Most people believe that any type of massage has to hurt in order to be effective. You'll be happy to know that the saying, "No pain, no gain" doesn't apply for massages. Sometimes the most effective massages are the ones that don't cause you any pain.
Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage is when the massage therapist manipulates the deeper layers of your soft tissue and your muscles. Commonly it is found that the massage therapist will use lotions and oils to help relax the top layer of tissue and muscle. This helps them to reach the deeper layers of the muscle.
Typically, people get deep tissue massages if they have chronic pain. This type of massage helps to relieve the pains that come with it like back pain, a stiff neck and pain in the shoulders. It also loosens tight muscles either in the legs or arms.
Specifically, with the deep tissue massage many people have reported that they are much more relaxed and at ease after the massage if no pain was endured during it.
Not everyone should get a deep tissue massage. It is one of the more "involved" and "intense" massages so it's not for everyone. Some people simply like the feeling of greater pressure to their deeper muscles.
Pain versus Discomfort
Muscles naturally deflect pain from your body. If your muscle ever feels as if your body is about to be injured in any way, that reflex to deflect the pain is stimulated. If your massage therapist is ever applying too much pressure, your muscles tighten together to naturally counterattack the force. However, it should be known that this is the opposite of what a massage should be doing for your body. A massage is meant to relieve the tension of your muscles so if you feel as though the massage therapist is applying too much pressure for comfort, ask them to relieve some of the pressure.
Don't go into the massage thinking there won't be discomfort, though. Pain and discomfort are two different things. People like to describe discomfort as a "good hurt" - especially in the realm of getting a massage. But when you experience pain during a massage, it is said to be something the body cannot bear and very uncomfortable.
Everybody has different tolerances for pain, so a massage that is painful for one person may not be painful for you. If you find that your massage therapist isn't working between your tolerance levels for pain, then it's important that you say something. Massages should almost never cause you physical pain and very rarely is it okay for you to be left with marks on your body afterwards.
If you have never gotten a massage, it is strongly recommended that you don't get a deep tissue massage as your first massage. Ease your way into this massage and start with something easier and less intense.
Remember that a massage is the most effective when you are completely relaxed and at ease while getting the massage!