“Does a massage have to hurt to be effective?”

Many people believe that a massage has to hurt for it to be effective…
Well, it does NOT!
You’ll be happy to know that the saying, “No pain, no gain” doesn’t apply to massage therapy.  And, sometimes the most effective massages don’t hurt at all…
Massage can be something that feels marvelous and is also good for you – it doesn’t get much better than that!

Deep Tissue Massage May Cause Some Discomfort

A deep tissue massage is when your 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 and organs.
Usually, your massage therapist will use lotion or oil and will work lighter at first to help relax the top layer of soft tissue…meaning less pain for you.  This will make the massage feel much better and will also get you 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 (when performed by a properly trained & licensed therapist) because it helps with relieving patterns of tension that may have developed over time; it also helps with recovery from muscle injuries.
A good deep tissue massage session will leave you feeling more relaxed afterward if little or no pain was endured during it… Note:  It’s hard 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.
Deep tissue massage is one of the more involved and intense massage techniques.  Some people simply like the feeling of more pressure, while others don’t. And, depending on how your day/week/month has been going, you may just want something a little more chill…
The most important thing with massage is communication with your therapist.  Share your preferences and needs. Your therapist will appreciate your feedback because she understands that happy clients keep coming back and refer their friends.  🙂

Pain vs. Discomfort

Muscles naturally react to any sort of pain…
When your muscles feet that your body is about to be injured, their natural reflex is to deflect that pain.  If your massage therapist applies too much pressure your muscles will tighten and fight against the outside force; clearly, this is not going to help you relax.
A massage is meant to RELIEVE tension so if you can’t relax because your massage therapist is applying too much pressure for your comfort just ask them to use less…seriously, they want the feedback!
Now, don’t go into your massage thinking there won’t be any discomfort at all though…
Pain and discomfort are two different things:

  • People usually describe the discomfort as a “good hurt”, especially in reference to getting a massage.
  • When you experience pain during a massage, it is much more than discomfort and could even cause bruising or injury!

Everybody has a different tolerance for pain so massage that is painful for one person may not be for another.  So, on the flip side, if your massage therapist isn’t applying enough pressure, be sure to say something as well.
If you’re booking your first massage, you probably don’t want to start out with a deep tissue session.  Ease your way into massage therapy. A good massage therapist will actually combine techniques and meet you where you’re at…
Justin Yule

By |2018-04-24T22:11:11+00:00April 24th, 2018|Education|0 Comments

About the Author:

Husband. Dog Dad. Author. Coach. Entrepreneur. Transformation Specialist. Justin Yule is the founder, president, and chief transformation officer of The Transformation Club. In addition, he serves fitness professionals worldwide as a business coach and subject-matter expert. Justin is the co-author of the best-selling book, The Transformation Book, as well as the author of the fictional tale, The Transformation Path. He is also the co-host of The Transformation Show podcast. Justin has a bachelor of science degree in physical education with a concentration in adult fitness and holds multiple specialty training certifications in fitness. He has been educating, motivating, and inspiring clients to become the best version of themselves since 1997.

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