Massage pressure is one of the most important aspects of a massage. The amount of tension and/or tightness your muscle tissue is holding plays a key role in how much pressure a massage therapist is able to apply. The tighter the tissue, the more challenging it is to work deep into the muscle and apply significant pressure. During a massage, muscle fibers are in a contraction phase and might not allow for extra depth during a session. For example, if your upper back is rock solid and you want extremely deep pressure, it’s going to be difficult because the muscles aren’t pliable. If the massage therapist attempts to apply deep pressure, a risk of injury exists for both you and the massage therapist.
Identifying the proper amount of pressure during a massage is similar to partner dancing. If a seasoned lead takes steps that are too quick or too difficult for their partner, they will instinctively slow down or reduce the intricacy of the steps. If the lead’s moves are welcomed, the response will be fluid and graceful and naturally evolve towards increasing speed and complexity. This synergy begets a deeper, richer quality to the collaborate interaction. Each dance is different; each partner is different, as is each massage, therapist and client. It’s that constant professional awareness and assessment of how your body is reacting that allows for the process to unfold in in a suitably therapeutic manner.
Patience is key when it comes to massage pressure. Muscle has memory. Therefore the more consecutive massage sessions you receive, the more your muscles will relax and allow for deeper pressure. Let your massage therapist know right away if you have any issues with the amount of pressure being applied so adjustments can be made accordingly. Your massage therapist is a professional and always has your best interest top of mind. Their goal is to relieve your muscle pain and tension, calm the nervous system and give you a period of time in which you and your wellness is the sole focus. That’s what a safe, positive, and relaxing experience is all about.
Lanier E. – Plymouth Massage Therapist