“Hurts Bad” Massage
First of all, pressure preference seems like a very personal decision. While I prefer not to suffer thru any kind of discomfort during my session, you might actually expect to feel pain, or otherwise you feel like you didnt get your money’s worth. Most people fall in the in-between category, those who desire or at least dont mind that “hurts good” feel with plenty of pure relaxation to fill in the rest. Having said that, not all pressure that hurts is good, obviously. In fact, to help qualify just how good a pressure is, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of pressure and the speed with which its applied. Also, that ratio varies depending on the part of the body worked. You just cant speed over the front of one’s neck with any degree of
pressure, like you do over some plump succulent thigh muscle. Any work done without oil or lotion requires slow meticulous pressure.
Dealing with Too Much Pressure
If you ever feel in doubt about the pressure, let your therapist know right away. While he or she should be able to adjust technique by tuning to your body, be your best judge of your own personal sensitivities. If you do decide to brave it at that moment, remember to focus on your breath. Intense pressure or full range type stretches can make your body will feel on edge. It will naturally want to brace against the unknowns by tensing up. You want to supercede that impulse: consciously relax that whole area and lengthen, exhale as slowly and completely as possible.
Hopefully, thanks to your intake form you can let go and simply indulge yourself to exactly what you wanted.
“No Pain No Gain” Massage Myth
What? Im not sure how that phrase became so ubiquitous, but I find it simply not true. While I believe there is some truth to “hurt good” depending on what you define as pain in that context, pure pain in its own right is no gain at all. Its most likely an injury. Pain induces the body’s reflexive reaction to constrict and tense up and thats simply counterproductive to a good massage. A deep tissue massage requires considerable amount of progressive superficial work before the body is sufficiently warmed up to recieve deep pressure. When properly warmed up, the body welcomes deep pressure, no force necessary. Trigger point work tends to induce pain, but your mind is able to accept it and relax. This kind of static pressure takes all the guess work out of where pressure will head next. Now your mind can calmly assess this well defined spot and relax with it.