Massage shouldn’t hurt!
Many people believe that a massage has to hurt in order to be effective. Well, it doesn’t! You’ll be happy to hear that the saying, “No pain, no gain” doesn’t apply to massage therapy – I tell my clients that my moto is “No pain, no pain”.
Often times the most effective massages are the ones that don’t cause you any pain. Something that feels marvelous, and it’s good for you too? It doesn’t get much better than that!
Deep Tissue Massage (not deep pressure)
A deep tissue massage (this does NOT mean deep pressure) is when the massage therapist manipulates the deeper layers of your soft tissue. Soft tissue includes your muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons (it’s pretty much everything that isn’t bones or organs).
When doing deep tissue, it begins with lighter work, this is important, it helps relax the top layer of tissue and muscle, meaning less pain for you. Then the deeper layers of muscle can be worked on more easily and with less pain. This will feel much better and you will get better results!
Typically, deep tissue massage is recommended for those with chronic pain caused by tight muscles or injuries. Deep tissue massage can be very therapeutic because it helps with relieving patterns of tension that have developed over time and helps muscle injuries heal.
With a good deep tissue session massage you will feel more relaxed after the massage even if no pain was endured during it. It’s nearly impossible to relax if you are in pain, and muscle tension will only release in a state of relaxation.
Deep tissue massage is not for everyone! You are not a wimp if you don’t like it. It is one of the more involved and intense massage techniques. Some people simply like the feeling of more pressure, and a firm massage isn’t always deep tissue. Just be sure to communicate about what you prefer and need. Speak up, your session is your time and I appreciate your feedback, happy clients are regular clients, and I want you to love your time with me.
Pain VS Discomfort
Muscles naturally react to any sort of pain. When your muscles feel that your body is about to be injured the reflex to deflect the pain is stimulated. If I am applying too much pressure, your muscles tighten together to naturally counterattack the force, and that is not a great way to relax.
A massage is meant to relieve the tension of your muscles so if you feel as though I’m applying too much pressure for comfort, just ask me to use less pressure.
However, don’t go into the massage thinking there won’t be any discomfort at all. Pain and discomfort are two different things. People usually describe discomfort as a “good hurt” – especially in reference to getting a massage. I always tell my clients that “comfortably uncomfortable” is as far as we want to go.
When you experience true pain during a massage, more than discomfort, it may cause bruising or injury – which is the last outcome either of us wants for our session.
Everybody has different tolerances for pain, so a massage that is painful for one person may not be painful for you. If you find that I’m not working within your tolerance levels for pain, then it’s important that you say something. I won’t be upset, I will truly appreciate the feedback.=
Remember: massage should almost never cause you physical pain and very rarely is it okay for you to be left with marks on your body afterwards (except with cupping & gua sha).