Do you know what the #1 mistake people make when they go for a massage is? Better yet, are you guilty of it??
Have you ever gone for a massage and thought, “I really want to make sure I get my money’s worth and make sure they get rid of that knot in my (insert body region)?”
It wasn’t until I went to massage school that I learned the therapeutic and highly effective nature of LIGHTER pressure! There is a law called the Arndt-Schultz Law which states that stronger stimulus will actually inhibit the body from responding the way that would be best for it. Often times what a spasming muscle needs is coaxing – a consistant, firm pressure that convinces it that relaxed is better. Some mild discomfort may be appropriate, especially if there’s work being done on a problem spot – scar tissue restructuring, fascial and muscular adhesions, relengthening muscle, trigger points, etc.
Remember, the old adage ‘No pain, no gain’ does not apply to bodywork though. Pain causes a person to tense and tighten which is counterproductive to a successful massage. On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest degree of pain), it is best to stay at an 7 or below. And if it is more, TELL THE THERAPIST. They need to know. They WANT to know.
Again, a therapist’s touch might need to be heavier for you to know he or she is doing anything, but at the same time, do you really need your bone marrow massaged? Why not let the trained massaged therapist feel your muscle and apply the amount of pressure that they know would be best. And meanwhile, close your eyes, tune out the day, and soak up the opportunity to lay in a tranquil room with no interruptions.
BUT if you are feeling pain during the massage, let the therapist know. Communicate about what is happening and ask the therapist any questions you might have.