Sports massage hurts so good!

I often hear “oh I don’t like the kind of massage where they press so hart that it hurts or even leaves you with bruises”. Unfortunately, that’s a common reason why people shy away from sports massage. Although there’s no reason why it should hurt so much that it remains in bad memories.

During a sports massage, different techniques are used depending on your needs. Some of these require a certain amount of pressure for them to be effective. Techniques such as friction, soft tissue release or stripping are aimed at breaking down stuck fibers and/or scar tissue so that they can be realigned in the same direction as the normal muscle fibers. These techniques also help with tight, overworked muscles or areas of the body that feel stiff, letting sensory organs within the tissue know, that it is okay to let go of the contraction that is causing tension. Often these tense areas are much more sensitive to touch and pressure, so that treatment there can easily feel more painful.

Everybody is different and has a different pain tolerance. That means for some people this pain generated through pressure on tense areas, feels good for them. They can feel their body loosening up and reacting well to the pressure. So, it’s kind of a good pain. Yes, there’s discomfort even pain but you can feel it working and your body says, “It’s a good thing, it hurts but feels so good”.

For other people, this pressure signals provoke a stress response in their body. The body senses danger and tenses even more. In this case, there won’t be any positive reaction to the therapy, your body is resisting the pressure and it is just painful, without any benefits. And that’s not at all the goal of a sports massage.

So, if a massage just hurts and you tense up even more, that doesn’t mean you’re a wimp and should just let it wash over you. A massage should feel good, even if it can hurt a little now and then. This good pain is hard to describe but you will know it when you feel it. If something doesn’t feel right or you feel uncomfortable, talk to your therapist. The main goal of a massage is to reduce tension, pain and stress and promote relaxation, and not the other way around. Massage can be truly effective even if it doesn’t hurt, it is definitely possible to communicate with your muscles through light pressure too.

It’s all about you, your muscles and what you need at Ammann Bodywork. Book your appointment today or call for more information.

Published by ammann05

I'm a soft tissue therapist, a pilates instructor, family manager (two girls, a husband and a dog), event planner, travel agent, taxi driver, chef, baker, runner, tennis player, swim, football and rowing mum, blogger, photographer, artist, shopping genius, stand up paddler, traveler, life lover, ... Originally Swiss, from summer 2015 to summer 2018 we lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. The move to the US was a big and successful adventure for our family. We loved the American way of life and it was hard to leave after three years. Our home base for our new adventure is Linton, a village in rual Cambridgeshire close to Cambridge UK. I always loved to travel and explore new countries and cultures. With the opportunity to live for a couple of years abroad a dream came true.

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