The massage pressure felt too light, was it a waste of my time and money?

It can happen… you are receiving a deep tissue treatment, but the therapist doesn’t apply enough pressure or releases the pressure too soon before the tissue melts and you fail to feel the bliss of muscle tension escaping. We would all love it if our sports massage therapist could read our mind and tissues to get the pressure spot on, right? And some do! A few are experts at immediately finding the right spot and pressure every touch.

In reality though, it normally takes two way communication and often a second session before the non ‘magic’ therapists learn your body’s pressure tolerance and tissue response. Pain is subjective. Another client may have experienced 8/10 pain with the same pressure that you received and you may have only felt a mild 4/10. Many therapists depend on feed back to gauge if you are in pain or not so that they can calibrate their techniques and pressure towards what you want.

If you feel your body requires a deeper layer of touch and the pain scale from current touch is low, why not let your therapist know the pain out of ten number as they progress though body parts? Therapists respond well to numbered feedback; it stops them guessing. It is also wise to summarise the pressure you felt after the treatment and even better at the beginning of your next session so they can adapt the techniques and pressure to suit your needs.

At The Massage Centre we believe it is important to deliver you a valuable service. We believe it is essential that we create a trusting therapeutic partnership with you if you are going to benefit from a course of treatment. If a client is unhappy it is our policy for the therapist to reduce the fee to an acceptable value point or waive the fee entirely.

Common reasons why the therapist may have applied the pressure too light…

  1. They may have got it wrong or missed the feedback cues. Massage therapists are trained to adapt techniques and pressure by sensing your tissue response. They are meant to gauge your breathing when sinking in deeper to coax muscle tension to release. For example, client bracing is an indication that the pressure is too deep. It is possible that your therapist misread your tissue responsiveness, or misunderstood your desire for more pressure and erred on the side of caution by applying a less risky touch.
  2. Your massage therapist may have deemed the tissue condition inappropriate to apply a deeper layer of touch? Most of us are surprised when parts of our body hurts during massage. We may not have experienced any perceived discomfort until the massage touched the area. Most symptoms have causes that were silently building for a long time before pain becomes overwhelming. Your therapist may be trying to resolve these tissue issues one layer at a time to avoid triggering a healing crisis or worsening the condition.
  3. Many clients indicate that they want a one-off treatment or state that they will see how today’s treatment goes before deciding if they want any more sessions. Remedial massage is a course of treatment approach. Just as antibiotics are normally a course of medication. it would be irresponsible for a remedial massage therapist to open up a can of worms or leave you feeling worse that you originally presented if they couldn’t ascertain the continuing of further treatment and thus the ability to put things right again if they worsen.

Whatever the reason for the pressure being a bit lighter on your first visit your massage therapist is here to serve you. Even if your tissue condition isn’t ready for stripping the muscle yet, your therapist can apply static compression in the form of deep pressure to an area you need releasing without causing tissue damage. Please feel free to offer feedback and be patient if the pressure isn’t right until the second treatment. In the long term you will always benefit more from having a regular therapist who knows your body, pressure sensitivity, and responsiveness. That is where you get to win!

If you would like to arrange a conversation with a clinic director to better explain how massage works and what your options are by choosing to take your massage care further, then please get in touch.

Thank you for your trust in using our service.