In my experience, pain is somewhat subjective, so it is helpful to further define what we're going for in a Deep Tissue Massage, and what an experienced Massage Therapist will try to avoid.
3 types of Hurt in a Deep Tissue Massage...
1) GOOD HURT
If you have ever had a friend, partner, or a Massage Therapist working on your shoulders, and they finally get to a spot that kind of hurts but actually feels GOOD when pressure is applied, then you already know this feeling. The Good Hurt. This is the feeling that keeps us in business. When you are feeling a “Good Hurt” for the majority of your session, you know you are seeing an experienced Massage Therapist who is actually skilled in deep tissue therapeutic massage. This is the way it SHOULD FEEL.
Progressive hurt is an important part of the healing process, and you should expect to feel this during parts of your session if you are trying to correct a chronic pain or limited range of motion condition (painful movement, tension headaches, computer shoulder, low-back pain etc.)
IMPORTANT: If your therapist takes you into progressive hurt, they should hold the pressure long enough for it to reduce back down to good pain. Some therapists will get to that perfect spot, apply a little bit of pressure, and quickly move on the the next spot… those are the sessions you could find yourself sore after the massage, or unchanged from when you first came in. If your LMT finds the right spots, but doesn't engage and HOLD the pressure long enough to get a muscle release, discuss it with the therapist as it is happening in the session.
3) UNBEARABLE PAIN
This is a level of pain you will find your body trying to escape from. The most common signs you are in unbearable pain — your body contracts muscles to protect itself and/or you find yourself holding your breath until the therapist hopefully eases off.
YOU SHOULD NEVER BE IN UNBEARABLE PAIN DURING A DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE.
A good rule of thumb: if you catch yourself holding your breath…
tell us to back off - it is too much pressure.
In a perfect world, you find a skilled and experienced Massage Therapist through word-of-mouth or a review website, go in for your weekly or monthly appointment, and come out an hour or two later feeling great. Everything is right in the world. Boom. Awesome. That's how it should be for everyone. But that doesn't always ends up being the case, and for a variety of reasons. It could be an emotional time in the client's life, there could be trauma or grief to work through. We could be dealing with scar tissue from surgery or sports injuries, or chronic pain from professional and environmental habits such as posture, repetitive motions, sitting at a desk all day, rock climbing, too many down dog and chaturanga repetitions, lifting heavy objects incorrectly, etc. There could even be a combination of all of the above compounded into a beautifully adaptive, functionally imbalanced, human-body-mess.
The last massage I received was quite an emotional experience. It was also one of the most effective massage sessions I've ever had. It was exactly what I needed in that moment...
"Michael delivered a great massage, finding all of my problem areas. I felt well taken care of during my session and left feeling super relaxed. My shoulders felt better than they have in a long time, and I'll definitely be back for another session soon!"
"I made the appointment online with no trouble, and printed and filled out the health forms in advance. I was welcomed warmly and the atmosphere was immediately conducive to relaxation. We talked about what my needs were, and he stepped out while I got comfortable. The massage itself was just fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and have recommended Michael to friends. I will be back for sure!"
"I was extremely stressed out and had just pulled a muscle in my leg. Michael was very professional, he was easy to talk to, and I felt completely at ease. The massage was perfect and he encouraged me to tell him if I needed more or less pressure. When I left I was walking in the clouds (without a trace of a limp!). I have to add that I was palpably less stressed for the rest of the week."
Massage Therapy is a bodywork practice involving the manipulation of muscles and soft tissues of the body. The health benefits of Therapeutic Massage varies from person to person, but can include relaxation and body awareness, relief of muscle tension and pain, improved range of motion and flexibility, increased energy and circulation, more restful sleep, reduction of stress hormones, increased immunity and more active fighter cells, more efficient digestion, easier respiratory function, improved posture, and a greater sense of the mind-body-spirit connection.
The techniques I offer my clients include Swedish Massage, with long flowing strokes for increased circulation and kneading work to warm up the muscle tissues, and focused Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Therapy work for muscle tissues that are stuck or out of place due to restricted fascia, knots, and tightness within the muscle. As appropriate for the client, I also incorporate stretching, myofascial release techniques, and aromatherapy and topical application of essential oils for added therapeutic effect.
I am not a doctor and do not diagnose illness or disease, but have knowledge of many conditions and how Massage Therapy can relate to the healing process. Massage Therapy can be recommended for post-operative recovery, and to minimize, reduce, and realign scar tissue from injuries or surgery. For all serious health concerns, please consult the appropriate medical professional.
"Thanks to Michael for introducing me to Essential Oils and an awesome recipe for DIY deodorant. I used lavender in mine and I must say... not only does the scent last longer but it even withstood a strenuous workout!! I'll be throwing away my Tom's deodorant and sticking with this from now on"
"I recently suffered from a herniated disc and had gone through rigorous physical therapy. Mixing in a massage from Michael once a week was just what the doctor ordered. Not only was the environment peaceful and soothing, the massage itself was always @ a comfortable pressure level. He knew when and what to ask to make it as satisfying for me as possible. I highly recommend Michael."
@ BOND Wellness Studios
13354 Midlothian Tpke Ste 101
Midlothian, VA 23113
Licensed Massage Therapist VA
Board of Nursing License# 0019010744
Professional Member of the
American Massage Therapy Association