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No Pain, No Gain - Exercise & Massage

How many times have I heard , ‘If it doesn’t hurt then it’s not working’ or ‘I don’t hurt the next day I must not be training hard enough’ or ‘no pain no gain’ or with massage, ‘I like the pain, it means it’s working’ or ‘the deeper the better so the pain must be good’. Oh my goodness, no.

With exercise, muscle soreness is a result of torn (damaged) muscle fibres and then repairing of the muscle. Muscles tear and repair to grow bigger to prevent the tears from reoccurring.

When it comes to exercise, unless you are training hard to build and grow muscle then the pain you get the following day is not necessary. At times soreness is ok if you have an effective workout, but too much and too often is too much for the muscles. Think about what you are trying to achieve when you exercise? Fitness, toning muscle, building muscle, weight loss.

Next day muscle soreness can come from using muscles you haven’t used in a while, lifting very heavy for your level or lifting too much too often. And, too much excessive lifting or exercising and prolong repetitiveness can lead to injury.

No Pain, No Gain mindset is setting you up for injury. During a workout if you feel pain, and by pain I mean sharp acute uncomfortable pain, then stop. Learn what pain is in your body. Learn the difference between discomfort and pain and find a trainer that knows the difference too. Discomfort during exercise with a gradual build up to burn, is fine. Pain does not mean good, it means injury.

To eliminate some of your next day soreness, do some gentle stretching after your workout.

No Pain No Gain during Massage

How many times have I heard ‘I like the pain, it means I will feel better after’ or ‘the deeper the better’.

Massage does not need to hurt to get results and be effective. Every time I massage I am able to release knots with deep gentle pressure without the client cringing. A good therapist will always ask you if the pressure is ok and if they don’t then it is your right to let them know. The usual scale of pain tolerance is a 1 – 10 with a 7 being too much and the therapist is to lighten the touch.

Pain during your massage could be due to a recent injury or existing chronic injury and never from the massage itself, well shouldn’t be.

If I was to press hard on a knot during a massage then all I am doing is causing the muscles to tense up and make the client tense and not relieve their tension. A massage should be relaxing to the mind and body.

Deep massage is purely to get to the deeper muscles after the superficial muscles have been warmed up (massaged).

Trigger Point therapy is often related to pain to get results. Trigger Points are caused by injury and repetitive strain creating knots. Knots are the pain and tightness felt in your muscles and fascia. With gentle pressure by a professional to the trigger point, you will feel slight pain but never over the 10 on the 1-10 scale.

Next time you say no pain no gain, think about what you really mean.

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