Is there a good kind of pain?
Have you ever considered a deep tissue massage? Your Letterbox Charlotte Gunn certainly has, so she’s lifts the towel with a recent visit whilst a friend gets a treatment – exploring the ‘good kind of pain’!
After arranging to visit David Lucas, based at his practice near Bicester I found a willing pal to help discuss the ‘good kind of pain’ as she phrased it.
Having tried several other treatment options coupled with a recent hospital referral confirming that she suffers from ‘frozen shoulders’ and scoliosis of the spine – the perfect test subject! Usually being generally fit and healthy, she looks amazing but like many others she silently suffers pain and discomfort daily. Her main goal for seeking treatments being to reduce the need for daily pain medication.
Now personally, pain frightens me (like a lot of us), so naturally I avoid it. I was intrigued to know more about the ‘good type of pain’. I wanted to know does having a massage hurt? Reassuringly she told me “It does, but it is mostly a ‘good kind of pain’. The good pain comes during the treatment when yes, it might hurt a bit, but the long-term effects are remarkable.”
My curiosity peaks as we arrive at David’s home-based therapy room. Treatments are also offered in his fabulous new ‘Outdoor Therapy Pod’ in the grounds of the house.
David was very welcoming. He explained the varied techniques he uses during his sessions and his holistic approach to working the entire body. Providing David with a history of the pain/injury helps him to build a profile of you too and everyone completes a health check questionnaire.
It was easy to like David. He is listened attentively to my friend describe the history and level of her pain and discomfort, displaying the appropriate levels of humour to lighten the mood putting us both at ease.
After all, it’s not every day that you agree to attend a massage session as an observer!
There is no music and David uses grapeseed oil as he starts to work. David explained – grapeseed oil is the least likely to cause allergies, perfect for nearly all his clients.
Communication is a key part of the treatment and throughout he asked my friend to describe how she was feeling as he applied varying levels of pressure to various parts of her body.
Being curious on the issue of pain I ask my friend to describe her pain. “It feels like a rolling pin is being used and there are times it is sore and painful and incredibly tight, but mostly it is a good kind of pain”. David asked her to label the level of pain by using numbers between 1-10, with 10 being the maximum. As he increased the intensity of the massage he is constantly monitoring her levels not only through talking but how he feels her body react. Mostly she described between 5 and 7. As she talked with him and he worked, I could see the physical effort he had to apply using his whole body to help her. At the mention of 8 he eases off the pressure, encouraging her again to breathe deeply, never does it reach 10.
David informs us “Communicating with the person you are working with is key. Pain is completely subjective.” David also offered advice and techniques to reduce the pain she often feels whilst swimming.
David has officially trained and is now qualified to Level 5 in Deep Tissue and Sports Massage Therapy and tells me, “Most of it is about technique, its feeling for the right spot, knowing it’s the right spot makes all the difference.” He continues to study, gain further qualifications and learn new techniques.
The massage comes to an end, David has not only worked my friend’s back, shoulders, neck, head but her legs, glutes, thighs calves, hands and feet. A very intense session in terms of the amount of energy and effort David uses. She is asked to sit up slowly and in her own time, offering her water before he leaves to allow her to dress.
I slip out with David and take the opportunity to ask David about his focuses.
“My focus is 100% on what each individual wants and needs. Fixing and working with people to achieve a pain free life is my goal.” It’s so reassuring and genuine as it confirms everything just witnessed.
Lastly, David explained that quite often the benefits of the massage are felt a couple of days after the treatment although I can see an immediate change in my friend. She confirmed this quickly by booking her next appointment!
Leaving David’s, I notice the difference in her… she looks stunning and could not help to mention how good she felt. I felt pangs of jealousy, thinking to myself that a little bit of the ‘good pain’ might be worth it after all?!