FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Sunflower.Don’t see your question answered here? I’ll be happy to answer it, either personally or by adding my answer to this page. Please contact me with your question(s), thanks!

What is massage?

Massage is the therapeutic manipulation of soft body tissue through touch: gliding, kneading, vibration, joint mobilization, stretching and more. The purpose of massage can range from relaxation and stress reduction, to lessening pain, increasing mobility and helping heal injury from overuse, repetitive motion, accidents, poor posture, sports and exercise and so forth.

One of massage’s most touted health benefits comes from increased circulation, which brings more oxygen to body tissue and carries away metabolic waste, thus promoting your body’s natural healing efforts. Further, relaxing chronically tight muscles can help correct structural problems in the body, easing pain and increasing range of motion. Massage compliments many forms of healing medicine, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care. Unlike drug therapy (often associated with systemic and long-term side effects), massage therapy is relatively safe and has few contraindications.

Therapeutic touch can also feel really good!

History

At least as old as written history, massage was first referenced in ancient times in Egyptian, Indian and Chinese scripts. China’s Yellow Emperor recommended massage in his book Huangdi Neijing from the 27th century BCE. In 460 BCE, massage was described by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, the father of medicine, as an essential tool in bestowing health.

In more recent times, massage became popular first in the 1800s when the work of Swedish “medical-gymnastics” physician Per Henrik Ling was brought to the USA. Massage lost some stamina during the 1930’s and 40’s due to advances in modern medicine, but regained notoriety in the 1970’s because of its popularity with athletes. In fact, in 1996 massage therapy and bodywork was officially offered for the first time as a core medical service in the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, a testament to the respect for massage that athletes hold. Its popularity has continued to increase and massage is now recognized medically for its therapeutic benefits.

Today more than 80 massage modalities purportedly exist. A modality is a named and defined approach to massage based on a physiological perspective, paired with associated techniques and focused on the area(s) treated, including part or all of the body.

Your First Visit

Swedish, Deep Tissue and Myofascial Release

When you arrive, I will ask you to complete a brief health form and discuss your massage preferences and needs. (All personal information is kept strictly confidential; here’s my privacy policy.) I will review your health form, ask any questions I have and describe my treatment plan for the day.

I then instruct you on preparing for your session—like removing your jewelry—and how to get on the table (under the covers and face up or face down).

Then I step out of the room to wash my hands, while you undress to your comfort level (leaving on whatever clothing you prefer, including all of them if you like) and lie down on the massage table, covered by the sheet.

When I reenter the room I will describe how I un-drape and re-drape just the part of the body being worked on, and things I want you to keep in mind during the massage (deepening your breathing, letting me move your head and/or limbs without your help, depth of touch feedback, etc.). I then perform your massage.

Following the massage I exit the room to wash up while you get dressed. When you are ready I will ask you how you are feeling and for any feedback. I’ll encourage you to drink plenty of water to help flush the metabolic waste that massage releases from your muscles (like when you get a good workout).

Orthopedic Massage

Please wear comfortable “workout” clothing for Orthopedic sessions, since Orthopedic work is often done clothed and without sheets. Make sure that the shorts you wear allow FULL movement while keeping you modestly covered. Avoid shorts that bind or restrict when going through full ranges of motion.

When you arrive, I will ask you to complete a health form and discuss your physical issues, treatment preferences and needs. (All personal information is kept strictly confidential; here’s my privacy policy.) I may do a postural assessment as well as range of motion testing while you stand, sit and/or lay on the massage table. This will tell me more about your ailment and how it may best be addressed.

I will then describe the flow of the session and things I want you to keep in mind during the treatment (deepening your breathing, letting me move your head and/or limbs without your help, depth of touch feedback, etc.). The treatment will begin with a mix of techniques appropriate to your physical situation and should be pain-free.

Following the massage I exit the room to wash up while you get dressed. When you are ready I will ask you how you are feeling and for any feedback. If I believe you would benefit from targeted stretching and strengthening exercises at home, I will demonstrate the exercises for you and give you instructional handouts (the exercises should only take you 5 minutes or less a day). I’ll encourage you to drink plenty of water to help flush the metabolic waste that massage releases from your muscles (like when you get a good workout).

Healing (for Orthopedic Massage clients)

Massage can go a long way to helping you feel better.

That said, active client participation in your own healing goals will increase the effectiveness of recovery from chronic physical issues. After all, many conditions don’t develop overnight, and healing cannot always be achieved with one massage (though often there are marked improvements).

My Therapeutic Massage sessions are designed to help your body regain its formerly-healthy muscle memory.

The long-term impact of unattended injury, poor posture or workspace ergonomics, heavy lifting (including a baby, shoulder bag or backpack), “holding” tension in one or more body areas, and other frequent physical stresses re-train your body to adjust to those unhealthy practices in trying to support YOU. This means some of your muscles learn to stretch or contract regularly to “assist” your slumped posture at a computer, your long drives in a vehicle, hours on your feet, sleeping the wrong way night after night, favoring an achy body part, etc.

So in addition to making observations about how you carry yourself and move, I will encourage you to take an active role in helping me retrain your body back to a healthier state.

To help you achieve your optimal health, I offer guidance on stress and tension reduction techniques, breathing exercises, and targeted stretches and strengthening exercises designed to help you recover and support health over the long-term. In addition to whatever help my services provide, I also won’t hesitate to refer you to a doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, another specialist, or even another massage therapist if I think it’s in your best interest.

Interesting massage facts

Did you know that:

  • Swedish children giving and receiving massage.In Sweden many school children are taught to give (and receive) “Peaceful Touch” massage. They learn appropriate touch and boundaries, improved communication and to care for each other. Massage also reduces their stress hormones, increases “peace hormones” like endorphins and oxytocin, and decreases aggression and noise levels in schools. The Axelson Institute began the Peaceful Touch program in Stockholm in 1995. Today the program is almost standard in Swedish preschools and elementary schools. [source] Learn more about massaging your child.
  • Entertainer Bob Hope lived to be 100 and was a huge advocate of massage. He reportedly received about 300 massages a year and had since 1938 when he did “The Big Broadcast of 1938.” He often said he attributed much of his relatively healthy long life to this one nearly daily ritual of his.
  • Massages in parts of Asia are performed by the blind.
  • Touch is the first sense developed by humans.
  • Massage assists people with eating disorders gain better attitudes towards their bodies and helps them achieve a healthier weight.
  • Children with ADHD calm down and function better after massage. Babies also sleep better and with less interruption after being massaged (more so than being rocked).
  • Massage before an athletic event makes the athlete more flexible, enhances speed and power, and makes the athlete less prone to injury. The Olympics Committee hires massage therapists to aid their athletes. Post-event massage can help speed recovery and reduce the impact of physical trauma.
Share This