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Is Pain During Your Massage Normal?

By Mara Concordia

I own a busy massage center in Tucson Arizona. Because of this I am asked many questions that involve massage and many aspects of Chinese medicine. What is this good for? Should I feel this way. Etc.

The most frequently asked question is, “Does it or should it hurt?”

There is a belief out there that massage should hurt because without the pain there aren’t any therapeutic benefits. There is a contrary belief out there that suggests massage should never hurt and if you are sore after a massage it is the result of a bad therapist. It is my professional conclusion that both of these premises are extreme and therefore false.

To begin, let’s look at the concept of “hurt”.

Professional massage therapists are taught to work with soft tissue issues and injuries. Sometimes this process can be uncomfortable depending on many factors. One thing to always look at is if there is an injury to the tissue in that is being worked on. Or is there a chronic repetitive movement pattern that is simply over working and fatiguing the muscles causing pain.

No matter what the issue is, the discomfort that is felt by the client or the “hurt” should be an experience that you can breathe through and relax.

For example, on a pain scale of 1-10 (ten being excruciating) the “hurt” or pain that you feel from the massage should never be more then a 7 or 8. You should be able to take a deep breath and relax with the pressure helping the muscle to also relax and release the spasm. If you find yourself tensing, or unable to take a breath then the pressure is too much and you should ask the therapist to lighten up if they have not already done so.

People often wonder if they should be sore after a massage. Quick answer is sometimes. It is important to note that the soreness should not be acute pain, but more like the discomfort from a good work out or a hard day’s work.

When you receive a deep tissue massage, the therapist is separating muscle layers, milking metabolic waste out from between the layers and sometimes breaking up adhesions or scar tissue. These types of sessions may leave you sore, but then after 1-2 days (on rare occasions 3 days) you should feel great and that problem area should feel much better. You may see that you have an increase in your range of motion, reduction of pain or increased muscle stamina, depending of course on what the problem was in the first place.

Massage therapy is like dancing on the edge of the good pain and the bad at times, it is a very thin line.

Want to learn more about the benefits of therapeutic massage? Then visit Peaceful Spirit Massage and Wellness Centers and discover how massage will improve your health and over all well-being.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Concordia, Mara "Is Pain During Your Massage Normal?." Is Pain During Your Massage Normal?. 1 Jul. 2010. 7 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Concordia, M (2010, July 1). Is Pain During Your Massage Normal?. Retrieved August 7, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Concordia, Mara "Is Pain During Your Massage Normal?"

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