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Massage: Muscle Breakdown or Toxin Release?

Discussion in 'Skeleton, Skin, Muscles, Hair, Teeth, and Nails' started by SB_1108, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. SB_1108

    SB_1108 Senior Member

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    I had been experiencing some improvements in my CFS/ME recently and was feeling like things were looking up. However, about two weeks ago I went for a light swedish massage. The pressure was not anything abnormally strong or painful. Within about 3 or so hours of the massage I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I had serious pain all over and became incredibly tired. I finally feel like I might be getting back to normal but this pain and fatigue persisted for about two weeks.

    I know that the alternative health community says that toxins are released during a massage and that massages also help lymph drainage to detoxify the body. This would make sense for me because I have a history of heavy metal toxicity (copper) and the symptoms were very similar to when I was detoxing for that.

    However as far as I can tell, the medical community does not believe in any of that... and from what I've gathered they believe it is more so muscle breakdown. Maybe its both?

    I'm just trying to decide whether or not it would be beneficial for me to continue with the massages regularly to help release toxins or if its doing more harm than good? Anyone have any thoughts?
     
  2. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    All I can say is that I had the exact same experience. I couldn't do it anymore as it wiped me out for weeks at a time - it was awful. Pre M.E I loved a gentle massage.
     
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  3. SB_1108

    SB_1108 Senior Member

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    Thanks Justy! Did you try it once or several times in a row. Once is almost enough to say "I don't think I ever want to feel this way again." I just wish I knew if it were actually helping.

    Do you have a history with heavy metals toxicity too?
     
  4. sueami

    sueami Senior Member

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    I cannot imagine that a light swedish massage could be damaging muscle tissue. As a currently non-practicing massage therapist, I'm far more inclined to think that waste products got mobilized, particularly if you hadn't had a massage in a long while.

    I, personally, would be inclined to try a second massage, to see if the backlog was cleared out and there were the usual benefits of a relaxing massage to be had. Perhaps try a 30 minute massage instead?
     
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  5. JAM

    JAM Jill

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    @SB_1108 11 I am also a licensed massage therapist and can't figure out how a muscle even "breaks down". Do you have any medical literature that explains what that means?
    Do you have any viral infections? I know that I have to be really careful with massage because I get a herx reaction if too much lymph is pushed through (Though I had no clue what it was at the time), for that reason I haven't had a Swedish massage since massage school in 1999.
    My suggestion would be to talk to the LMT, maybe just do light trigger point, Cranio-Sacral, or maybe Polarity Therapy type modalities. Or maybe try a shorter session like @sueami suggested. Sometimes the things that help push us into a herx reaction before we get better. Touch is powerful medicine and does more in our bodies than science has figured out. I hope you find a modality that works well for you.
     
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  6. SB_1108

    SB_1108 Senior Member

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    I only received a 30 minute massage but I think you are right... I'll try a second massage and see if that is any better. This was my first massage in almost 2 years so maybe there was a backlog of waste that was cleared out?

    I think they are referring to mild rhabdomyolysis... The only medical literature that I've seen other people mention is this one: http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/1/233.long

    But that guy was 88 years old, had a two hour long massage by two different people and he didn't really have very much water. I guess next time I could get my CPK levels checked the day afterward to see if there are any issues?

    @sueami and @JAM - Do either of you know anything about lymphatic massage/lymphatic drainage. I was thinking that I might try that instead next time.
     
  7. SB_1108

    SB_1108 Senior Member

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    Oh I forgot to respond to this... I don't think I have any viral issues but I definitely think there might be some bacterial issues - dysbiosis for sure!
     
  8. sueami

    sueami Senior Member

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    I've had only brief training in manual lymph drainage, but it is a powerful mover of interstitial fluid and I personally wouldn't try it until I could handle a mild Swedish massage without any detox effects. JAM might have more relevant feedback for you.
     
  9. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    Another massage therapist checking in.

    Keep going with light massage.

    My experience both personally and with fibro / CFS clients is that there is first a longer than normal "breaking in" and adjusting period before the benefits begin to show.

    I was sick for three days after my first massage.

    Gradually, more pressure is tolerated. Some of my clients now love a deep Swedish while others still take a moderate pressure or prefer a lymph drainage massage only.

    15 years out from my first massage, I regularly get trigger point done. They are painful sessions, but the structural changes I see over the years are amazing. (Genetic lumbar scoliosis is about 80% corrected.) Occasionally, I talk another therapist through a lymph drainage session on me as few know what to do. A day or two of complete mental clarity follows, along with a sense of lightness in the body.

    The pluses as you get going are worth the rough start.

    Muscle tissue does not break down with massage. It may bruise with deep pressure, but that is different.

    It still surprises me that people think the idea of detoxing from massage is foo-foo. You are speeding up the body's processes a bit, so it can feel like having the flu. Same mechanisms on the cellular level.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
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  10. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    I used to love massages before getting sick.Now it would set me in a flare.

    I've never bought into the toxin issue, but found massages relaxing and seemed to help tight muscles.

    I compare massage for some of us as having the same type of effect as exercise triggering PEM.

    I know there are patients who can tolerate them but for me, I avoid them.

    If you do continue, go slowly.

    Barb
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
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  11. JAM

    JAM Jill

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    A few things. I think Lymphatic massage would be really helpful IF you and your therapist know what your bacterial/viral issues are, understand how to control/live with the herx reactions, and go very slowly. If you are looking for a more structural effect I would suggest Rolfing or any of the trigger point therapies with the same caveats as above; these therapies can be very painful for people with fibro, but also very helpful with the right therapist. I am also a personal trainer and have found that if people can exercise for even 5 minutes a day the effects from the massage are less intense. When I was at my worst the most I could do was walk around my room for a couple of minutes and do some stretches in bed. I really think that helped. Getting blood moving also moves the lymph and in my case that walk around the room was like running a marathon, so I even got some of the happy hormones to release sometimes. Also, keep in mind that every body is different what works for me or anyone else, may not work for you.
    Have you been tested for the viruses known to cause problems in ME/CFS patients? I also had some bacterial stuff and dysbiosis, but the root of the problems seem to be viral. The first step is probably to find the root cause and then work out from there.
     
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  12. SB_1108

    SB_1108 Senior Member

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    @JAM, @GracieJ, @sueami:

    Do you think that a heavy metal detox is possible from a massage? Can it stir the metal back into circulation?
     
  13. JAM

    JAM Jill

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    I don't know much about metal toxicity, but that sounds feasible to me.
     
  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Don't forget that the post-exertional malaise (PEM) that occurs in many ME/CFS patients when they do exercise probably arises as a result of using the muscles. Contraction of muscles for example releases very high amounts of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6, which some have speculated may be the cause of PEM.

    So whether its you that works your muscles through exercise, or a massage therapist that works them for you, perhaps both lead to the same PEM.
     
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  15. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I've been getting regular back massages since I was very young, first from my mother and now from my fiance - she trained him :D It often does hurt somewhat, but feels much better afterward.

    Since getting sick, my lower spine just above my butt has been very tender. Even touching it gently can hurt, never mind a proper massage! Though that's been a lot better since starting antibiotics for Lyme, and I've been feeling like I need back rubs far less often lately as well.

    I don't get any sicker afterwards, but maybe because I have them so regularly.
     
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  16. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    It may not be the same thing as you are experiencing, but I sometimes get significant pain in the lower back areas on either side of my spine. For a long time I thought it might be some kidney problems (although the kidney are located in the middle back), and suggested this to my doctor, but after he poked and prodded me around in my back and my belly looking for tenderness, he came to the conclusion that it was most likely muscle inflammation, and suggested I try anti-inflammatories. Sure enough, an hour or two after taking ibuprofen, the pain was greatly reduced.

    Interestingly, a few people who caught the same virus as me also started getting pains in these lower back muscles just left and right of the spine (and also calf muscle pains). These pains I understand come from a spasm in the muscle, but the spasm itself is cause by inflammation, and the inflammation perhaps arises from a viral infection in the muscle.

    Muscle aches are of course an ME/CFS symptom.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
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  17. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    @Hip - Mine's in the exact center. Spinal cord inflammation or joint inflammation maybe.
     
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  18. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

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    Count me also as someone who gets PEM from regular massage. One team (Dr. Newton's team, I think) found abnormal metabolism from muscle cells transferred to a test tube, and made to contract there.

    However I can get a really light massage from someone who listens to me closely, is highly trained, and goes very gently, and this helps a lot with muscle spasms (and therefore pain). After adding Florinef, I can tolerate a wee bit more pressure than previously.
     
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  19. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Im another who's trained in massage (Swedish). Any person who does massage will tell you it can and does release toxins. You should always have a glass of water before its started and a glass of water afterwards to help the toxins clear out.

    I'd think massage is probably good for you but it was just too much (and you probably didnt drink any water when you had the massage). Maybe try 15-20mins only next time seeing 30 mins did that. I wouldnt at all suggest a deep tissue massage at this point if you have having too many toxins being released from a light massage.
    ..........

    I cant think right now what helps get copper get out.. is it Vit C and selenium? If so (sorry you'll need to look it up and check), it may be a very good idea to be taking on some supplementation to help that when you next go and have a massage.
     
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  20. Kina

    Kina

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    Here are some resources regarding massage and toxin release etc.

    http://saveyourself.ca/articles/drinking-water-after-massage.php

    http://paulgerhards.com/2012/04/doe...-that-must-be-flushed-out-with-lots-of-water/

    http://www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/12/08.html
     

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