I am a massage client, not a practitioner. I joined this group a while ago because I'm very curious about how massage works even though I am not a professional.
Something that comes up in a majority of the massages I receive is this weird pain I get in my back when there is deep pressure on the right side of my spine. It is only on the right side, and it is almost always only if the therapist uses thumbs or elbows. If the practitioner uses palms it's usually fine. It is hard to describe the feeling, but it is uncomfortable to the point where I will spaz out and leg will reflexively jerk. It's like this combination of feeling tickled and in pain. The therapist is usually weirded out by this at which point I have to explain all of the above. However if the exact same pressure if applied to the left, it's totally fine. To my knowledge I have no real other similarly sensitive spots on my body.
The sensitive area is all up and down my spine, and I think it's along that big bulgy muscle that runs the length of the spine. When the therapist applies pressure really close to the spine, it does not produce a reaction, but a couple centimetres out and I'm spazzing like a freak. And some (rare) therapists who are really good manage to apply thumb/elbow pressure to that side of my spine without causing my freak-out reaction. I have had this thing for pretty much as long as I can remember getting massages, which is at least 6-7 years now.
I dunno what's going on with my body or what, maybe you guys have some insight if you have seen this in your clients. Thanks!