This is an excellent question. However, it is different for everybody and it depends on what techniques are being used and for what reason.
A relaxation massage will use long even strokes. Generally light to moderate pressure is used for this. This is a good time to just go to your happy place and let your body melt into the table.
Sometimes people go in to have pain or a medical condition worked on. This will feel different. While no massage should ever hurt, sometimes they can be uncomfortable in order to manipulate the tissue. It is always important to let your therapist know how you are feeling and if the pressure is too much. When going in to have something specific worked on, two things may happen:
- You may feel the release right away as your therapist works on you.
- You may feel some discomfort during the massage. After your body takes a day to adjust to the changes, the initial pain you came in to relieve will disapate.
Either way, make sure to drink an extra couple glasses of water that day. Massage therapy does release the toxins in your body and you want those flushed out right away. Because massage therapy relaxes the body, you may feel a little light headed when getting back up, so always take things slow.
A good massage, regardless of the purpose should make you feel relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed!