FAQs

Q: What are the benefits of massage therapy?

The benefits of massage therapy can be divided into three main categories:
  • Physical: Massage therapy is designed to stretch and loosen muscles, improve blood flow and the movement of lymph throughout the body, facilitate the removal of metabolic wastes resulting from exercise or inactivity, and increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissue. In addition, massage stimulates the release of endorphins -- the body's natural painkiller -- into the brain and nervous system.
  • Mental: Massage therapy provides a relaxed state of alertness, reduces mental stress and enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity.
  • Emotional: Massage therapy satisfies the need for caring and nurturing touch, creates a feeling of well-being and reduces anxiety levels.

Q: Who can benefit from massage therapy?
People in all stages of the life cycle -- from the very young and very old to those in between -- all find that a professional massage can have special applications suited for their needs.

Q: Is massage therapy a luxury?
This is a perception that is rapidly changing as massage becomes increasingly accepted as a natural part of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, according to one media characterization, "massage is to the human body what a tune-up is to a car". It provides a physical boost to the weary, sore and stressed. An increasing body of clinical research confirms that massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, boosts the immune system, and increases endorphins (all may enhance medical treatment).

Q: How do I prepare for my appointment?
It is best not to eat for 90 minutes prior to your massage treatment, or only a light meal if necessary. The body handles a massage treatment in much the same way as swimming or an exercise workout. The body will divert the blood away from the digestion process and devote it to the tissue being worked, thus slowing the digestive process.

Q: What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?
After you fill out a medical history form, your massage practitioner will ask you questions and perform certain assessments to evaluate your condition and tailor treatment to your specific needs. Your practitioner will discuss with you any conditions that need to be addressed and determine which type of massage is appropriate for you.

Dressing for your massage takes place in private and a sheet is provided for draping during the massage. Your practitioner will undrape only the part of the body being massaged, ensuring that modesty is respected at all times. The massage takes place on a comfortable padded table.

Q: Where will my massage session take place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

Q: What do I wear during the massage?
Depending on the primary technique your therapist uses, you may or may not need to undress. Massage practitioners are required to cover/drape you with a sheet so that they expose only the area which they are working on. You may need to undress for therapy; if so, undress to your level of comfort. You do not need to expose yourself in any way in which you are uncomfortable.

Q: What do I do during a massage therapy treatment?
Make yourself comfortable. If your practitioner 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.

Q: What are the different types of massage therapy?
The most common types are deep tissue massage, La Stone massage, myofascial release massage, Swedish massage, and chair massage for the work place. 

Q: How will a massage feel?
It depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage which is both therapeutic and gentle. 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 the massage therapist can use another approach or technique.

Q: Will the massage oils used make me break-out?
Only hypoallergenic massage oils and lotions are used. If you have sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotion please bring it to the massage therapist's attention as we have an assortment of oils and lotions on hand.

Q: Is massage therapy always appropriate?
Your massage practitioner will take a complete medical history prior to initiating treatment and will also be able to tell you if massage is not appropriate for you at that time. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you suffer from certain circulatory ailments (such as phlebitis), infectious diseases, certain forms of cancer, cardiac problems, certain skin conditions, or any inflamed or infected tissues, be sure to consult your physician before initiating any massage program.

Q: How long will a massage treatment last?
The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.

Q: 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.

Q: After my appointment, is there anything specific I should do?
Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is essential that you drink plenty of water following your massage. Your massage practitioner may also recommend a hot Epsom salt bath that encourages the release of toxins that have been stirred up during the massage treatment.

Q: How is massage therapy regarded by the medical community?
The results of a survey, conducted between November 2000 and February 2001 in Washington State, indicate strong recognition on the part of medical clinicians that massage therapy is effective. In Washington, where complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers have been recognized by health plans since 1996, the survey asked medical practitioners five years later what they thought of CAM practices. Of twelve CAM practices included in the survey, massage therapy was ranked highest (74%) in terms of being perceived as always or usually effective. The next closest CAM practice in the same category of effectiveness was acupuncture, ranked by 67.7% of clinician respondents. The American Medical Association published a report in September 2000 that said that two-thirds of the nation's medical schools teach about herbal therapy, acupuncture, massage or other alternative medicine.

For more information and answers to your individual questions please contact us today.