No Pain ALL Gain – Why Deep Tissue Massage Should Not Be Painful

Deep tissue massage is a type of therapy that uses slow, firm pressure to target deep layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is often used to treat chronic pain, muscle tension, and injuries, among other conditions. However, many people are hesitant to try deep tissue massage because they have heard that it can be painful. In this article, we will explore why a deep tissue massage for pain relief should not be painful.

While deep tissue massage can be intense and may cause some discomfort, it should not be painful. In fact, a painful massage is counterintuitive to the positive results that deep tissue massage is intended to provide. When the pressure is too intense and causes pain, the muscles may tense up even more in response, making it more difficult for the therapist to effectively target the problem areas. Additionally, the body’s natural response to pain is to produce cortisol, a stress hormone that can actually increase inflammation and make the pain worse.

During a deep tissue massage session, you can expect the therapist to use slow, firm pressure to target the deep layers of muscles and connective tissue. The therapist may use their fingers, knuckles, or elbows to apply pressure, and will work with you to find a level of pressure that is comfortable but effective. It is important to communicate with the therapist throughout the session, and to speak up if the pressure is too intense or causing pain.

There is evidence to support the idea that deep tissue massage should not be painful. A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that deep tissue massage was effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with chronic low back pain, and that the level of pressure used during the massage did not significantly affect the outcomes (Licciardone et al., 2013). This suggests that a deep tissue massage can be effective without causing pain or discomfort.

In conclusion, a deep tissue massage for pain relief should not be painful. While deep tissue massage can be intense and may cause some discomfort, the pressure should be firm but not painful. A painful massage is counterintuitive to positive results, as it can cause the muscles to tense up and produce stress hormones that can make the pain worse. If you are interested in trying deep tissue massage, be sure to choose a qualified and experienced practitioner who can work with you to find the right level of pressure for your individual needs.

References:

Licciardone, J. C., Minotti, D. E., Gatchel, R. J., Kearns, C. M., & Singh, K. P. (2013). Osteopathic manual treatment and ultrasound therapy for chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 17(4), 530-541.

 

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