As a massage therapist, part of my job is to make sure you’re enjoying and benefiting from the pressure I use. Is this pressure okay? Not too light? Not too deep?
And, inevitably, I will get clients that respond “It’s okay… No pain, no gain, right?”
Massage doesn’t need to be painful to work well. In fact, if the pressure your therapist is using makes you want to tense your muscles, grit your teeth, clench your fists, or curl your toes in response, it is too much pressure. Your muscles begin to fight back against the massage, and as a result your massage loses a lot of therapeutic value.
If you like the feeling of a deep tissue massage, make sure to stay in the “hurts so good” range.
This isn’t to say deep tissue massages aren’t beneficial– they are! But only as deep as your body will let me in. As we use firm pressure to loosen up the top layers of muscle, we’ll eventually be able to work deeper and deeper. But don’t just lie there and “take it” when your massage is a little too deep for comfort. Speak up, let your therapist know they could lighten the pressure just a bit, and your body will thank you for it.