Frequently Asked Questions
Where will my massage session take place?
Your massage will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music or natural background sound may be played to help you relax, and complimentary aromatherapy will be provided if desired. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
Must I be completely undressed?
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped during the entire session. It is also ideal if jewelry is removed, including watches, necklaces, rings, and dangling earrings, as they can get lotion or oil on them if left on, and they can hinder the therapist's ability to effectively massage an area.
Will my therapist be present when I disrobe?
The therapist will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with the clean sheets provided. They will also knock lightly on the door and wait for your response before entering to ensure that you are finished undressing and are ready for them to begin the session.
Will I be covered during the session?
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.
What parts of my body will be massaged?
It depends on the style of massage you have requested for the session. A typical full-body Swedish or hot stone session will include work on your back, gluteals, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, face, neck, and shoulders. However, the session will be customized to your preferences. Longer sessions (over one hour) will also include work on the abdomen unless you specify otherwise. Deep tissue sessions might only include two to three areas that need special, focused work; and maternity massages will give special attention to the areas that cause the most discomfort during pregnancy. In any case, a massage can be completely customized to your needs, and any areas that you would either prefer to be focused on or avoided will be taken into account.
What will the massage feel like?
A relaxing Swedish massage is often a baseline for clients. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, techniques designed for specific areas will be used to ensure that each part of your body is also relaxed and renewed. A light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.
Deep tissue massage is designed to concentrate on specific areas that need extra work to relax and heal them, which means that it can be a more intense experience than Swedish massage. It should not be overly painful nor should it cause bruising, although an "it hurts so good" sensation is acceptable. The practitioner should communicate with you frequently during the massage to ensure that you are still comfortable with the amount of pressure being used, and you should communicate immediately if you feel uncomfortable with the pressure or the technique.
Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork — too many, in fact, to list here! Various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more.
What should I do during the massage?
Prior to the massage, feel free to ask the therapist any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable. The therapist will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). It is not necessary to assist the therapist in moving you unless they request it, but you may help them if you wish to do so. Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, or anything else relevant to the session. If you have any questions regarding the session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask.
What sort of massage lubricant do you use? Is it unscented?
I usually use warmed avocado oil, as it is one of the most similar in composition to the natural oils that the human body produces. The avocado oil is unscented unless essential plant oils have been added to it as part of an aromatherapy massage. I also have a massage cream available for those who prefer it over oil, and it is lightly scented with natural botanicals. In either case, hot towels are used during the massage to wipe off excess oil in areas that it is potentially difficult for the client to reach (such as the back and feet), and you will be left another hot towel at the conclusion of the session with which you may wipe yourself off some more.
Can I bring my own lotion or body oil?
You may bring your own lotion or body oil as long as they are legally approved substances. As the therapist, I reserve the right to know what ingredients are in the lubricant as well as the right to refuse to use it on you. Also please keep in mind that regular body lotion that you would apply to moisturize your skin in unsuitable for use during massage because it absorbs into the skin far too quickly. Massage lotions and creams are specially designed to not only moisturize your skin but also to stay on the surface of the skin for a longer period of time. Otherwise, the therapist would end up constantly having to reapply lotion rather than focusing on massaging your body.
How will I feel after the massage?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days.
What are the benefits of massage?
Massage can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety, and create an overall sense of well-being. For a more complete list of benefits, visit the About section on Massage.
Are there any medical conditions that would make massage inadvisable?
Yes. That's why it's imperative that, before you begin your session, the therapist asks general health questions and you fill out a health form. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care for a serious illness (such as cancer), it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required, and the therapist has the right to refuse to massage you, should they feel that they would be putting your health in danger by continuing with a session.