Myths about Massage and Pain!
One of the things I hear a lot is “I’m a big baby. I don’t get massages as my friends/family say they are painful!” Know this, you are not a “big baby,” you are being a good steward of your body.
First, in some instances no pain no gain is a perfectly applicable statement. However, when it comes to massage, I don’t agree. When you want to feel better do you put your hand on a hot stove? Or perhaps slam your fingers in a car door? Of course not, that sounds crazy. The perspective at Amazing Massage Fingers is if you understand anatomy, and kinesiology there is no reason to “grind” on a client with an elbow.
Second, when one uses too much pressure the muscles resist and we are teaching them to be tighter, not relaxed. We all know about muscle memory, whether it’s a dance step, golf swing, throwing a ball, etc. So, why would we want to teach muscles to be tighter and not more relaxed?
Third, this is not to say to that Amazing Massage Fingers does not use deep pressure, however, it is achieved a bit differently. Let’s use the typical pain scale of 1-10, if your pain threshold is an eight, then we don’t want to go over a seven. If you are clenching your jaw, kicking your feet, or thinking “this is killing me, are they done yet?” that is not good. If you are a bit uncomfortable, that is okay, outright pain, not okay.
So, what do we do? How do we help? What makes our deep tissue massage different? Well, if we go back to understanding anatomy/kinesiology, we know, for example, the subscapularis can cause angst for the rhomboids, and if subscapularis is not released the rhomboids are going to be unhappy no matter what happens.
Additionally, we approach the muscles as if they are a non-Newtonian substance (cornstarch and water mixture, for example), we allow the muscle layers to relax under our hands, then we can work into the deeper layers without creating a tight muscle memory. Which means less pain for you, and typically longer-term benefits.
What this all means is, it is important you communicate with your massage therapist, we are not in your body, and everyone has a different perspective of pain. If it feels like it is too much, then it is too much. There are a lot of ways to work with a muscle, and not every way works with every client. Don’t think that you must “endure” something in order to feel better. If your massage therapist understands their anatomy they will know a way to help you feel better, without creating angst.