There is a common misconception in the ardent world of massage enthusiasts that IT HAS TO HURT TO WORK. There are several ways to approach getting a massage, but the most important component in receiving a great massage is to understand what you are looking to take away from this massage and communicating your needs to your massage therapist.
There are many types of massage that are extremely effective that DO NOT REQUIRE DEEP PRESSURE.
Swedish Massage is a great example of a gentle massage that is therapeutic in nature and brings much pain relief to sore muscles without relying upon deep pressure. It involves long smooth hand strokes and large sweeping arm movements.This massage improves overall circulation and provides stress relief.
Myofacial Release is another type of massage that incorporates a lot of static hold positions and gentle stretches.
Massage for the most part should not be painful. If too much pressure is applied to the part of the body being worked upon and it feels like it is bruising-this is too much pressure. Each individual and body is different and requires different pressure and different styles of massage. The most important thing to remember is to have a clear understanding of what you need from your massage and talk to your therapist before and during your massage.