Massage Therapist: "Stress produces salt deposits"

For Christmas, I got my girlfriend a spa package for two (she doesn’t like to go alone to these things), hoping that she would take her mom, or her sister, or one of her friends from the hospital, or anyone but me. Alas, she thought it was a more romantic gesture than I had originally intended (i.e. you go out and spend the day relaxing, I’ll watch kung fu movies and play poker with my friends). :smack: Of the girly-fied things I did that day, I took a very un-girly-fied monster beating by the masseuse-lady. :eek:

This was a deep tissue massage. She remarked on how stiff my body was…“Like iron” she commented. I told her it was strong muscles and she laughed. She had a very thick accent, she asked me stuff like “What you do, construction? Where you sleep, cave?” Then she said, why are you so stressed out (I didn’t think I was), “Stress makes your back is full of salt. Stress causes salt to deposit in your body”

I didn’t want to argue with her because though she is half my size, she practically making me cry in pain. I don’t ever remember the trainers when I was in sports ever giving me such a beating. When she was [del]beating[/del] massaging me, there were these clicking noises, like bones or ligaments rubbing together, suprisingly not nearly as painful as the actual [del]beating[/del] massage.

Is anything she said about the salt true? I couldn’t find anything on google. What was that clicking noise? My gf said that it could be anything, but she’s not sure since she works in the cardiac unit. My doctor friends said that it could be anything, too, but they need to see if they can hear it in person. The clicking noise isn’t like when you crack your knuckles or roll your neck. It’s deeper sounding. Any help?

Can you still walk? If so, it isn’t broken bones. Sorry, that’s all I have, because, it could be anything. :smiley:
As far as stress causing salt deposits, Ahh, no…don’t think so. Stress causes increased catecholamine release, which can make your musles feel tense, but no salt.
Your massage experience proves that no good deed goes unpunished.

If salt can deposit anywhere in your body, it means there’s no liquid in that location. Once you add water to salt, it dissolves (unless the liquid is already saturated).

Salt is dissolved in the blood and lymph. If there’s too much, the kidneys excrete it, and if you overload the kidneys and can’t excrete salt, you die.

So whatever it is, it ain’t salt.

Maybe she was talking about lactic acid buildup in the muscle tissue? I’ve heard this mentioned before, but I’m no biologist and I don’t know anything more about it.

She’s referring to trigger points ( I think.

My hippie masseuse says it is ‘lactic acid crystals’. I don’t particularly believe her. She also twangs my nerves on occasion and tell me she is ‘releasing some energy’. Whatever.

I can’t take those deep tissue massages. It’s almost like you need a relaxation massage to recover from the deep tissue one… Hey, maybe tha’t what they are up to!

Maybe she was rolfing you? The bit about ‘discrimination’ sounds pretty ouchy, especially the ‘separating of fascial layers’. I think there’d be something sounding like clicking.


Massage Therapist checking in.

She may have been refering to calcium salts. Feel your neck and shoulders (or feel the neck and shoulders of someone else) and you’ll often detect a bit of “gritiness” as you rub the muscle tissue against other muscles. Keep rubbing and it’ll eventually become smoother and more fluid, the result of mechanically grinding it away and dissolving it in the lymph fluid. Muscle cells excrete calcium and if there’s not enough movement in the muscles it doesn’t get flushed. Our shoulders don’t always get enough full range-of-motion action (what with all the sitting at keyboards, standing at the kitchen sink, etc.) so the lymph doesn’t get to do its job.

OTOH, a lot of massage therapists speak out of their bung holes, and a lot of clients lap it up.

This sounds more like what she was trying to explain. When I heard salt, I was like wha…? I tried to get her to explain it, but her English was choppy at best. She was saying something about smoothing out something. She also told me to drink plenty of water. The clicking sound sounded like pressing down on a jar cap (the pressure release thingy). I think I have bruises from where she was literally digging her knuckles into me. She also said I have a lot of tension, but I don’t feel it. I thought muscles were supposed to be taught?

Cite please.

I’m not speaking for the masseuse-lady, just guessing that calcium was what she meant by “salt.”

Sorry about my skepticism, but where does that document say that muscles excrete calcium in a gritty form that is palpable from outside the body?

Thanks for the surreal image created by THAT mixed metphor.

While there are no doubt many level-headed massage therapists who have half a clue (or even more!) of what the real world is really like, for some reason the world of massage therapy has a huge overlap with the world of crystals, “What the !%#@ Do We Know,” and retarded people.

So, until you know for a verifiable fact that your MT is a member of that tiny minority who don’t have all the Ramtha books, well thumbed, on their feng-shui’ed bedside table, take everything they say with a grain of calcium salts.

If you’ve never felt gritty muscles in your shoulders, you’re very fortunate indeed. I don’t know how to demonstrate it without putting your hands on someone’s shoulders.

I don’t know if the calcium comes from the muscle cells, blood, lymph, or other interstitial fluid (I had no business saying “muscle cells excrete calcium,” sorry). This article describes a common consequence of calcium accumulation, and suggests that our understanding of the mechanisms is incomplete.

IANAD and you’ll have no trouble nailing my ass on points of physiology. But I’ve had plenty of first-hand experience with gritty muscles, and I’m guessing that the masseuse-lady was feeling some gritty muscles mazinger_z’s shoulders.

Re the clicking noises: Tendons and fascia can make snapping noises, which might sound like a click, when they roll over bony prominences. If the masseuse was really yanking and pushing your muscles around, she could have been stretching these structures far enough to make noise. Obviously if she stretched them too far there could be problems, but you’d know if that happened, and so would she as soon as you yelled from the pain.

Musculoskelatal clusterfuck signing in. I’d trust sunacres with my kneadable parts, because it’s skilled massage therapists that keep me going. An observation of the health service (in the UK) is that one can complain of long-term musculoskeletal pain, and the doctor won’t so much as prod you with a stick. Which is a shame, as skilled fingers can quickly pinpoint any troublesome muscles. I had loads that had gone into permanent spasm, until released again by a course of deep muscle massages. The dodgy muscles start off with lumps as hard as chestnuts where the muscle fibres are stuck together, and it takes a lot of physical manipulation to free up the fibres and get the muscle relaxed again.

I can shed some light on the cracking joint phenomena too. Sometimes it’s tendons snapping sideways over bony protrusions (particularly when it’s repeatable), but usually the sound is caused by the supercavitation of gas bubbles (mostly nitrogen) caused by a sharp pressure drop in the synovial fluid. This can happen when a joint is out of position (say, pulled to one side by a tense muscle that needs relaxing), and some of the synovial fluid in the joint is displaced. If the joint is then moved such that the displaced synovial fluid is suddenly untrapped, the pressure gradient and the subsequent bubbles make a sharp “crack” noise. Incidentally, the temperature inside these bubbles is many thousands of degrees, Celcius and Farenheight.