On my 19th birthday I got my first, and most likely only, tattoo. I got a little ivy vine on my foot where I figured it would rarely get seen and could be easily covered. My mom told me “Watch, someday you’ll have a job where your feet will be showing all day”. A few years later I started practicing ashiatsu and now spend my days massaging people with my feet. Now, that little ivy vine looks up at me all day as a reminder that moms are always right.
This month Massage and Bodywork magazine had an article that discussed tattoos and massage. It highlighted one therapist’s thoughts about the negative physical effects of the scar tissue caused by the normal tattoo process and how massage can release and break down these adhesions. Before this article I never thought about the effects of tattooing below the skin. Even though I rarely see tattoos in my practice, especially large ones, I will now check for adhesions and excess scar tissue around these personal forms of art.
What is your experience with tattoos and massage therapy? Have you ever noticed problems caused by tattoos? Do you think tattoos affect muscle tissue? If you have a tattoo and are a massage therapist, how has it affected your job or career?