Question: This is my first massage. What should I expect?
If you have not downloaded and completed the health form to bring with you, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. While some of the questions may seem irrelevant to you, please complete the health form with as may details as possible so that we may better serve you. Once your therapist has reviewed the information you have provided she may ask further questions or ask you to walk around the room or make certain movements to evaluate your range of motion, etc.; especially if you are looking for specific work for injuries or other conditions.
Your therapist will talk to you about your expectations of the massage session. Please feel free to ask any questions during this interview (or as you think of them!).
Those who are receiving specific work for injuries or athletic considerations may be asked to wear sports tops and bottoms as they will be actively participating with movement, etc. and will not always be draped.
Those who are visiting us for general wellness, relaxation or stress reduction massage can let us know their preference for oil, lotions, etc. Since you are unfamiliar with the massage table, she will tell you how to position yourself on the table (face up / face down, etc.) and will leave the room while you undress to your personal comfort level. Some undress completely while others leave their bottom underwear on while they receive a massage. It is always your choice regarding how much of your clothing you remove. We will adjust our techniques to your personal boundaries. Your modesty is always protected and you will be draped with a sheet and blanket except for the area that is currently being massaged (and some areas can be massaged through the sheet). Please talk to your therapist if you have concerns in this area and remember that it is always your right to instruct the therapist to stop at any time during the massage if you are uncomfortable, either with the draping or the techniques.
Please also let us know if you need pillow(s), more or less heat from our heated tables, or any other thing that we can do to enhance your session (perhaps you don't like the music that is playing! We can change it).
While we encourage our clients to give us useful feedback (about pressure or other factors) we also encourage you to close your eyes and quiet your mind through the relaxing music and the silence. Do not feel as if you have to make conversation with your therapist. Much healing takes place in these quiet moments when you make the choice to take advantage of this opportunity for silence.
Subsequent sessions may vary in techniques used as your needs change. Be sure to advise of an health or life-style changes at each session. Most people are amazed when they become more aware of their bodies during and after each massage. Relaxing becomes easier with each session.
Question: What if I need to go to the bathroom during a massage?
Not a problem! it happens. We keep robes in each room for that eventuality. Simply tell your therapist and she will leave the room so that you can robe up, visit the restroom and resume your massage in comfort.
Question: What does massage feel like?
While each person's experience is individual and will differ (even from one massage to the next sometimes), massage on normally healthy tissue feels GOOD. Most everyone will become aware of tender areas in their body; there are most often the tense muscles and/or trigger points which will benefit from massage. Massage to injuries may be uncomfortable, but your therapist will work with you to reduce any discomfort. ALWAYS communicate with your therapist. Each person is unique and different types of massage are used for your best individual results. Talk to your therapist about your expectations. She will work to plan techniques that are best suited to your needs. While not all inclusive, following are some types/modalities of massage. Swedish and Polarity are best known for relaxation. Deep Tissue is used for detoxifying and to work the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Some find it relaxing; others do not. sports massage is used to enervate rather than relax; or as a post-event treatment to flush the tissues of metabolic waste. Most therapists use a combination of techniques. A therapist should always welcome your questions and be willing to explain techniques to you. Remember it is YOUR body and no one knows it better than you do. Trust your instincts, listen to your body's signals and you will become adept at helping your therapist to give the best massage possible for your needs. Keep in mind that massage is a combination of art and science and no two people respond the same way!
Question: Should I do anything in particular before or after my massage?
If at all possible, leave your jewelry, makeup and dress clothes at home! And if you can't because you are coming from work, remove your jewelry, including your earrings if you want wonderful ear massage! Some people plan their massage ahead of time and bring more comfortable clothes to change into after their session if they have on their dressy work clothes.
If you bathe before your massage (not normally required but we hope you will if you have an outside or dirty/sweaty job), do not apply any lotions or oils as most of these will interfere with the products we use which are pure and contain no gummy ingredients. Our products are either organic or as close to that as we can find.
While facial massage is absolutely wonderful (as is scalp massage) tell us if you don't want us to work those areas. Perhaps you are planning to socialize after your massage and prefer us to skip those areas.
Do NOT drink alcohol before or after a massage. If you do, you may develop a headache because the increased circulation will send the alcohol to your brain much faster. Alcohol is also a toxin and dehydrates your body. Drinking PURE WATER is great.
Do not exercise for at least 6 hours before or after your Swedish or Deep Tissue massage. Plan accordingly. Ask for sports techniques if you plan to work out before or after.
Drink plenty of pure water after your massage to help flush the metabolic waste from your tissues.
Question: How will I feel after my massage?
Each person is a snowflake and individual results vary greatly. Some people find that they sleep better and their aches and pains are diminished or gone. Others experience a slight soreness for a day or so. (Soak in a warm -not hot- tub with your favorite bath salts if you like). If you experience more than a slight soreness (similar to how you would feel with a good workout), call your therapist to advise her so that she can make note of it. It might be that your body is detoxifying rapidly and you will need to increase your water consumption. Many therapists have noticed a connection between emotional stress and the amount of post massage soreness. If you are experiencing an unusual amount of stress, talk to your therapist BEFORE your session. It is to be noted that caffeine is both a pain enhancer and a diuretic so cut back on sodas, tea and coffee as well. Most people who experience some soreness find that it diminishes with each massage as their tissues become more healthy. Some factors that might influence your individual experience are:
Question: Can I request specific work or products to be used?
Absolutely! We want to know where you need extra attention. Some clients request an hour on just their backs. Some want to spend 20 minutes on their feet. It is YOUR session. Keep in mind that if you are pursuing certain specific goals, you will want to involve your therapists' opinion when making this decision.
If you want specific products, we will be happy to supply them if we can. Some may be at an additional charge (such as specialty lotions/oils or aromatherapy products). We do not encourage you to bring your own lotions or oils but ask and if it is something that is not heavily chemical laced we will be happy to use it.
Question: Can you tell me what is wrong with me?
No we cannot tell you "what is wrong with you". Massage Therapists do not diagnose illness, disease or any physical or mental disorder; nor do they do spinal manipulations or prescribe any medical treatments or pharmaceuticals. Massage is NOT a substitute for medical treatment.
What we CAN do is tell you where we find tight, tense muscles, connective tissues, tendons, etc. This may be part of the problem you are experiencing, but we cannot know whether or not you have other problems or conditions. If your pain persists, you will want to consult a medical doctor or other practitioner.
We may share with you articles or anecdotal information from other sources, including information from magazines and other sources, including individuals with similar conditions. These are for you to review if you wish and to draw your own conclusions. They are NOT to be construed as professional advice for your condition or any specific condition.
Question: Are there contraindications to massage?
Yes, there are. This is one of the reasons we have you complete a health form prior to receiving massage. Some contraindications are local (like not massaging a leg with an unknown rash) while other contraindications are for the whole body. For instance, if you are having a Lupus active inflammatory episode you should not receive massage at all. But if you have Lupus but it is not active, then massage is great for your circulation. If you are in doubt, tell us about your concerns or conditions on the phone as you are scheduling. We do not want you to receive massage if it is not in your best interest! But remember that MOST conditions can benefit from massage therapy. This is also why we impress upon you to let us know about any changes in your lifestyle or health at subsequent session and to give us details of any medical condition.