Is deep pressure in a massage ever bad? 16 Oct 2019
One of the first things you learn as a massage therapist is that everyone wants deep pressure in massage. This is because no one wants a light fluffy massage because they feel there will be no benefit and they have wasted both their time and money.
The second thing you learn as a massage is that everyone has their own idea what deep pressure is and what would be light pressure for one person is deep pressure for another person. Even if you take one client, the pressure they consider deep on their tight shoulders will be different from their idea of deep pressure on their legs. So there is no fixed concept of what deep pressure is, it varies from client to client, and with the same client it varies treatment to treatment and depending up on the part of their body your are treating.
Given all this how do we work out pressure in clinic. First, we base it on our experience, your body type, the tension in the muscle we are working on. But most of all we talk to you about how the pressure feels to you and respect your preferences for pressure.
I am sure most of you have heard me talk about good pain. Its based on a phenomenon that I have seen in clinic over the years. This is where someone comes into clinic in pain, we apply pressure and the pain turns into a good pain – because the pressure is a source of relief. For some people this “good pain” just feels right. This good pain is strong but welcome and came sometimes be described as a “sweet ache”. For some clients the good pain, is such a welcome relief that pain doesn’t even seem the right word.
A word of warning, I like all my other therapists are only human and sometimes we get it wrong. This can be if we have missed a trigger point that is very sensitive, and we go into deep or the opposite can happen where a muscle locks up and we apply pressure and you as the client can’t feel anything. These situations can also arise due to change with your body i.e. an intense gym session or longer work hours than usual so lots of extra time sitting at your desk.
I try to ask all my clients regularly without sounding like its some automated message, do you want the pressure deeper or lighter and if so let me know. I know the other therapists in clinic do this as well.
In clinic we always want you to get the most out of your treatment. So please remember we always welcome feedback on pressure throughout your treatment.