Is this going to hurt?

This is a frequent question I get from my clients. My joking response is usually “Don’t worry, it’s not going to hurt me at all!”

Over the years my treatments in this regard have changed drastically. Early in my career I was of the mind ‘no pain, no gain’ and I would put my clients through some fairly severe sessions. Looking back on it I realize that I didn’t necessarily get better results with that kind of therapy. Many people like that kind of treatment, but that doesn’t mean that’s the treatment that their body needs.

My current view is that it’s important to treat each client individually, and even different parts of the same body individually. Many clients don’t need or won’t respond to a heavy hand, and others need a firmer approach to make sure they can benefit from the therapy. What I find myself doing these days is varying between the types of strokes and techniques I use on each client and even varying during each session with a particular client.

In every case educating my clients is important. One thing I mention to everyone I work on is that the session shouldn’t feel like they are trying to endure some kind of torture. Many clients come in with the same mentality that I had early on in my career that the work has to hurt to get the effect. What I try to impress on them is that there is a very fine line between ‘good’ pain and ‘bad’ pain and making sure that we as a team stay in the ‘good’ pain range. Another aspect that I try to educate my clients with is that there will generally be a little soreness after the session. That soreness should only last 1 or 2 days at the longest. If it lasts longer than that I lighten the intensity so the client doesn’t have so much soreness after. On the other hand, if there is no soreness, then I know I can go a little deeper for that client to have a better therapeutic effect.