When you arrive for a massage, tell your therapist the goal you have in mind so he or she can ensure you are receiving the correct type of bodywork. In other words, you would not go in for a relaxation massage if you wanted a specific muscle worked on. You would not go in for a therapeutic massage if your goal was to relax. Deep tissue work might be too much for your stated goal. A good therapist will deliver the massage you want, but first they have to know what you want.
Be specific when communicating your goal and mention what you do or do not like when receiving a massage. Do you like firm pressure or do you prefer light and fluffy? Do you want the therapist to go after a few of those knots or to just say hello to them and move on? It is okay to ask a therapist to spend more time in certain areas and to skip others.
It is also ok to change course during a massage if you do not like what you are getting. This is especially true when you ask for a deep massage. Some people think they want a deep massage and then realize they didn’t truly understand what a deep massage was. Just speak up. It will not hurt the feelings of a therapist to say you changed your mind. It is not uncommon for a client and a therapist to need to check in with each other and ensure your definitions match.
There are painless techniques for releasing muscles. Pain has many qualities and feeling pain or even discomfort is information that should be shared with the therapist so the technique can be adjusted if needed. I hope you are catching the theme here – communicate when needed. At times, a small amount of discomfort – what might be called “good pain” – can be therapeutic. However, the body naturally resists and guards against pain. Therefore, more pain than you can “relax into” is too much and counterproductive. Massage should never feel like a torture session.
At Sacred Pathways Sarasota, we do not subscribe to the no pain no gain philosophy. We also have enough experience to realize that some clients who say they want deep massage do not really mean it. Our promise is to facilitate communication with you to ensure you are getting the massage you want – even if that means turning down your business. We recognize that sometimes working smarter is superior to working harder. That means we prefer to work with your body’s natural reflexes and use techniques that do not put your body into a fight or flight mode of resistance. Our focus is on healing, relaxing, memorable, and mindful bodywork for a deeply satisfying experience.