FAQs About Massage Therapy
The most frequently asked questions about massage therapy are found here. Always be open and honest in your communication regarding your prior and current health status so that the therapist will be able to help you achieve the most beneficial results from your massage therapy sessions.
1. What should I expect during my first massage therapy session?
You will be required to fill out a client in-take form for Health Modalities that will outline your health history. Cindy will review and go over anything specific with you regarding your general well being and purpose for seeking therapeutic massage and goals you wish to attain.
2. Where will my massage session take place?
Your massage session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music of your preference may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
3. What do I wear during the massage?
Depending on the primary technique your therapist uses, you may or may not need to undress. For a full body massage, most people undress completely. However, you may choose to wear underwear. Cindy will give you privacy to undress and you will be covered with a sheet and blanket at all times except the area being worked on.
4. What do I do during a massage therapy treatment?
Make yourself comfortable. If your position needs to be adjusted, Cindy 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.
5. How will a massage feel?
It usually depends on the techniques used. The primary technique used is a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline for practitioners. In a general Swedish massage, 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 Cindy can use another approach or technique.
6. Will the massage oils used make me break-out?
Cindy uses hypoallergenic massage oils and lotions. However, if you have sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotion please bring it to Cindy’s attention as she has an assortment of oils and lotions to choose from.
7. Is a massage always appropriate?
No, there are several medical conditions that would make massage inappropriate. That’s why it is necessary that you fill out the health history forms for Cindy to review prior to beginning your session. Cindy will ask general health questions to rule out if you have any contraindications to massage. 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, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage prior to any session. Cindy may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.
8. How long will a massage treatment last?
Massage therapy sessions with Cindy last for 90 minutes.
9. How will I feel after the massage therapy treatment?
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. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage. Massage therapists sometimes recommend a hot Epsom salt bath that encourages the release of toxins that may have been stirred up from the massage treatment.
10. Will the massage hurt?
This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light , relaxing massage that doesn’t probe very deep into the muscles, shouldn’t hurt. With that being said, there is a ‘feels good’ hurt and and ‘ouch, stop it’ hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range. Pain can be an indication that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed and pressure should be adjusted. Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body’s natural response, not against it.
11. How often should I get massage?
If varies from person to person. If you are just looking for some occasional relaxation, then a session every 3 to 6 weeks may be fine for you. However, if you are looking to address a specific condition, then it is recommended to go more frequently at first and then slowly taper down to a maintenance schedule. Frequency of sessions should be discussed with Cindy after your treatment when she has a better hands-on understanding of your particular muscular issues.
12. How many sessions will I need?
Each person and their condition is unique to them and their ability to heal and recover from injury or tension will be different. Depending on the goal you are seeking to achieve through massage, Cindy will discuss with you some options to best maximize your sessions. It really is hard to determine prior to your first session though because Cindy will need to have a chance to evaluate your body’s tissues.
13. If I want a really deep massage shouldn’t I see a male therapist?
The answer is NO. There is a perception that men give deeper massages than women. This is a myth. While some men do give a deeper massage, there are men who prefer to not work so deep. The same holds true for women. It is a matter of style, training, and the therapist preference. Some therapists prefer not to give really deep sessions while others specialize in this area. If you are looking for a deep massage, Cindy does specialize in this type of work. It is always okay to give Cindy feedback during your massage if you would like a lighter or deeper pressure. Remember, massage does not have to hurt to be effective.
14. When should I not get a massage?
You should not book a massage appointment if you have a fever, cold or flu, or a contagious skin infection. If you do have these symptoms, please give 48 hours notice and reschedule your appointment for another time. There are many conditions that were previously considered contraindicated that Cindy may be able to work with using a variation of techniques. These may include arthritis or osteoporosis or cuts or burns. Some conditions will require approval from your physician before you receive massage, such as, cancer, certain heart conditions and pregnancy.
15. What if I get an erection during my massage?
Unfortunately most men avoid massage out of fear that this will happen to them or if they do get the massage, they are unable to relax because of the fear. Sometimes men get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic , full body massage. Touch administered to any part of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can result in a partial or complete erection. Wearing fitted underwear/briefs or boxer briefs, will provide more support than traditional boxers.
As an licensed nurse and massage therapist, Cindy understands this and it will not be an issue for her. If for any reason the tone of the session appears to have turned sexual for the client, male or female, the session may be stopped to clarify the client’s intent and may decide to end the session immediately.