There is much controversy over whether or not deep tissue massage should feel painful to the client or not. Different therapist have different opinions on this topic. Many feel that deep tissue without pain is not being effective. Clients may often feel that if they can’t feel pain, it isn’t doing any good.
The intention of deep tissue massage is to reach the deeper structures of the body. To do this deep pressure must be applied to get through the superficial layers of the body. The key to doing deep tissue work without inducing pain or more trauma lies in knowing how to use your Ki or energy and to use awareness to stay in touch with the clients body to be able to know when they are resisting more so that you can adjust the pressure you are applying. A good deep tissue therapist will know how to do just that.
Often people like the pain of deep tissue massage. (I used to be one of them. I thought it felt good and was necessary to relieve the pain and tension.) There will also be people who say that they have a high pain tolerance or they may even have spots in their muscles that are numb. Do they really have a high tolerance for pain or are they just out of their bodies and not self aware? Do people like to experience more pain and in some unconscious way continuing to cause themselves more harm?