Sure, we expect massage therapists to ease muscle tension and help us work through injuries. But that hour on the table reveals a lot more than just the stress we’ve asked them to soothe. We talked to a few massage therapists to find out just how much they can tell about us and our health.
1. You love big purses.
If your body is tighter on one side, a therapist knows that you shift more onto one leg while standing (this happens with women who carry purses predominantly on one shoulder). Glutes, hamstrings, and quads will be tight, and you’ll also have an unnatural pelvic tilt.
2. You have a desk job.
The signs? A weak lower back, as evidenced by one hip being higher than the other. People who sit in front of a computer all day also have tight glutes and legs.
3. You’re a stomach sleeper.
This sleep position leads to extra strain on the neck, and massage therapists can feel the tightness.
4. You do a lot of driving.
Sitting behind the wheel leads to a far-forward posture. People who spend a significant amount of time commuting by car will often exhibit hunched shoulders because of this.
5. You’re injured.
If you have an acute injury, therapists can feel heat and inflammation. Chronic injuries show themselves in the form of dehydrated muscles that feel tight. And with repetitive motion injuries, tendons and muscles will feel wiry like guitar strings.
6. You’re constipated.
Bet you never guessed a massage therapist would be able to tell, but they can feel it if your stomach is firm to the touch.
7. You text too much.
Chronic texters will find it painful when a massage therapist rubs their shoulders. The cause? The downward position of your head when texting creates an imbalance in the shoulders.
8. You’re dehydrated.
Trigger points in the upper back will be tender if you haven’t had your recommended eight glasses of water each day.
9. You’re cold all the time.
It’s instinct to hunch up our shoulders to our ears when we’re cold. So it’s no surprise that clients come in with stress in their necks and the tops of their shoulders during winter months.
10. You’re a runner.
Hips and the low back will feel tight, and you might also complain about tension in the bottom of the foot.
11. Your allergies are acting up.
Pet dander getting to you? The tissue around your eyes, forehead, cheeks, and jaw will feel tender and inflamed. So will lymph nodes in the chest, neck, and underarms.
12. You’re a frequent backpacker.
Heavy backpack straps cut across the shoulder blades, and the muscles in your scapula become tight in response to the pressure.