Will I be completely undressed during the massage?
People have varying degrees of modesty and different levels of experience with massage. For this reason undress to your comfort level. You will always be properly draped with a sheet (and blanket, if desired) for your privacy and comfort. Only the area of your body that is being worked on will be uncovered. You will never be exposed inappropriately. Most massage sessions are traditionally performed with the client undressed. If you feel more comfortable leaving your underwear on, that is totally fine. Please keep in mind that it is easier to apply massage techniques on the back and shoulders when they are completely unclothed.

Will the therapist be present when I remove my clothing?
Just like in a doctor’s office, I give you complete privacy while you are getting disrobed, dressed and getting on and off the massage table.

Is it okay to talk during my session?
It is totally up to you. Some people unwind by talking, others prefer to be quiet. Often, people will start off chatting and then quiet down as they get more relaxed. Please do not feel that you have to talk or be quiet.During the massage we will check in with you from time to time to see how you are doing, make sure that the pressure feels good and that you are a comfortable temperature.

If I have some health problems, can I still receive a massage?
Massage can be beneficial for many medical conditions, although there are some situations in which massage should be used cautiously or not at all. It is very important that you inform us of any health problems you have or medications you are taking. For this reason we have you complete a health history form prior to receiving a massage. We will be able to tell you if your condition is contraindicated for massage therapy. Depending on the condition, we may need a doctor’s note before we can start treatment.You should not have a massage if you have a contagious disease. Please cancel your appointment if you feel you are getting sick. If you have a skin rash, have it identified before you come in for your massage.
It is important to let us know if you are on any pain medication and/or muscle relaxants. These medications will dull your awareness to pain and pressure. We need to know that you cannot give us accurate feedback under these conditions and will adjust the depth and pressure of your massage accordingly.

What should I do if I am sick on the day of the appointment?
If you have symptoms of illness (fever, cough, sneezing, headache, chills, etc.), please call to cancel and reschedule your appointment. If you feel like you are just beginning to come down with something, please call to cancel and reschedule your appointment. Often times, at this stage you are contagious and a massage would actually make you feel worse.

How will the massage feel?
Wonderful! It’s my intention to create a relaxing and therapeutic experience. A lot of clients get in the “zone” during their massage. It is similar to meditation in that you are aware of what is going on around you but your busy brain has quieted down. This state allows your parasympathetic nervous system to kick in. This part of your nervous system is in charge of healing your body and strengthening your immune system. It is essential to your health that you have this kind of “down time”.
Massage on healthy tissue usually feels good. Massage on tissue that is tight or has been injured can cause some discomfort. It is important that you let me know if a specific technique or the pressure applied is painful. Often, clients think pain during a massage is beneficial. While this may sometimes be the case, the wrong kind of pain or pressure can be damaging.There is a difference between therapeutic pain and too much pressure. Therapeutic pain will usually “hurt so good”, meaning it may be uncomfortable, but there is also relief. Too much pressure will result in you feeling like you want to hold your breath or your muscles will contract against the pressure. The intention of deep tissue massage is to release and loosen the restrictions in the tissue and improve normal muscular and movement action. If the client is contracting their muscles against the pressure it is possible to tear and bruise the tissue, both of which are unproductive to the desired outcome.

What are muscle knots?
So-called knots can be a variety of things. Sometimes they are an overtight muscle. Sometimes they are an adhesion within a muscle or fascia or other tissue layers. Often, however, they are what are called Trigger Points. An MT is trained to treat trigger points by essentially squishing them out, then applying a good stretch and heat to the muscle. Usually it takes multiple treatments to get rid of a trigger point, as they generally aren’t something you got overnight. Years of muscle strain, improper posture, overuse, and other factors cause the trigger points in the first place. Years of over-working a muscle usually take multiple treatments to get rid of.

What are the effects of chronic muscle tension?
Chronic muscle tension inhibits circulation, which means your muscles (and other tissues) aren’t receiving the nutrition they need and waste products aren’t being taken away. The lack of nutrition and toxic buildup of waste irritate nerve endings, resulting in weakness and pain. Chronic muscle tension also inhibits movement. Movement is accomplished by paired groups of muscles alternately contracting and lengthening to move the bones to which the muscles attach. Chronically tense muscles disrupt the symmetry of balanced forces acting on the skeleton, holding bones out of position and causing misalignments. For every chronically tight muscle, it’s opposite (the antagonist) is chronically stretched and weak. These unbalanced forces also cause ligaments to become strained as they try to brace misaligned joints. All this causes pain and muscle knots.

How will I feel after the massage session? Will I be sore?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience relief from long-term aches and pains.
You may be sore the next day if:

  • It was your first massage or if you don’t get massage very often.
  • You do not have a healthy lifestyle.
  • You had a deep tissue or injury treatment massage.

The soreness should not last more than a day or two. It is helpful to be well hydrated, so we recommend you drink plenty of water before and after your massage. To assist in eliminating soreness take a hot Epsom Salt bath (1.5 cups of Epsom Salt) in the evening following your session for 20 minutes followed by gentle stretching. Moderate activity (such as a walk or other) and light stretching will also assist in ridding soreness the day following your session.

Why should I drink water after a massage?
Toxins from the environment, the food you eat, and metabolic waste in your body gets into your muscles and tissues. Many massage techniques are helpful in moving the toxins out of your muscles and tissues. That means those toxins are free-floating in your blood stream. We suggest that you drink lots of water to help flush them out of your system.
The best way to tell if you are drinking enough water is to check your urine. If it is clear and odor free, you are probably drinking enough (keep in mind certain supplements, like B vitamins, will make your urine very colorful). If it has a strong odor and color, you will want to increase the amount of water you drink. An exception would be if you are on water restriction for medical reasons.

What if my body does something embarrassing?
Your body may occasionally do things that embarrass you (passing gas, being ticklish, snoring, etc.) Rest assured that the normal functions of the body are understood and accepted in this setting.

How often should I get a massage?
That depends on what your goals are, your budget, how much time you have, your state of health and how much stress you are under.If you are receiving massage for specific deep tissue treatment work (e.g. recovering from an injury, chronic pain, or an acute issue like not being able to turn your neck) I would advise that you come in once to twice a week for three weeks. At that point I would reevaluate and see if you are ready to do massage every other week and so on.
If you are looking to include massage as part of your health regime (along with good nutrition and exercise) once a month is a beneficial frequency. Please speak with me for more information specific to your condition.