What to expect during a deep tissue massage (Is it going to hurt?!)

deep tissue massage hurt

So you’re wondering what to expect when booking a deep tissue massage. I certainly wondered the same thing going into my first deep tissue massage. The question at the forefront of my mind was “Is this going to hurt?”

Speaking to many of the therapists who work here, I discovered the answer is a complex but cautious “Yes”. Deep tissue massage can and likely will hurt at certain points. Not all pain is necessarily going to be beneficial to you (you can read more about the difference between deep tissue and firm pressure here, and when you can actually expect pain during your massage), but do understand that, yes, you will probably feel some pain or discomfort at some point during your deep tissue massage.  

One thing to keep in mind going into your first deep tissue massage is that deep tissue massage utilizes very specialized techniques to get deep into your tissues so the therapist can work on loosening the contracted muscles that are causing your muscle pain, limited mobility or other health issues. A deep tissue is not the same as a relaxation or therapeutic massage, which is characterized by a light touch and an emphasis on stress relief, light muscle work and creating an overall sense of wellbeing. During a deep tissue massage, very little creams and oils are used so that the therapist is able to hook and grab your muscles, stretch and lengthen them, release adhesions, realign tissue fibers and intentionally cause muscle inflammation, to flush the area with white blood cells to promote healing. Due to the friction of skin to skin contact and the highly targeted muscle work, you will almost certainly feel a certain level of discomfort or even short bursts of pain during your deep tissue massage.  

This is exactly the experience I had during my first deep tissue massage – at some points the massage was relaxing, at other points is was very painful, but mostly it hovered somewhere in between. I asked my therapist at every stage of the massage to explain what she was doing and it really helped me understand the treatment and why it was worthwhile to push through my discomfort. Obviously always tell your therapist if any pain is becoming unbearable and you would like them to stop, but for the most part the pain during your deep tissue is going to be the good kind of pain – the kind where you know it hurts in the moment but you will feel so much better afterwards for it! 

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About Athlete’s Choice Massage
Athlete’s Choice Massage is a modern massage studio. Since opening in 2016, Athlete’s Choice Massage has become an active part of the Edmonton and Sherwood Park community. Our experienced registered massage therapists set the highest standards in massage treatments. With massage therapy being covered by many people’s extended health care benefits, it is now easier than ever to experience the positive effects of therapeutic massage.

Open Today until 8:00 pm at our Edmonton and Sherwood Park clinics