I get a lot of people asking me if my massages hurt, and I love answering this question.
Depends on what type of massage you're looking for.
Relaxation massage should never hurt. The intention of "Swedish" or relaxation massage should be to do exactly that. You should feel completely relaxed, like you're on cloud 9, "massage drunk" if you will.
Deep Tissue massage is potentially a different situation. Typically Deep Tissue massage is necessary for people that already have pain or stiffness in problem areas. Most people that have had a deep tissue massage may have had a "no pain, no gain" massage therapist who told you that they need to press as hard as they can to loosen up your muscles, no matter how much pain they may be causing you.
STAY AWAY FROM THIS TYPE OF PRACTITIONER!
I'm a massage therapist that believes your nervous system won't allow you to relax if it feels your body is in danger. My approach to Deep Tissue massage varies with each person, because everyone has their own "pain" threshold. We know of family members or friends who seem to never get cold, no matter how low the temperature. They're wearing shorts and a T-shirt outside when everyone else has pants, a sweater, coat and a beanie. How are they able to do this without feeling the "pain" of the cold, wintry weather? How is that person who loves spicy food able to handle the "pain" that comes with it? What about massage specifically? Why do some people really love that deep, elbow-in-the-back type of massage, while others can't handle any pressure? It's because the word "pain" is relative to each individual, and yes, some types of "pain" threshold can be managed, manipulated, and changed.
Most people may feel what I call a "mild discomfort" while l'm loosening your soft tissue, fascia, and musculature. Your musculature is already in pain or has stiffness, and the mild discomfort that you feel from my massage will eventually ease that pain that you had when you first arrived to my studio.