Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect?
Your massage therapist will greet you at the door. Take your temperature, and ask if you need to use the restroom, then bring you to the treatment room. If you have already filled out the intake form electronically we will review it, if not you will fill out a hard copy. We will discuss any areas where you are currently experiencing discomfort or would like extra focus on and any areas to avoid. We will review your medical history and any medications/supplements you are currently taking. We ask this because certain medications are contraindicated for certain types of Massage. I will create a treatment plan based on this first conversation. I will then explain which way I would like to start your session face up or face down and instruct you to undress to your comfort level and get under the top sheet. While you are doing that I will be scrubbing my hands and arms. I will knock on the door before I re-enter to be sure that you are ready. As I begin the massage I will confirm what type of pressure you would like and check-in to make sure our ideas of light medium and firm are on the same page. No points for suffering silently on my table. Speak up at any time. This is your massage session I might be doing the work but you are in control at all times. I do not talk much in my sessions unless you want to. The only thing you have to do for the next 50-80 minutes is rollover if the session calls for it. It does help to remind yourself to breathe occasionally especially if I'm working on a tender or sore spot. Visualizing a rope unwinding or a candle melting also does wonders to aid the release of tension. Occasionally I may gently shake an arm or leg or head to remind you to relax. At the end of the session, I will tell you to go get up slowly, get dressed, and open the door when you are ready. I will again go scrub down and get you some water. After your session, I will check in to see how you are feeling and review the work that I did and any future work that needs to be done. I may give you stretches and remind you to drink plenty of water over the next 24-48 hours. Please allow for time before and after your appointment. Unlike franchise spas, I build in time between clients to really assess your needs and then review afterward. Sessions usually the full 60 or 90 minutes occasionally I will go over the time by 10 minutes. There is usually a lot more that comes up during a session than expected and I would rather do complete work.
Will it hurt? Does it have to bruise to be effective?
Everyone experiences the pressure differently. Light/ Medium/ Firm are relatively general guidelines. Personally, I will never apply more pressure than is needed or the muscles are ready to handle to relieve the tension in the muscles. I start with light strokes to apply the massage cream and then medium pressure warming up the tissue. As needed I will use a variety of techniques to release the muscle tension including acupressure, trigger point release, myofascial release, shaking or compression. I never want to cause trauma to the muscular tissue which leads to bruising.
What is my Massage Therapist thinking about during the massage?
Many times clients wonder what goes on in a Therapists head. Speaking for myself, I'm focused on the muscles, the technique that will best address the issue, and time management. Before you even get on my table we will have a conversation about your goals for the session. I will have already developed a general plan in my head however inevitably I will be readjusting it during the session based on what I've found. I do not care if you forgot to shave. Leave any body image concerns at the door. Massage is a completely judgment-free zone. That said we do appreciate it if you have showered in the last 24 hours.
Do I have to get completely undressed? / What does "undress to your level of comfort mean?
You will be completely covered by the sheets and blanket at all times. I will uncover the area of your body that I'm working on discretely and securely position it under another part of your body. You are free to decline bodywork on any area that is uncomfortable. If you are comfortable fully clothed we can work with that as well using acupressure compression and shiatsu modalities. All Ethical and Legal boundaries will be adhered to at all times.
Further Reading: AMTA Expectations for Your Massage Session