Massage or punching bag!

Three weeks ago I met a friendly Brazilian girl at a pharmacy here in the city of Lucerne. She was choosing skincare products, but did not seem that she was convinced of the advice that the perfumer was trying to push her. Soon after when the perfumer left – I approached her and offered to help, we were there a little by selecting the products and talking, at the end she asked me if I was available for a massage.

“Marcela” has been living in Switzerland for six months, and like most of us who go through the stress of changing country and having to integrate in the new culture, psychologically and also physically her body is experiencing physiological changes. Her body is retaining much liquid, which gives the impression of swelling and weight gain. This also causes secondary effects such as fatigue, allergic reactions and irritability. Yes people, if you did not know, all these psychosomatic reactions are interconnected. As I always say, God was not kidding when He created us!

Last week she came to my atelier and after the consultation I asked her to get ready. When I entered into the cabin again, to my surprise, I saw my client with huge bruises on the buttocks and thighs. I was very impressed, in my entire career I had never seen it before, also because no one in this condition can realistically undergo.

I explained to her that it was a contraindication so I could do any type of massage while she was with damaged skin tissue. Then, to further enhance my state of shock, she said something like: “No problem darling, you can do! I have been already doing “lymphatic drainage” for over a month, twice a week. It hurts a lot, but I’d rather suffer than see myself so full of cellulite. The other therapist explained to me that this is normal, that it is the only way to remove cellulite”.

Wait a moment … I’m still processing the information! How so?? I did not want to know who the “beautician” that was doing “lymphatic drainage” to reduce “cellulite” was, because I swear I would have sent someone to the clinic of this lady to remove all “diplomas” and close her shop. Ok ok ok just kidding, but to be honest that was the first thought that crossed my mind! We can talk seriously about it again, and in parts:

Firstly, not everything that you think, is really cellulite, so it is important the diagnosis made by a serious professional. In Marcela’s case of was fluid retention, which gives a false impression of cellulite. This misconception also happens in relation to localized fat, as I said in an earlier post here on the blog. Each situation requires a specific treatment, so it is important that you know the difference between them and further, that the professional you trust, knows how to explain it to you.

For fluid retention, lymphatic drainage is properly advised. This is a type of technique that encourages the elimination of excess fluids and toxins, improves blood circulation and tissue oxygenation. As a secondary effect, it helps improving the appearance of cellulite, but it is not your main goal. Lymphatic drainage massage is a rhythmic and very soft technique, extremely relaxing. It has nothing to do with pain and stress, much less bruising.

I follow a line of work that states that massage is a holistic treatment, which means it is good for the mind and body, and that welfare causes balance between them, bringing physiological responses to the organism. Thus, the pain is not consistent with this state of relaxation and serenity.

If the case is exactly cellulite or localized fat, there are other massage techniques that can be more intense, and it will be normal to feel some pain due to skin condition. But the intensity of the pain depends not only on the amount of fat or cellulite that the person has, but also pain tolerance, which varies greatly from individual to individual. However, this pain may not cause excessive discomfort to the patient, this is a limit to the intensity of massage maneuvers.

With respect to the anti-cellulite massage for the treatment of cellulite and localized fat, I personally do not believe in their effectiveness and I do not use it on my clients.

To achieve the hypodermic connective tissue and achieve the purpose of “break the fat cells” it requires a specific technique to work through the tissues and it needs to go deep enough to stimulate the process of lipolysis. What I believe is that it is manually inefficient. Massage can help a possible “redistribution” of this localized fat, but there are no scientific studies that prove success with respect to lipolysis (breakdown of fat cells).

And precisely, that where the danger is. Many professionals exaggerate on the intensity of massage maneuvers to “break fat” and end up breaking the patient, even causing bruising, like in the case of “Marcela”. The bruise is a sign of rupture of blood vessels, and extravasation of blood into the tissues can cause an inflammatory response in the region and pain, which is not desirable. The bruise is a sign that the ideal limit of massage intensity was exceeded. Excessive pain during the massage and bruises do not indicate that the massage are more effective.

In such cases I indicate other treatments as cryolipolysis, endermologie and ultrasound combined with manual massage, proper diet and physical exercises. These methods have proven good results, not to mention that they do not compromise the physical integrity of the patient and the professional.

These treatments should be performed by professionals who understand anatomy and physiology (knowing the structures and their functioning), so that treatments are effective and safe. A detailed consultation with the client is also extremely important, because each individual is different and responds differently to treatments. I believe that doing our own job with love, studying and keeping up to date industry as well as ethics and respect for customers is essential.

I know clients, especially Brazilians and others with Latin origin who are willing to do anything to feel more beautiful and require quick results. However, I know “professionals” who in a sense take advantage of this fact to make money. Therefore, it is first important to be conscious about yourself and your expectations and then obtain all possible information before choosing a professional who will be working with the most precious thing you have. – “Your body”.

Ps: The photos were taken from the Internet, they are not my client, I want to maintain her privacy out of respect.

With love,

Sue Xxx

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