CHARLOTTE, NC – This came up this week, so I thought I’d share it with you. What is the right pressure for a massage? I, for one, am not, as far as massage therapists go, the one to give the deepest of pressure. I used to worry about this during my initial training, but studies are now showing it’s not necessarily the deepness of the massage but the technique. What’s great about massage is not only are you manipulating muscle but you are also affecting the nerves at the surface of the skin.
When clients come to see me, I have to remember that pressure is subjective. For instance, a client suffering from fibromyalgia (a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and believed to affect neurological pathways from your brain to your muscles) might receive pain signals with just the slightest pressure. Then there’s the person with extremely tight back muscles who prefers you stand on them to give them relief.
Brian, who works with me, definitely has a firm touch, and I happily take as much pressure as he provides. Brittany also has a firm touch, but her massage style and pressure is totally different. When I get a massage from them, the end feel is the same: I feel better and see improvement in my issues.
The takeaway from this client is for you to have an open mind. Feel free to request whatever pressure you want, but also be open to your therapist and their expertise. Ultimately, our goals are the same.