Pain versus Discomfort
Muscles naturally react to any sort of pain. When your muscles feel that your body is about to be injured the reflex to deflect the pain is stimulated. If your massage therapist is ever applying too much pressure, your muscles tighten together to naturally counterattack the force, and that is not a great way to relax. A massage is meant to relieve the tension of your muscles so if you feel as though the massage therapist is applying too much pressure for comfort, just ask them to use less pressure. Seriously, they want you to.
Don’t go into the 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 more than discomfort and could even cause bruising or injury.
Everybody has different tolerances for pain, so a massage that is painful for one person may not be painful for you. If you find that your massage therapist isn’t working between your tolerance levels for pain, then it’s important that you say something. Massages should almost never cause you physical pain and very rarely is it okay for you to be left with marks on your body afterward.
If you are booking your first massage, you probably don’t want to start out with a deep tissue session. Ease your way into massage therapy and start with something less specific, like a Swedish or integrative massage. Most therapists combine massage techniques and will try to give you the best massage for you.