Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT THE BEGINNING OF MY SESSION?
You will be required to fill out a "New Client Intake Form," which will ask you for contact information and 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. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and to see if you have any presenting complaints. It is very important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.
DO I HAVE TO BE COMPLETELY UNDRESSED?
You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, we suggest that you undress down to your underwear. The therapist will work around the clothes you left on as best as he/she can. If removing all your clothes makes you too uncomfortable and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session. Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table.
WILL I BE COMPLETELY COVERED AT ALL TIMES?
This is known as draping and depends on the therapist and in some cases, the law. The vast majority of therapists will insist on draping. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body being worked on. The genitals (women and men) and breasts (women) will not be uncovered. If the therapist is going to work on a woman’s abdomen, a second towel or sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet or towel can be moved to expose the abdomen.
WHAT DO I DO DURING A MASSAGE THERAPY SESSION?
Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she or he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
HOW WILL A MASSAGE FEEL?
It usually depends on the techniques used. In a general, 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 oil or 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 the massage therapist can use another approach or technique. Your therapist will ask you how the pressure feels throughout your session.
WILL THE MASSAGE OILS USED MAKE ME BREAK-OUT?
Most massage therapists use hypoallergenic massage oils or lotions. However, if you have sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotion please bring it to the massage therapist’s attention as most practitioners have an assortment of oils and lotions on hand.
HOW CAN I JUSTIFY TAKING TIME FOR MASSAGE? WHAT GOOD DOES IT ACTUALLY DO?
Aside from the advantages of taking time for relaxation, massage actually benefits you in many other ways. Studies have shown the physical and mental results of one session, as well as ongoing programs. Some of those benefits include relieving stress and headaches, strengthening your immune system, improving circulation and posture, lowering blood pressure, increasing flexibility and range of motion, enhancing rehabilitation, and more.
WHY IS A PROFESSIONAL MASSAGE BETTER THAN WHAT I CAN DO AT HOME?
Massaging at home can relieve pain and tension in certain areas. But a licensed, professional therapist has the advantage of training in all types of massage therapy, the ability to maneuver and reach all areas of your body, and an environment designed for relaxation. If you know you want to focus on a particular area, or even a specific modality like Sports massage or Trigger Point Therapy, mention that when scheduling an appointment. This will ensure getting a therapist who specializes in that type of massage, and whose experience will likely include techniques you never thought of trying at home.
CAN MASSAGE THERAPY ACTUALLY RELIEVE DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY?
Yes, and here's why: Cortisol is the hormone your body needs for a fight-or-flight response, but when stressful events don't require you to fight or flee, it can build up in your system and create problems. Studies have shown that massage lowers cortisol levels by as much as 50% -- while also increasing levels of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. These are the natural chemicals your body produces to stabilize your mood and lower stress. Regular massage therapy makes it easier to slip into a more relaxed state, which helps you breathe easier and sleep better. So massage is as beneficial to your mental health as it is to your physical health.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED A MASSAGE?
Think of once a month as your baseline. Times of extra physical or mental stress may call for more frequent sessions. Finding time can seem difficult when life is extremely busy, but it's an investment that will pay off by helping you maintain your pre-stress levels of health and wellness. If you want the maximum benefit, twice a month is really optimal.
DO I NEED TO LEAVE A TIP?
Just like with any service, it's never required. Think of getting a massage the same as eating at a restaurant, where tipping 10 to 20% of the pre-discounted price is customary. If you really enjoyed your session, tip more.
I'VE NEVER HAD A MASSAGE BEFORE. HOW SHOULD I PREPARE?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the massage is for your benefit. If possible, come in after a shower when you feel cleanest. If you can’t, that is fine too… just try to not to come into your session right after intense exercise, working on a car, etc. Remember that you can always ask our friendly front desk associate if you have questions before your session begins. If questions arise during your session, the therapist can answer them for you.
COULD MASSAGE BRING OUT PROBLEMS THAT WERE LYING DORMANT BEFORE OR RELEASE HARMFUL TOXINS?
There is no research that shows massage brings dormant problems to the surface. A healthy body is efficient when dealing with its metabolic wastes. The wastes or toxins get reused and repurposed, stored away safely, or eliminated through natural body functions. Massage alone does not release toxins.
IS IT NORMAL TO FEEL TIRED OR SORE AFTER A MASSAGE?
Feeling pleasantly tired and relaxed is very common after a massage. You might feel some tremors in muscles that haven't felt stimulated in a while, because massage wakes them up with freshly oxygenated blood. However, it is NOT normal to feel pain after a massage. There may be some mild discomfort when your therapist works on a particularly tight area, but that shouldn't linger. Make sure to tell the therapist if you feel any pain at any time.