As an Italian massage and reiki therapist living and working in North San Diego County, I often wonder why so many of my clients believe pain leads to gain in a massage.
In Italy, light massages like lymphatic and Ayurvedic are more popular than deep tissue. I suspect this preference stems from a cultural component in the United States, reflecting how many people have unplugged the physical body from its spiritual and emotional dimensions.
Though I know what pressure best serves my client’s needs, some people question a treatment’s effectiveness when they experience no pain. They seem to need to harm or hurt themselves in order to achieve a sense of progress. Consequently, that individual loses the epiphany of a massage experience, which is proper fusion of mind and body.
Muscles should whisper, “Ahh,” instead of scream, “Ouch!” Pain obstructs energy flow and taints the natural tide of your physical and emotional sensations.
My yoga instructor and fellow practitioner clients request medium to firm pressure. They know the difference between pain and gain in a massage. Moreover, stillness (as with reiki treatment) bothers people who need action, motion, i.e. who need to see something happening.
Yes, deep tissue treatment is therapeutic. In a mindful deep tissue session, muscular release can lead to emotional release. But a true deep tissue treatment demands no painful pressure. When I work on your fascia, I’m probing layer by layer. One stroke might take two or more minutes. Likewise, a proper deep tissue massage should be slow. Effective treatment requires more than a 60-minute session.
Does pain always lead to gain? Not when undergoing a proper deep tissue treatment by a skilled therapist. Your massage session should be a beautiful ballet, not a teeth-clenching crusade.
Trust me. You want ahh instead of ouch!
Francesca Serraino Fiory is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Therapist, Holistic Health Practitioner. Contact her at https://fireflychi.com/contact-me/