If it doesn’t hurt it isn’t doing anything, right? Wrong. A common misconception about massage is it has to be painful to be beneficial. Deep tissue massage, what most people are talking about when they say they like firm pressure (or hard massage), doesn’t need to, and shouldn’t, hurt. A properly skilled massage therapist knows to “warm up” an area before digging in so the muscles and connective tissue can stay relaxed and benefit from the work. Connective tissue is able to change state, meaning it can go from a gel-like state to a more liquid-like state. Deep tissue is safe and effective when working on liquid-like tissue. If someone jabs you with their elbow after thirty seconds of lotion application, you’re almost guaranteed feel excessively sore, experience bruising and possibly even injury as a result. So next time you ask for more pressure, expect there to be a little bit of warm up time. It’s for your own good!