WHEN SHOULD I GET A MASSAGE?
Massage is recommended almost any time. You don't need to wait until you are stressed or in pain. Massage helps you cope with stress and anxiety, and keeps it from causing discomfort or harming your body. It relieves muscle tension and reduces soreness and fatigue. The general health benefits of massage are great for keeping your body balanced, which in turn, helps you cope with things that life throws at you! Massage is appropriate for people of all ages, from infancy to elderly. Age is taken into consideration when determining the right massage for each individual. Parent or guardian presence and permission is required in the room for children under 18.
WHEN SHOULD I NOT GET A MASSAGE?
There are several reasons for NOT receiving massage. If you have any doubt, it is best to consult with your doctor. The following are generally known contraindications, but in some cases, massage may be beneficial with doctor approval.
- Any type of infectious disease or illness
- Systemic infections
- Fracture, bleeding, burns, or other acute injury
- Liver and kidney diseases
- Blood clot
- Pregnancy-induced diabetes, toxemia, preeclampsia/eclampsia
- High blood pressure (unless controlled with medication and/or diet)
- Heart disease (unless with doctor approval)
- Cancer (unless in remission or with doctor approval)
- Open skin lesions or sores (depending on the cause, therapist may work around them if localized)
HOW DOES MASSAGE BENEFIT ME?
Massage benefits your body in many ways. It can create responses within the body that affect the cardiovascular system, lymphatic/immune system, integumentary system (skin, hair, nails, and related glands), nervous and endocrine systems, muscles and connective tissues, respiratory system, digestive system, and urinary system.
- relief of muscular tension
- reduces muscle soreness and fatigue
- increases range of motion
- improves blood circulation
- decreases blood pressure
- replenishes nutritive materials and oxygen to cells and tissues more efficiently
- promotes rapid removal of waste products
- increases red and white blood cell count
- promotes lymph circulation
- reduces edema/lymphedema
- stregthens immune function
- improves skin condition and tone
- reduces stress and anxiety
- promotes relaxation
- decreases pain
- strengthens respiratory muscles
- improves pulmonary functions
- reduces fatigue and increases vigor
- improves sleep patterns
- improves mood
- increases physical well-being
- and more! You can see the whole body benefits!
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING A MASSAGE SESSION?
At your initial visit, you will be required to fill out an intake form. At subsequent visits, you will be asked about any new medical or physical conditions. This information will help determine the appropriate massage for you or whether massage is contraindicated at that time.
After you have provided the information on your Intake and Consent for Therapy form, you will be given privacy to get undressed and get on the massage table. A drape (a sheet and blanket) is provided so you are covered. You will be advised to lie either on your stomach or back.
Once you are undressed and on the table and under the drape, I will re-enter the room, make any adjustments to the bolster or pillow under your legs or feet and the face rest to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. If you require heat on the table, I can turn the table heater on for you for added warmth during your massage. All you need to do is relax.
As work begins, only the area being massaged is uncovered (for example: while working the back area, the back and arms are uncovered until work on those areas is completed; this area is then recovered before moving on to the next area). You should remain in a relaxed state during all the work in order to gain the most benefit from your massage.
When the massage is finished, you will be left in privacy to get dressed. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions, and discuss any concerns or how you feel. Also, feel free to call with any further questions at a later date.
Remember, all therapists have different techniques, so if you have had massage before from someone else, it is highly unlikely that this massage will feel exactly the same as another therapist.
WHAT PARTS OF MY BODY WILL BE MASSAGED?
In a normal one hour massage, you can expect to have your back, arms, legs, and neck and shoulders massaged. In order to incorporate additional areas (gluts and hip rotators, pecs, abdominal, head, and face), you will need to schedule a longer massage or forego one of the general areas mentioned previously. The areas massaged will mainly be tailored to your needs at the time, and your comfort level.
If you do not want a specific area massaged, you may advise me at any time before or during the massage. Some people have very ticklish feet and do not want their feet touched, or some people feel uncomfortable having their stomach massaged. Feel free to say you do not want an area touched!
DO I HAVE TO BE COMPLETELY UNDRESSED?
While getting undressed is recommended for optimal relaxation and ease and efficiency of addressing any problem(s) you would like resolved, you may undress to your comfort level. Please keep in mind that trying to massage over clothing makes it difficult to work effectively on your body. and will not likely give you the best results. To obtain optimal benefits of massage, it is best to work directly on the skin.
Most people, since they are under a drape, remove everything, while others leave their panties or briefs on. Some women feel more comfortable leaving their bra on as well. In this case, the bra will be unhooked in order to work the back and shoulders efficiently, and rehooked when done. Areas such as gluts and hip rotators (located in the buttocks area) can be worked over the drape, or underwear, or both if preferred. When working on the skin, the draping will be such that your modesty is protected.
Ultimately, your comfort level is the most important consideration and you decide what clothing to take off or leave on.
CAN I TALK DURING MASSAGE?
It is not uncommon for people to want to talk during their massage session, so you can feel free to talk if you like. Keep in mind that your massage session is most beneficial when you are in a completely relaxed state. Many people talk during the initial stages of massage and then quiet as they become more relaxed, and some don't talk at all. You should, however, speak up when anything makes you feel uncomfortable: the spot being working on is painful, you're too hot or cold, if you want deeper or lighter pressure. You won't hurt my feelings by speaking up!
WILL A MASSAGE HURT?
Generally, no, but everyone has a different pain threshold. Whether a massage hurts or not depends on the person, their health situation (as in the case of fibromyalgia), and the state of their muscles. If your muscles are relaxed, they are soft and supple and in most cases, will not hurt when massaged. If your muscles are tight, or have been chronically tight for a long time, then you may experience some discomfort during massage as only deeper work will relieve this tightness. In this case, the muscles are warmed up and worked into more gradually to alleviate as much discomfort as possible and work out the tightness. Some clients have remarked that this is a "good hurt" and feel much better, looser, and more comfortable after their massage session.
In the case of Deep Tissue Massage, depending on the state of your muscles and the intensity of the work, you may experience some soreness. This is normal and generally goes away fairly quickly. Drinking plenty of water to flush out any released toxins and re-hydrate the tissues, and possibly a nice soak in an epsom salt bath will help to alleviate that soreness.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I RECEIVE MASSAGE?
This depends on the person and the problem you are addressing. If you have tight and contracted muscles that continually cause pain and discomfort, you should schedule a massage every week or even twice a week until the problem is improved or resolved, then taper down to every 2-3 weeks, and then once a month for maintenance.
If you are looking for stress relief, schedule a massage at least once a month and more frequently during high stress periods. Some people schedule massage once every 1-2 weeks simply for relaxation.
For most people, the frequency of massage is dictated by their pocketbook - an unfortunate fact for many of us, but once the pain relief, health, and relaxation benefits are realized, many find a way to work a monthly massage into their budget. The state of our body for the long run is much more important than that dinner out, or that new pocketbook!