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Massage Therapy FAQ

What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

You will be asked to fill out a health history form. Afterwards, I will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. I may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition, and to see if you have any presenting complaints.

Where will my massage session take place?

Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

What do I wear during the massage?

Depending on the primary techniques that I choose to use, you may or may not need to undress.

For techniques that require the application of oil or lotion, direct skin contact is ideal. You will be asked to undress to your comfort level, and you may choose to wear underwear or not. I will leave the room to give you privacy while you undress, and get on the treatment table, covering yourself with a sheet and blanket. I will then knock before I re-enter the room. I undrape only the area being worked on – your modesty is maintained throughout your treatment.It is also possible to do a full and thorough session with clothing on, as many of the techniques that I use do not require oil. I suggest that you bring a sport bra and shorts, or other moveable, comfortable type of clothing if you wish to receive your treatment with clothes on.

What do I do during a massage therapy treatment?

Make yourself comfortable!

You will relax during most of your treatment on a massage table designed for stability and comfort. I will ensure that you are comfortable and warm throughout your treatment by having pillows, heat and a blanket available. Relaxing music is played to help you unwind and focus on the changes occurring in your body.

It is helpful to focus on your breathing – take nice deep breaths in and out during your session to help your mind and body relax and to oxygenate your body tissues.

If I need you to adjust your position I will either move you (for instance, lift your arm) or will tell you what position I need you to move into (for instance, turning from lying on your tummy to your back). Let me know at any time if you need to change your position to make yourself more comfortable. For instance, massage therapy can easily be done when you are lying on your side, or semi-seated, if your pain prevents you from being on your stomach or back. Please verbalize to me what is comfortable for you!

Many people just close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s your time, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.

 

Massage Therapy FAQHow will a massage feel?

It usually depends on the techniques used. Your session may start with broad, flowing strokes (effleurage) that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. Do not hesitate to ask questions or mention if you feel any discomfort so that another approach or technique can be used.

Will the massage lotion used make me break-out?

Only hypoallergenic massage lotions will be used. However, if you have sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotion please bring it to my attention.

Is a massage always appropriate?

No, there are some medical conditions that would make massage inappropriate. That’s why it is necessary that you fill out the health history forms and talk to me before your session begins. I will ask general health questions to rule out if you have any contraindications to massage. It is very important that you inform me of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage prior to any session. I may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.

Is massage covered by my medical insurance plan?

As a matter of fact, some massage therapies are eligible under some insurance plans when referred by a physician.

How long will a massage treatment last?

The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.

How will I feel after the massage therapy treatment?

Bodywork can be profoundly relaxing, affecting all your body’s systems. Give yourself a moment to re-orient before slowly getting up from the massage table.

After a session, most people feel very relaxed. Many experience freedom from aches and pains that have built up over months of tension or repetitive activity.

After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience an increase in energy, heightened awareness and greater productivity which can last for several days. Since toxins are released from your tissue during a massage, it is recommended that you drink plenty of water following your massage.

Following a massage, it is possible to have some soreness for 24-48 hours, similar to the sensation experienced after a good workout. This is a normal response within the body when circulation and resulting detoxification is increased.

You will likely feel subtle shifts occurring over the following days as well. Some examples are:

  • pain relief – less intensity and frequency of the pain in various areas of your body
  • easier mobility when walking and moving in your daily life
  • deeper sleep patterns
  • constipation or other digestive concerns may subside
  • stress, irritability and anxiety levels may lessen
  • energy levels may feel increased
  • And more…!

As with exercise, the benefits of massage increase with regular treatments. As your body-mind awareness is enhanced, you may find that you experience deeper relaxation and great gains in overall wellness with each massage therapy session.

Will I be sore after my massage?

Possibly, but not necessarily. It is very important for you to let me know if I am using too much pressure at any time. If you are not used to receiving massage, it is similar to not being used to working out. Just as you can feel sore after a good workout, you might feel a little sore after a massage, but that feeling should not last more than a day or two. Again, communication is key to getting your best massage. It is also advisable to drink plenty of water after your massage

Is there anything I need to do to prepare for my session?

It helps to be well hydrated, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids the day before and day of your massage. If you are coming in for a facial massage, please have any make-up removed prior.

No! Though my focus is on providing chronic pain relief, I also work with people recovering from acute and sub-acute injuries from either work or play. As well, I help people who are receiving massage therapy as a part of their healthcare for maintenance of wellness and stress reduction.

Am I supposed to tip?

Tipping is a matter of personal discretion. Some clients do tip, some do not. You will get the same level of excellent service whether you tip or not. Tips are never required, but always appreciated. And I always appreciate you referring your friends and family for a massage.

Do you only treat people dealing with chronic pain?

No! Though my focus is on providing chronic pain relief, I also work with people recovering from acute and sub-acute injuries from either work or play. As well, I help people who are receiving massage therapy as a part of their healthcare for maintenance of wellness and stress reduction.

 

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