Massage : How Much Pressure is too Much?

We know there are so many alternative benefits to a massage but let’s face it, the main reason most of us go is to feel great and get immediate relief. But how many times have you layed there in pain while the massage therapist was digging in a little too deep? Do you say something or quietly cringe with every touch?

It Hurts So Good

This is the motto to use when receiving a massage. A good type of pain would cause slight discomfort while the irritated muscle is being worked on, but as the knot or kink gets worked out you should feel immediate relief. Painful massages don’t really make you feel any better at the end – they just leave you feeling sore.

No Pain No Gain?

Not so. Pain isn’t really necessary to loosen up tight muscles and knots. Sure, there can be slight discomfort while certain parts of your body are being worked on, but oftentimes when our muscles are sore to begin with the cause is typically from and injury or improper use. Sometimes its just a matter of a lack of oxygen or blood flow to that portion of your body. In those cases a minimum amount of pressure can help soothe the irritated area.

Some folks confuse the idea of pain, believing they won’t be getting the full benefits unless the massage therapist is pushing them to their limits, but this simply isn’t the case. A well trained masseuse will know just the right amount of pressure to apply, and exactly where to apply it. Everyone and every part of the body is different, it’s not a “one pressure fits all” answer.

So what do you do when the pressure is just too much to bear? Don’t be afraid to tell your massage therapist that you’re experiencing discomfort. You want to get the most out of your session, you paid for it and you’re there to relax – not lay in pain. Give your massage therapist the opportunity to adjust the amount of pressure being applied – they want you to be comfortable too!

So even if your main reason for seeking the massage was just to relax for an hour, there are benefits for all parts of the body, including:

– Alleviate low back pain
– Reduce depression and anxiety
– Relieve migraine pain
– Lower blood pressure
– Reduce postsurgery adhesions & swelling
– Offer less pain for arthritis sufferers
– Enhance immunity
– Improve circulation
– Enhance sleep quality
– Improve concentration
– Reduce fatigue
– Improve energy
– Helps digestion

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