I was asked a great question from my friend and client, Bridget (hi Bridget). She had purchased a spa package from a local spa that included a massage. Later she came to see me for a massage and asked if massage therapy should ever hurt? Massage, bodywork and energy work should never hurt, period. If you’ve had a major injury and are seeing a Physical Therapist, that’s a whole separate category and that work can be painful. That’s very different than going to see a Massage Therapist for stress and tension relief.
If a Massage Therapist is using more pressure than is comfortable for you, please speak up! I always invite my clients to let me know if my level of pressure or a technique I’m using doesn’t feel right for them. You know your body better than anyone else and have the right to say something if you’re hurting. Now, there may be some discomfort as I’m working out a knot in a client’s muscle, but it should never cross the line into pain.
To help with any discomfort during your session, take deep, cleansing breaths, which help release tension and detoxify your body. If you’re holding your breath, the pressure is too much. If you’re clenching your muscles, the pressure is too much. All you need to say to the therapist is, “Would you use less pressure there?” That’s it. And if they’re a good therapist they will say, “you bet,” and proceed with less pressure and check with you to make sure their lesser pressure is better.
I want you to enjoy your massage and bodywork sessions and the therapist is there to help you relax and unplug for a while. The world can be tough enough without feeling like you were beat up during a massage therapy session.