It can be scary to go get a massage from a new massage therapist. Sorry to say one therapist deep tissue will make you hurt for a week with bruises all over while another will make you feel amazing. There are many names for types of pressure from feather touch or light touch to heavy pressure or deep tissue. I will try to explain what each type is and what benefits you will receive with this type of pressure.
Light touch or feather touch is the very lightest form of massage. I find this to be a very hard form of massage to perform since as massage therapist we are trained to do medium to deep tissue massage. This type of massage will wear out your massage therapist and should be 60-90 minutes in length. Also, when receiving this type of massage the massage therapist will not be doing deep stretches on your muscles. However, Centerpoint makes great some great points on why light touch massage could be for you. “In addition to enhancing the body’s own natural healing mechanisms, by promoting relaxation, light touch massage can increase one’s overall emotional health. And since it is a gentle technique, it can be especially beneficial for a client who is highly sensitive to touch or for one whom the more intense pressure of a Swedish massage might be too much to tolerate. A client with fibromyalgia may be a good candidate for light touch massage. As with any bodywork therapy, light touch massage produces those feel-good endorphins, and pregnant women who are close to term (as well as those who are in the early stages of labor) find that light touch massage is relaxing yet invigorating at the same time.”
Medium Pressure massage is the most commonly asked for massage. It addresses muscle issues without making you feel like cursing or running out the door. This type of massage will benefit the client in lengths of 60, 90 and 120 minutes. The client may also receive light to medium stretches of their muscles.
Heavy Pressure or Deep Tissue massage is usually preferred by athletes or very active people. This massage will work out knotted muscles and help your muscles to move more freely. It will include stretching of arms, neck, legs, and shoulders. This massage will benefit the client in lengths of 60, 90 and 120 minutes. This massage is for those with major muscle issues or someone who knows their body. Benefits are treating chronic back pain, helps lower high blood pressure, reduces stress, anxiety and muscle tension, breaks up scar tissue, improves athletic recovery and performance and reduces arthritis symptoms. There are many more benefits that have not been proven medically but clients claim.
I encourage my clients to think about what works best for them and start there. Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist to lighten up or to go deeper it is your massage and your body. This is to benefit you, not to make you hurt. You may be sore in a good way a couple of days after a massage but you should never be hurting. I hope you enjoy and get the best muscle results from your next massage.