Massage Shouldn’t Hurt
What happens when touch causes pain?
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as
unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.
Experiencing threatening sensations does not help anyone relax. Instead, it causes the brain go on the defensive to protect the body from danger. That’s the opposite of relaxation.
Yet massage does helps. Research demonstrates benefits of massage including relief from pain and other symptoms, enhanced sleep, and improved emotional well-being.
Receiving touch in a safe environment is therapeutic. A welcome, satisfying depth of touch can reduce sympathetic nervous system activity (“fight or flight”) and increase parasympathetic activity (“rest and digest”).
Touch that is therapeutic feels good.
So why the do people ask for for deep tissue work?
Some believe that deeper pressure yields better results. They think that the tighter their muscles, the deeper the massage should be. That’s the “no pain, no gain” school of thought.
What I hope you’ll request:
“Please use pressure and techniques that feel yummy to me. I’ll let you know if things stray from that.”