I like to think back to a fond childhood story most of us know – “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.
This bed is too hard. This bed is too soft. This bed is just right.
This porridge is too hot. This porridge is too cold. This porridge is just right.
So, how do we know if the pressure is too deep, too light, or just right? Well, here are a few simple tricks we’ve used over 16 years relieving pain for clients:
- When our thumb or fingertip is white (blood has been pushed out of the tissues), we know that we have hit “moderate/ medium” pressure.
- When we put this same pressure on a healthy tissue, or a bony prominence, you will feel pressure without pain.
- When we put this same pressure on a spasm, sprain, strain, trigger point, or hypertonic tissue, you will feel pressure with pain.
What does this mean for you?
- It’s the therapists job to watch for visual signs to ensure the pressure is kept at a level that won’t injure you. Examples: white tissue (ischemic) coloring, dark red (contusion) coloring, flinching/ repelling physical reaction from your body
- It’s your job to inform us if your nervous system is giving you feedback outside of a therapeutic range.
What is the therapeutic range of neurofeedback in a massage?
We need to remain between 5-8 throughout your session using the following pain scale:
- 0-4 = tickle/featherlight feeling
- 5-6 = pressure without a “ticklish” or painful feeling
- 7-8 = hurt so good (pressure with slight discomfort – but resolves quickly and isn’t “painful”)
- 9 = just plain hurts
- 10 = hurts so bad.
Why does this scale matter?
- 0-4 = is only therapeutic for SOME PEOPLE *please let us know if this IS you*
- 5-6 = is just the right pressure for fascia – a tissue which is central to most pain
- 7-8 = is when your body and our hands are cooperating to reduce a spasm, trigger point, or hypertonicity
- 9 = causes your body to fight with us – not super helpful
- 10 = legitimately can cause injury – we aren’t aiming to injure our clients!