper to themselves and the therapist to connect more deeply with the tissues.
  4. Communicate any anxiety you’re experiencing at the time of massage. This will help your therapist gauge what type of tempo, pressure, and technique to apply.
  5. Ask your therapist what you can do in between sessions to integrate the bodywork and continue moving toward less pain and more pleasure.

At 702 Bodywork, we understand the value of pain relief, and we strive to meet our clients’ session goals with customized work every session while integrating the principles that will allow the client to relax as much as possible, as our philosophy is that the body heals in a state of relaxation, not pain, which causes tissues to tense and guard. The ways that we work relaxation into our sessions are different each time, even for regular receivers. Palpating the subtle body, myofascial connection, breathwork, and Swedish techniques are some of our favorites for getting people to connect deeply with themselves, experience the pleasure of massage, engage the parasympathetic nervous system, and provide the body with the environment it needs to enter into a safe space of self-healing and homeostasis. Visit our booking page to lock in your relaxation.

Why Monthly Massage Just Makes Sense

It seems like we all know that massage is good for us. It makes us feel less sore, more mobile, and less stressed. While these are a few obvious symptoms that we usually benefit from each time we go for a session, there are many less obvious, deeply complex reactions happening in your body that allow you to feel this delightful, albeit, temporary, relief from the stresses of everyday life. With any habit in life, frequency matters big time. If you eat ice cream before bed once a month, it might affect your mood, mucus, digestion, or energy the next day, and it might not. If you eat ice cream before bed every night, it’s not a matter of if, but when, you’ll begin feeling the effects of this daily habit. Likewise, if we lift weights once a week, we aren’t going to see significant muscle growth very quickly, if at all. That’s why bodybuilders are in the gym 4-6x/week. This is due to the cumulative effect. Pretty simple concepts to understand, right? The same goes for massage. Get a massage once a year, and you’ll feel relaxed for the day (or perhaps a couple hours). Get a massage once a month, and you’ll keep your body moving and functioning better. Get a massage once a week, and you’re able to address many needs of the body, both chronic and acute, as well as move into mental/emotional and even spiritual healing of the soul. Let’s talk about 3 major ways that monthly maintenance massage will be one of the best decisions you can make for your health and happiness:

#1: Massage Therapy is Healthcare.
#2: Massage Therapy is Therapy.
#3: Massage Therapy Heals.

#1: Massage Therapy is Healthcare

I don’t need to convince most of you that America’s healthcare system is a mess. The average annual premium for a covered American worker sat just below $8000 for 20221. And the average out-of-pocket expense was over $1700 before the average covered individual hit their deductible. 30 million Americans are uninsured. And the average 3-day hospital stay costs over $30,0002. Many people are turning to alternative healthcare practices in order to avoid these expenses as well as the inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and potential complications of many traditional western remedies such as pharmaceuticals, which can cause a cascade of harsh side effects and lead to a dependency on more and more pills. Those who choose an Alternative Medicine path may experiment with using a combination of complementary therapies to help craft their personalized healthcare experience. Tools like herbs, yoga, acupuncture, and meditation, for example, are all science-backed modes of Alternative Medicine that can relieve current symptoms and prevent them from returning in the future.

Massage therapy has been used for thousands of years as a cost-effective solution to managing pain and chronic health conditions, in many cases, by reducing the inflammation response. In this video, Andrew Weil, M.D. explains the inflammation response and says that, “There is a growing awareness that many chronic, degenerative diseases, and certainly all of the diseases of aging are rooted in inappropriate inflammation.” When a moderate pressure and soothing technique is applied to the body during a professional massage, the body’s inflammatory response reverses, the nervous system relaxes, and healing begins to take place. The bottom line comes down to the fact that massage produces tons of healthcare benefits like circulating blood, lymph, and qi through our tissues which eases soreness and pain, boosts our immunity, improves sleep quality, lifts our mood, keeps us limber, improves range of motion, and creates body awareness within yourself while being evaluated superficially head-to-toe by someone who is trained to palpate and visually assess your entire body (ensuring that atypical moles and lumps don’t go unnoticed). When instituted at least once a month, massage therapy can begin to reduce and prevent both current and future undesirable symptoms, allowing you to maintain a higher level of health which just might have you heading for the doctor’s office a bit less frequently.

#2: Massage Therapy is Therapy

In May of this year, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murphy declared the Loneliness Epidemic in America a cause for extreme concern and immediate action as he shared that experiencing loneliness for many is having detrimental health effects on the body that are equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day, and increasing the chance for premature death by up to 30%3. While loneliness has likely existed as long as humans have, the time and culture that we live in today are expediting the ability for this feeling to spread like wildfire across the U.S. and the globe. During the COVID-19 pandemic, children reduced their in-person interaction with friends by 70%, and adults cut their socializing by two-thirds as well. Loneliness is being fueled for many by the ongoing work-from home culture, increase in technology as a part of our daily routines, and social media serving the place of face-to-fact interactions, leading many of us to feel alone, and in turn, sad and anxious. This takes a toll not only on our mental bodies, but our physical bodies as well. While these statistics can feel shocking, they can also be used as motivation to turn things around and begin to heal the separation that these new societal norms may have created. So what’s the answer?

Of course we can and should prioritize more in-person interactions, less screen time, more nature time, and one of our favorite solutions is of course–you guessed it–more massage therapy. Receiving mindful, professional massage on a regular basis is an incredible way to re-establish the feelings of connectedness within yourself as well as the humanity around you by receiving healing touch–an innate human need that has become all too rare for many of us.  A study from the American Journal of Neuroscience finds that after regular massage therapy, average decrease of the stress hormone cortisol was 31% while the increase of happy hormones serotonin and dopamine was 28% and 31% respectively4. So what’s “regular massage?” Long story short–the jury is still out. However, we do know that frequency does play a substantial role. In a different study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and approved by the Cedars Sinai Medical Center’s International Review Board, they conclude the following:

The data suggest that massage therapy has cumulative and sustained biologic effects over the course of 5 weeks. Results of the first approach, comparing baseline biologic measures to postintervention data after the final session in week 5, indicates that there are cumulative biologic effects of massage and light touch, and that these differ according to the frequency of interventions5.

While we can see that the science does support our own beliefs that massage therapy frequency does matter, we also acknowledge that part of the magic of healing lies in its mystery and artform. The act of receiving in Traditional Chinese Medicine is labeled as a yin action, where yin is half of the yin/yang opposition and partnership of passive and active energy in the Universe–and our bodies. When we are on the massage table, we are able to allow the mind to rest from our worries and responsibilities, and simply focus on the sensation of our bodies being nurtured with intention from a trained and caring professional.

#3: Massage Therapy Heals

Regardless of the state of your body and mind when you get on the table, your therapist and the bodywork exist to help you feel better. Whether you’re dealing with a biologic factor like elevated blood pressure, immunodeficiency, or a sports-related injury, for example, massage can help you. If you're dealing with psychological symptoms like depression, PTSD, or burnout–among others–massage can help you. In the quiet, the space we create as client and therapist, we come together with the mirrored intention of getting out of the way so that the body and mind can heal itself. Massage provides safe touch for those who may be healing from the unfortunate circumstances of having been exposed to unsafe touch in their past. It provides a space where the client can come to be free from obligations, where they can release their pains without the fear of judgment.

As with any therapy, the recommended frequency will depend on the current circumstances. If the client is dealing with active insomnia and anxiety that is affecting their ability to perform at work, for example, the therapist may suggest twice/week massage for 2 weeks, once/week massage for 4 weeks, and then monthly massage as maintenance, as long as the symptoms have subsided well enough to allow the client to maintain their desired level of health under this session frequency. When you truly begin to integrate massage into your healthcare toolbox, you will begin to understand your body and its needs much more easily, and you will intuitively begin to understand when it’s time to begin booking a session weekly or every couple of weeks versus allowing some more space in between sessions. As someone who has spent lots of time on the massage table myself, I’ve now come to understand when I need the work, what type of work will best serve my body/mind/soul, and who I’d like to perform the work. It is my goal to empower all of my clients to be able to do the same for themselves. At 702 Bodywork, we value healing above all, and massage therapy is our medium to achieve this. We stand behind the notion that monthly massage is a healthy maintenance frequency for many of our clients, and this is why we’ve created our monthly membership options for our local clientele. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions about our services, and we look forward to assisting you on your healing journey soon.

Article Resources


My First Experience with Acupuncture

The Arrival of Qi

An Energy-Balancing Experience

The room was dark, lit only by the hallway light seeping in from the crack beneath the door that George, the student practitioner had closed. I laid motionless on that crinkly paper–face up with a bolster supporting my knees. The sound of nature contrived filled the room with imitation ocean waves.

In the hour prior, I consulted with George. He was tall, thin, and had a walnut complexion. His eyes were kind, and his face was handsome. He asked me about my major complaints and evaluated the color and texture of my tongue. He checked my pulse and lungs, and noted the fatigue that must have been written on my face. I told him about my shoulder pain, but kept things brief. I just want to lay down, I thought.

A doctor entered the room; he and George began to speak to each other in medical jargen, mostly with a code of letters and numbers. I felt a sense of comfort, knowing that they seemed to be in a flow together, outlining the plan for where exactly these needles were going to be placed.

The doctor left the room, and George became the lone leader once again, guiding me to lie down and pull my yoga pants up above my knees. I was grateful for my thin calves.

To my left I had noticed a small dry erase board that read, “How many needle?

I tried to push any disconcerting thoughts away as I began to feel the prick of superficial skin being broken with intention. The sensation was a bit surprising, a little itchy at first, but that subsided as I began to feel anticipation for the next needle, and the next. Some insertions were attached to a stronger sensation than others, although I avoided labeling the feeling as pain. With these insertions, I noticed a sensation of twisting, and I envisioned an interesting twirly texture underneath my skin.

“Ok,” said George as he placed a plastic piece in my hand. It reminded me of the red Staples easy button from those early 2000s commercials. “I’ll let you rest for about 25 minutes. If you need anything, just push the button.”

Peace, quiet. Solitude.

I was acutely aware of my body. I noticed skin sensations, small muscle twitches, and other shifts within the deeper layers. I released my hopes and expectations. I just wanted to observe. I felt that perhaps the only way to achieve a memorable experience was to let go of any attachment to outcome.

Several minutes passed in the dark before my consciousness began to waver. I felt myself as sleepy, not wanting to go fully into slumber, but not fully resistant to that possibility either. I began to feel a gentle tug. It was inside of me, my left arm. That’s odd I thought, and I tried to release my evaluation. I worried that if I noticed the tug, that it would disappear out of sight for fear of being found out. It became stronger, identifying itself more clearly as the tug, which became a wave as it transferred itself to my right arm. Back and forth, back and forth, like a gentle, mysterious teeter totter. The sensation was loudly announcing itself now. Rhythmic pulses moved between my forearms, wrists, and hands in a perfectly symmetrical dance. I DID IT, I thought. I am so good at relaxing, said my ego. The waves gently subsided, and I was amazed.

George gave a gentle knock.

He moved swiftly to remove what I hoped was the right number of needles, recalling the disconcerting sign on the wall. I shared my experience with him. I had to. He smiled, clearly proud of both of us. “This is called ‘The Arrival of Qi,’” he said confidently.

It has a name?? It’s a real thing. I didn’t just make that up. And it’s an experience that’s not my own; it’s a shared possibility for all of humanity. I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last. This is acupuncture. This is energy work. This is the somatic experience of qi living and moving within the body, healing pathways as it travels.

I was a student at the time, at a massage school just down the road from Wongu Medical Center and Oriental Medicine School. While I had been experiencing shoulder pain, my experience of The Arrival of Qi gave me immediate clarity about how the energy, tissues, and circulation of my arms, wrists, and hands had become imbalanaced. With the new habit of daily hands-on learning, I was relying much more on my dominant right hand to do the lifting in my massage classes. I was grateful for the insight about the ongoing discomfort in my body, and I felt armed with a new superpower to help me stay balanced, physically, emotionally, and energetically.

The body is wise, as is ancient medicine.

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine which originated in China more than 3,000 years ago. You’re likely to be familiar with TCM’s concepts of Yin and Yang, and the associated black and white symbol that is pervasive across global culture today. Those who practice this medical model understand that a healthy circulation of qi, or life force energy, is vital to maintaining overall health. When qi becomes deficient, excessive, or stagnant, injury and disease may ensue.

Qi may be replenished through the food and water we intake as well as the air we breathe. (Did you notice how the Life Force Energy was drained from societies across the world as the 2020 pandemic pigeon-holed us into breathing our own recycled air, and as we breathed in toxic fear from the news, governments, and our social circles? Are you experiencing the long-term effects of this poor-quality qi flow today?).

The flow of qi happens within invisible channels in the body. These are called Meridians. Each of the 12 meridians is labeled in accordance with the part of the body that it is most intrinsically connected to, for example, the Lung Meridian runs from the space inferior to the mid collarbone, down the medial arm, and ends at the tip of the thumb bilaterally. Along the meridians are points that are marked by acupuncturists and other practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. These points may be stimulated in order to interrupt qi congestion, stimulate flow, and encourage balance within the body, which is the healing I experienced during that fateful acupuncture appointment with George.

As a student at the time, I was sold. There are many methods of mapping the body, but this one seemed most interesting to me. I began to do some light research into TCM, and I began to understand the basic concepts of Yin and Yang, the 5 natural elements, and how herbs can be used as medicine.

Although my exposure to qi began almost 5 years ago, I didn’t begin to really dive into understanding how to work with it until 2021.

In December of 2020, I found myself sick, exhausted, and unable to work, feed myself, or even hold a proper conversation. My motivation was gone. I didn’t desire. I didn’t love. I could not become excited physically or emotionally, and my sadness was just as lackluster.

Fear took hold. How could this be? What’s happening to me? Am I dying

Fate was kind to me. I stumbled onto a Youtube Video that prompted me to find a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor  near me. As I embarked on a new understanding of health through food and lifestyle with her, I also began a daily qigong practice at a local studio.

Three months of disciplined daily qigong practice introduced me to understanding how to use movement and breath to cultivate, transform, and palpate the qi inside and around me. Within 3 months of working with my new doctor, a decade-long depression spontaneously released itself from my body following my receiving of an extremely kind, 2 ½ hour massage.

The concept of qi is now highly influential on the bodywork that I perform on myself and others

Armed with this ancient wisdom passed down to us, I’m able to use the awareness of meridians, acupressure points, vibration, tapotement, and breathing to palpate and address qi stangnancy and to facilitate healthier flow in my clients’ bodies. This has a history of leading my clients to experience a lighter feeling in their bodies, improved circulation and posture, as well as decreased inflammation, pain, and intrusive thoughts.

Today, my daily qigong practices of grounding, vibration, body tapping, and breathing are what maintain my energy levels and a baseline of health. Beyond baseline, an understanding of proper nutrition, sufficient movement, healthy relationships, finances, and spiritual fulfillment are big pieces to the puzzle that takes shape to form Vitality within us and around us.

It is my delight and honor to pass on the wisdom and healing that have been shown to me in this lifetime by sharing these techniques and performing them on my clients so that they too may experience the magic of The Arrival of Qi.

702 Bodywork is the platform that allows you to explore healing your own vital life force energy. Consult with us today about how we can help facilitate the intrinsic, ancient healing that your body longs to create.

What to Expect from a Las Vegas Mobile Massage

Are you visiting Las Vegas? You’re not alone! 41 million people from around the globe make the trip annually to the sparkling Las Vegas Strip to experience the shows, the food, the casinos, and the natural beauty. We <3 our visitors. They really make this city one of a kind. There are so many ways to indulge in the pleasures both on and off the Strip. One of the most wholesome and rejuvenating ways to relax and recover from those late nights out is through the joy of receiving a massage. While there are many exorbitant massage offerings inside casino spas and many much cheaper offerings on just about every corner, 702 Bodywork offers a unique experience that prioritizes professionalism, convenience, value, and luxury.

In an effort to bring some tranquility to the heart of Sin City, we provide in-room individual and couples massage in hotels on the Las Vegas Strip as well as inside the Valley. 

Through our quick and easy online booking process, you’ll make an online profile and enter your credit or debit card info, although you won’t yet be charged. You’ll select a 60-, 90-, or 120-minute individual or couples massage, and be able to choose the date and time that work best for you. We will connect with you over the phone to confirm your appointment availability and ensure that all of your personal requests are heard and understood prior to your session. On the morning of your appointment, we’ll reach out to confirm your session time. 5 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment, one of our professionally licensed, insured, and vetted massage therapists (who all have extensive bios available on our website) will meet you at your guest elevators, most likely at the security desk as key cards are required for entry into many hotel towers. While your therapist sets up your relaxation space with a plush massage table and quality linens, you’ll complete another verbal intake with them to ensure that your focus areas and specific requests are addressed during your session. At this time, your temperature, lighting, and music requests will be honored. The utmost respect for your privacy and comfort will always be respected with professionalism and genuine care as your therapist will step into your hotel washroom to sanitize while you disrobe to your comfort level. Some clients will choose to remain fully clothed while others will choose to fully disrobe. Proper professional draping will always be used which may include spa drapes, diaper drapes, and half-body drapes. For the next 60, 90, or 120 minutes, you’ll be responsibility-free and on the receiving end of deep, intentional relaxation interwoven with body, mind, and soul healing. Our therapists use only high-quality oils, lotions, and tools. You may be guided into your breath to further your body’s relaxation response and increase the efficacy of the work. When your session is complete, your therapist will once again give you privacy to redress while they sanitize. A session overview will be provided to you by your therapist’s experience and interpretation of your tissues and energy responses during the massage. Working within their scope of practice, they may provide you with additional information, resources, exercises, advice, or guidance toward ways that you can continue your healing in Las Vegas and at home. Your payment will be charged to the credit or debit card you have on file at this time. You’ll be reminded to drink some water, get some rest, and enjoy the remainder of your experience in Vegas, baby.

Remember that massage is going to move lots of fluids, toxins, and energy throughout the body which means that anything your body is processing will be exacerbated by the massage. Over the 24-72+ hours following the bodywork, you may experience postural/structural changes, bodily responses, mood shifts, emotional releases, or toxin removal by way of natural elimination processes.

When you choose to work with 702 Bodywork as your Las Vegas in-room massage provider, you can be confident in knowing that your comfort, massage preferences, and goals are our top priority. Our wellness practitioners have honed their skills through years of study and practical application on a myriad of clientele using unique modalities like Lomi Lomi, Thai massage, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Active Release Techniques, PNF stretching, and Craniosacral Therapy.

Ready to book your relaxation or natural pain management massage? We are open 9a-9p 7 days/week with 24-hour access to appointment booking requests. Give us a call at 702-505-9019, use Luna, our friendly AI bot, or see our Appointment Request calendar to quickly secure your new favorite Las Vegas self-care.

15 Tips to Maximize Your Bodywork Session's Benefits (Before & After)

Enhance your massage experience.
Make the benefits last longer.
Integrate healing.

SCENARIO 1: Have you ever shown up to the day spa all panicked and harried from a tight schedule and too little meditation? This is not ideal. Where can we improve? First off, get a mobile massage. That way…

SCENARIO 2: You’ve tidied up and lit a few candles. The massage therapist knocks. You answer. While she prepares the space for you, you hop in the shower to warm the muscles, and when you’re ready, so is your table. You slip into the sheets, breathe in the Lavender oils, and connect deeply to your breath for the next 90 minutes while your therapist soothes your maladies with her forearms and intuition. You awake, lighter. You shift into the kitchen for a cup of tea, and as you are left in the quiet with yourself, you sit in a few minutes of meditation before tucking into bed for a deep, healing sleep. How can we move from harried to harmonious? It requires some planning and intention, but you can handle that right? Do it for you.

Here’s How to Get the Most Out of Your In-Call Bodywork Session:

Before The Start of Your Massage

  1. Plan your massage on a day you don’t work so you can prep– stress-free.
  2. Eat a small, easily digestible meal 3 hours prior to your session, so you’re not too full or hungry.
  3. Exfoliate and Shower-Dry brush your body and face to stimulate lymph flow and prep your skin to receive high quality oils.
  4. Oil Yourself lightly. Use coconut oil to barely coat your hands, feet, and face with the intention of Self Compassion.
  5. Prep Your Space. Tidy up, light candles, find a vibey playlist.

During Your Massage

  1. Connect to the breath (through your nose). If possible, continue breathing evenly through your nose throughout the session. If not, breathe lightly and consciously through barely parted lips. Bring the breath deeply into the lungs, and release any stress or body tension with your exhale.
  2. Release your thoughts. There’s no use in thinking about past or future while you’re on the table. Just be present and enjoy.
  3. Relax your limbs. You may not realize how much you have a tendency to “guard” or “hold” your limbs by controlling their movements rather than allowing the therapist to do so. Relax and let go, knowing your therapist has the training to move your limbs with confidence, ease, and comfort.
  4. Be empowered to speak up if the pressure or technique is not working for you. You don’t want to be uncomfortable, and we don’t want you to be uncomfortable.
  5. Continue connecting to the breath. Creating a rhythm of healthy oxygen flow throughout the massage has so many benefits. Increasing functionality of the respiratory system allows the lymphatic, nervous, muscular, fascial, circulatory, and other systems all to work in cohesion together.

After Your Massage Is Over

  1. Hydrate and Nutrify - It’s a word-trust us. My favorite post-massage
    beverage is a room temperature, no sugar-added, organic coconut
  2. Meditate. This is perhaps one of the most vital and effective steps
    listed here. After your session, set a timer for 20 minutes. Sit on a
    pillow or cushion, and continue your diaphragmatic breaths that you
    began on the table. Sit tall, elongate the spine, connect tailbone to
    Earth and crown chakra to the Heavens. Now is the time to lock in
    your proper posture. Allow this meditation to be as simple or as
    transcendental as is pleasing for you.
  3. Rest. Plan your massage for an evening when you are ok with staying
    in and getting to bed early. Your nervous system is in total relax mode
    by now; honor the space that you created for healing and allow the
    peace to linger as long as it may.

In an ideal world, we would love if you could incorporate all of these pre and
post-session self care tools every appointment, but just in case,

Here are the most vital take aways:

  1. Conscious, Deep Breathing Throughout the Session
  2. Meditation and Rest Following the Session Incorporating these vital takeaways with intention and consistency will elevate your massage experience and increase the efficacy of its results. All of these actions naturally increase body awareness, self discipline, and self love.

702 Bodywork is always invested in helping you to maximize the benefits of your next mobile massage session. Book an appointment request today, and take action toward creating more peace for yourself.

How Receiving Regular Massage Supports Chronic Health Condition Symptom Relief

It’s March, 2023. We’re living in a post-pandemic world. A massive number of people are
battling new and worsening symptoms of chronic health conditions such as insomnia and adrenal fatigue aka burnout. These symptoms have emerged in large part due to heightened levels of stress, overproduction of cortisol, and a resulting ever-engaged fight, flight, or freeze response. Thankfully, the manual therapy of massage and bodywork offers us an abundance of benefits to help manage the cortisol spikes and bring our bodies closer to balance. Bodywork has been used to support lifelong health for thousands of years in cultures everywhere. Its uses are vast and depthful. We will cover several ways that chronic health condition symptoms can be tempered with regular bodywork sessions.

First, let’s define these terms:

  1. Chronic Health Condition - a health condition that lasts for at least 3 months and possibly throughout a lifetime. Chronic health conditions may or may not be curable, but they can often be managed with appropriate medical care and lifestyle changes.
  2. “Regular” Bodywork - this will depend on several factors including the current diagnosis or symptom presentation, quality of life, goals and accessibility to the bodywork that works for you. As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to receive a full body massage once every four weeks. However, if you are dealing with a chronic health condition or flare up, you may want to experiment with more frequent sessions (up to twice/week) for as long as is sustainable and appropriate for your condition. Make sure to speak with your healthcare professionals before beginning a regular massage schedule.

Immune System - Chronic health conditions are often linked to a suppression of the Immune System. This can have many causes such as genetics, diet, lifestyle, and environment. Massage benefits the immune system by ensuring proper lymphatic fluid flow, increasing the production of leukocytes and the encouraging proper removal of waste and toxins from our bodies on a cellular level. Those who are afflicted with symptoms of Lymphedema, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Long COVID will benefit.

Inflammation Response - It’s been said that the root cause of all disease is inflammation. What is inflammation? Why is it bad? Well, it’s not inherently. Inflammation is a natural and healthy reaction that our bodies create due to stress or injury. This is a healthy response in the short-term (like having a fever for a few days) or when localized (like when a rolled ankle swells to protect itself). But with chronic health conditions, the inflammation has outstayed its welcome and has become a systemic issue. Massage is famous for its pain-reduction and
anti-inflammatory effects when utilized regularly. Those who have struggles to manage arthritis and migraines, for example, will experience relief from regular bodywork.

Blood, Lymph, and Qi circulation - Because massage ensures increased flow of our bodies’ fluids and energies, it also ensures that proper nutrients are delivered through our tissues. When our tissues function properly, our organs and organ systems are set up for success. Those managing COPD, Diabetes, and Kidney Disease are all good candidates for regular bodywork treatment.

Nervous System - When the body is in fight, flight, or freeze response as is often the case with chronic health conditions, we begin to see symptoms like fatigue, restless sleep, and mood disorders. Massage restores Nervous System health by engaging the Vagus nerve which activates the rest and digest response, also known as the parasympathetic nervous system. Being in this state of calm is critical to managing symptoms of Anxiety and Depression, two chronic health conditions that will deeply benefit from regular time receiving mindful bodywork.

Digestive System - When chronic inflammation is present, gut dysfunction such as decreased nutrient absorption and improper toxin elimination may be present. Here, we see conditions such as IBS and Crohn's Disease. Because our gut-brain connection is so strong, what affects one, affects the other. Regular bodywork is known to regulate neurotransmitter health by increasing the release of dopamine and serotonin while lowering the output of cortisol and norepinephrine when appropriate. Regular massage will benefit anyone looking to enhance their gut health.

When you’re managing a chronic health condition, it will likely take a variety of techniques, modalities, therapies, and a team of support and health personnel to discover the ever-changing personal blend of symptom-management regimen that works best for you. Be encouraged by knowing that massage and bodywork are two of the many effective natural solutions offered by Alternative Medicine.

702 Bodywork delights in bringing pain and stress relief to your chronic and acute health needs. Contact us here to connect or Submit an appointment request next time you’re in Las Vegas.