One of the most common questions newcomers have about massage is: "Will massage hurt?"
The important thing to remember is that, as the client, you're in control of the pressure. Most massage therapists will ask at the beginning of the massage what kind of pressure you like, and you can indicate then that you want a relatively light touch. If the massage is painful, ask for less pressure.
But some people have the idea that if it hurts, it must be "good for them." In fact, pressure that is too intense can cause the body to stiffen and resist, while some gentle styles of massage like craniosacral therapy can produce profound release and realignment in the body.
If you're afraid of pain, get a Swedish massage and ask for light pressure. Other gentle types of massage include lymphatic drainage, reflexology, and cranio-sacral therapy. Energy-based work like Reiki and Polarity Therapy uses extremely gentle touch.
However, some people enjoy the more intense pressure of a deep tissue massage. And if a massage therapist is trying to undo long-term problems and using trigger point therapy , there might be some discomfort. Other types of massage that might involve some discomfort include myofacial release, Shiatsu, and Rolfing. Even if you choose these "deeper" therapies, speak up if the sensation is too intense.