- Are you a masseuse?
No, I’m a Massage Therapist; a certified, licensed, insured, bonafide body-worker and health practitioner. Furthermore, I work out of an office, not a massage parlor, and from a massage table, not a bed. I thank you for your politically correct contributions to helping the social climate move from a seedy connotation to a respectable healthcare practice.
- Do you offer Deep Tissue?
Yes, however this is a terrible misnomer. Deep Tissue is not a pressure nor a specialized modality, but an application which every accredited massage school covers in basic training. When people ask this, what I hear is, “I need a massage I can feel. I want something that is relaxing, but most importantly effective. I have specific concerns and I need noticeable results.” I respect that and I agree. If you aren’t getting measurable results from a massage, then there is either a breakdown in communication between you and the therapist, or an impediment on their part.
- What length of session would you recommend?
As per my personal practice: Half hour is adequate to address a specific problem area. One hour can accommodate full body, general relaxation. Ninety minutes is the best for full body, deeper relaxation with extra time allotted to problem areas.
- Can I buy a one hour and break it up into two half hour sessions?
Although I understand the appeal, that would technically be two separate sessions. So, no, I’m afraid not.
- How do I prepare for a massage? Do I need to wear or bring anything specific?
No. (Assuming you’re a moderately hygienic adult) you don’t need to prioritize shaving, wearing cosmetics, or having the appropriate attire since you’ll be disrobing appropriately for the session, which we’ll both establish in the consultation. Just be aware that any garments you choose to maintain may be at a slight risk of coming in contact with the massage oil/lotion, which has some potential to stain.
- How early should I come for my appointment?
Relax. Why rush? Simply come in at the designated time we scheduled. And don’t worry, I’ve already factored in the paperwork and consultation, so you’ll receive the full amount of massage you’ve booked. Also, it’s common for people to take some time afterward to regain their bearing, since bodywork can affect circulation and equilibrium. If you have to be out by a certain time, then give yourself an extra thirty minutes.
- How far do I undress? AKA Do I take off my underwear?
That’s up to you. I suggest disrobing at least what we’ll work on and at most what you need to feel comfortable. So, hypothetically, if we’re doing a half hour for your back, then I’d instruct to disrobe your upper torso and warn that a lady’s bra tends to get in the way, but if your belt or denims are going to constrict and make you uncomfortable while on the table, then that’s your call. Rest assured that sufficient covers (i.e. blankets, sheets) are provided to preserve boundaries, modesty, and warmth. The only body area exposed is the one being presently addressed, which should be covered up again before moving on.
- Hair up, or down?
As with the rest of this massage, it’s a matter of personal preference. Just know that I will most likely work the scalp, unless we establish otherwise during the consultation. You are the authority on what you want, or don’t want, worked on; express your preferences, please!
- Where should my arms be?
Wherever they’re comfortable. Above the covers, under the covers, down along your sides, hanging off the table. Feel free to move about, try different things. Don’t worry about me, I’ll reposition your limbs as necessary to access the muscles as needed. And you don’t have to offer them up, I know where to find them and I’ll return them when I’m through.
- Is it OK to talk during my massage?
The short answer is: If you want to, then go ahead, although you may find it easier to relax and get the most from your session if you close your eyes and let your brain turn off. But always, always, speak up if you need an adjustment to the massage application, body positioning, or any changes about the environment, anything!
The long answer is: A little bit of socializing is fine, it’s common to be curious of your massage therapist and I’m happy to visit before or even after your session. But it’s important for the focus of the massage to be on helping you obtain the deepest level of mental and physical relaxation possible. Also, it’s not unusual for someone to work through heavy emotional matters while on the table; by all means, let it out in this safe, private environment we’ve created if it brings you closer to the peace you need. If ever there is excessive conversation that retracts from or hinders the work, or ventures into inappropriate or even toxic topics, then I will redirect as discreetly and respectfully as I can to preserve the integrity of the session. Again: always, always, speak up if you need an adjustment to the massage application, body positioning, or any changes about the environment, anything!
- I need you to push hard so I can feel it. It’s got to hurt to get better, right?
Actually, a rough massage could make things worse. While there are some modalities geared to beating a client’s muscles into submission, science is documenting the adverse effects of this. Aggressive massage is connected to Rhabdomyolysis, an injury or even killing of the muscle fibers from crushing pressure, a serious condition later perceived as elusive aches or pains dubbed Post-Massage Soreness & Malaise (PMSM). You see, muscles aren’t that dense and the soft tissues surrounding those muscles aren’t as tough, either. We’re talking skin that can tear lined with blood vessels which will perforate and bleed out, lymph ducts that can constrict or deluge, and nerves that get pinched. Either way, chances are great the pain and tightness that you’re concerned about is rooted in the fascia, which is a fibrous web encasing the muscles, but it’s just yea thin and only responds to slow stretching manipulations. Besides, you’ve been rough on your body already; that’s why you’re seeking a massage therapist. Why would you think I’m going to be rough on it, too?
- How often do you recommend I get a massage?
Let me ask this: How often are you going to conduct the offending activity? Do you spend a lot of time at the computer? Take long or frequent drives? Have poor posture? Sleep on a bad mattress/pillow? Carry everything on one side? Have an active or athletic lifestyle? Big stress? It’s entirely case by case. You may need a couple brief sessions in one week to work out a strain, or kink. Or you may want weekly to biweekly appointments until the muscle memory is trained out of hypertonicity. Some clients are content with monthly maintenance. Others, I don’t see but once a year. Bear in mind, everyone makes progress at different rates, so there may be a little release in the first session, or a complete release that lasts into the next day, or following week. You are the sole authority on how you feel.