There is a misconception in massage circles that deep massage pressure is better than 'less deep', that superficial techniques won't have the same effects on our muscles than deep tissue work has and that it won't achieve the best results. I'd like to posset that that isn't the case and actually in some cases has the opposite effect.
Deep tissue massage performed correctly is incredibly beneficial of course but other more superficial styles such as Swedish massage are now seen as a lesser treatment or that they won't have any remedial benefits. This is far from the case.
Here's the thing. Relaxation of muscles is largely not a result of massage pressure, it is the result of the nervous system turning off the message for the muscle to be tight.
This fact is often overlooked. It is our nervous system that calls the shots not the muscle itself. Therefore, no pain no gain is largely a myth. Too deep pressure can actually cause the body to tense even further. I had such a massage a few months back. It didn't feel good at all, the pressure was hard and sharp and pinching. I left the treatment room feeling tighter than when I went in and instead of feeling all the good feels you'd expect, I just felt pretty annoyed! I had even asked for the pressure to be lighter but alas my wish was not granted. This made the whole experience even more unsatisfactory. Ah well, I live and learn. I won't be back there again anytime soon.
As a therapists I aim to listen to my clients needs through verbal communication but also feeling and tuning into the bodies of my clients and I have found less is often times more. Plus releasing tension from the inside out has a longer lasting effect. So over time the effects will be deeper!
Massage is a wonderful modality that has so many benefits but the one that can get overlooked is that is should feel good. It should leave you feeling relaxed yet energised and in a state of peace and calm. In fact I believe massage should bring you into a state of happiness, joy and aliveness!
We live in challenging times. In a world that can often times feel hard and sharp and pinching lets move towards the things that bring us the good feels!
In love and wholeness (and happiness, joy and aliveness!)