As gentle as possible and as firm as necessary
There are so many possible massage applications and techniques, which not only influences the skin and muscles, but also everything else in the body, be it the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system or the nervous system etc.
The loosening up and tension relsease of the skin, connective tissue and muscles result in increased mobility und consistent blood circulation. The metabolism as a whole becomes stimulated, supports the immune system and improves the micro-circulation of the nervous system.
Take neck tension for example, it doesn't matter what causes it, massage can ease the pain (see the incomplete list of possible causes below.)
effects of age
long periods sat working at a desk
intervertebral disc protusion
depression / anxiety
physical stress through heavy, unilateral carrying of loads
mobile phone use
repetitive Strain Injury "mouse arm"
insomnia (sleep disorder)
sport eg.: breaststroke
metabolic disease or disorder
torticollis (wry neck)
trauma / Accident
overweight / obesity
excessive weight / power training
driving for too long
standing or sitting for too long
If the affliction can be treated promptly and the cause remedied, then the matter is resolved quickly.
If not, the physical discomfort may become permanent (=chronic) and induce additional side effects such as headaches and migraine attacks, oedema (swelling) and even nerve damage.
Each condition determines which massage technique is the most suitable and effective. The effects of massage differ greatly and depend not only on the various strokes, and their applied pressure and speed, but also on your individual healing process. This is why it is the indepth interview before your first treatment is necessary.
Certain illnesses and growths (eg. moles) reveal themselves on the surface of the skin or in muscle conditions etc. and need to be documented for further diagnostic consideration. This is done quickly during a short physical assessment (sight & touch) before each session.
If you are suffering with an acute viral or bacterial infection, are running a high temperature or have an infectious illness or open wounds, you cannot be massaged. These are strict contra-indications.