FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of massage exist?
How does a massage feel?
Must I remove my clothes?
Why does a massage therapist ask about my medical history?
What is a trigger point?
What are the effects of chronic muscle tension?
How long do the effects of massage last? How often should I receive massage?
What do I need to do to prepare for massage?
What forms of payment do you accept?

How many types of massage exist?
Dozens of massage styles exist. But the exact style is not as important as the intention of the massage therapist. It is important to know what results you are interested in achieving – i.e.: relaxation, pain relief, injury treatment, better posture, etc. – and to choose a massage therapist who is most capable of yielding such results. Read more about styles of massage.

How does a massage feel?
Massage on healthy tissue usually feels quite good. Massage around injured, painful, or tense areas, however, can cause discomfort. Tell your massage therapist how much discomfort you are willing to tolerate. And never let a massage therapist work deeper than you are comfortable with.

After deep tissue or injury treatment massage, you may feel sore for a day or two. Always let your massage therapist know how you felt after bodywork, so she can adjust future massages as needed.

During a massage, you may notice that your muscles are sore, even though you had not experienced soreness before the massage.

Here's why: Each cell in your body, including muscle cells, is a tiny factory that takes in nutrition, produces energy, and outputs waste products. For example, contracting muscle cells require an energy source called ATP, which produces lactic acid. Muscles also burn oxygen, which produces carbonic acid, and protein, which produces uric acid.

If your body and circulatory system are working at peak efficiency, these waste products are flushed out of your body. However, often things aren�t working as well as they could due to various factors such as stress, tension, too little exercise, too much exercise, medical conditions, and other factors. Then waste products (all that acid!) build up in your muscles, creating congestion that causes pain on touch. Massage, of course, helps clear out that congestion.
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Must I remove my clothes?
You do not have to do anything that you do not want to do. Usually, Swedish and deep tissue massage are done with all clothes removed, and you are covered with a sheet or towel. However, you decide how much you undress, and your massage therapist will oblige and adjust her style as needed. Some styles of massage are performed fully clothed (for example, Shiatsu, Thai massage, and onsite chair massage).
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Why does a massage therapist ask about my medical history and medications?
A responsible massage therapist asks about your medical history (most massage therapists have you fill out an intake form). Although massage has many wonderful benefits, it is not appropriate for people with some medical conditions and sometimes must be performed cautiously.

For example, massage is not recommended if you have a condition involving infection (including cold or flu) because massage might help the infection spread through your body. Massage is also generally not recommended for people with advanced heart, kidney, or liver problems. Other conditions that affect circulation, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, require caution, depending on your overall physical condition.

Obviously, you should not receive massage if you have a contagious condition. If you have a skin rash, know what it is before your massage, because some skin conditions are contagious.

Medications, particularly painkillers and muscle relaxants (including aspirin), dull your perception of pain and pressure. Hence, your massage therapist needs to know what medications you are on to avoid inadvertently using too much pressure.

Information about injuries, traumas, surgeries, and physical activities provide information about where or how you hold tension in your body. Also, specific massage techniques can help the body heal soft-tissue injuries. If you have back pain or certain digestive problems, abdominal massage can be helpful, but it is not appropriate for some medical conditions. Your massage therapist needs to know your complete and up-to-date medical picture to provide informed and safe massage. Be assured that all medical information is confidential.
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What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is a tiny area of irritation in a stressed muscle. Trigger points refer pain, weakness, or numbness to either surrounding or distant areas of muscle tissue. The key clue pointing to a trigger point is that applying pressure to a specific point causes you to feel pain or another sensation in a different area of the body. Trigger points result from trauma, exposure to cold or infection, overuse, misalignment, or chronically contracted muscles.
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What are the effects of chronic muscle tension?
Chronic muscle tension inhibits circulation, which means your muscles (and other tissues) aren't receiving the nutrition they need and waste products aren't exiting the body. The lack of nutrition and toxic buildup of waste irritate nerve endings, resulting in weakness and pain. This toxicity also taxes your immune system.

Chronic muscle tension also inhibits movement. Movement is accomplished by paired groups of muscles alternately contracting and lengthening to move the bones to which the muscles attach. Chronically tense muscles disrupt the symmetry of balanced forces acting on the skeleton, holding bones out of position and causing misalignments. For every chronically tight muscle, its opposite (the antagonist) is chronically stretched and weak. These unbalanced forces also cause ligaments to become strained as they try to brace
misaligned joints. All this makes injury more likely.

Chronic muscle tension also uses up energy, so you tire more easily.
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How long do the effects of massage last? How often should I receive massage?
The duration of the effects of a massage vary dramatically from person to person depending on your physical and mental condition, activities, ability to relax, and ability to heal. If you are receiving massage to help heal injury or to eliminate chronic pain, you usually need to receive weekly massage until you reach that goal.

If you are receiving massage for prevention, health maintenance, or just to feel better, you have more leeway in how often you receive massage as the effects of regular massage are cumulative. A massage every week or two can make a big difference in your overall health and tension levels. In fact, even a monthly massage is beneficial.
If you make regular massage a part of your health maintenance program (along with good nutrition and exercise), the result will be a much-improved physical and mental state.
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What do I need to do to prepare for massage?
It's recommended that you increase your water intake before, and especially after massage to get the most out of your bodywork. Consuming water will work to flush out lactic acid and metabolic waste so you feel better. Conversely, if you do not drink enough water you may be left feeling more sore and/or tired after massage, so drink your water!

It's good to have eaten an hour or more before receiving massage. If you need to, have a small snack before, but a large meal is not recommended as you may be uncomfortable on the table. Massage increases digestion, so you will feel the effects of a big meal while relaxing on the table.

Try to arrive a few minutes before your scheduled appointment so you can be on the table at that time to receive your whole scheduled treatment. If you are running late, we will do our best to accommodate you, but there may be other treatments scheduled after, resulting in you giving up some of your scheduled treatment time. Try not to be in a rush. Massage is meant for relaxation and diminishing tension, so do your best to breathe and get the most out of your massage.
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What forms of payment do you accept? Do you accept tips?
At the moment only cash and check are graciously accepted. Tips are not expected but always appreciated, thank you.
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Benefits of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork:

• Reduces muscle tension and stiffness

• Relieves muscle spasms

• Increases joint and limb flexibility and range of motion

• Increases ease and efficiency of movement

• Relieves points of tension and overall stress; inducing relaxation

• Promotes deeper and easier breathing

• Improves blood circulation and movement of lymph

• Relieves tension-related headaches and eyestrain

• Promotes faster healing of soft tissue injuries, such as pulled muscles and sprained ligaments

• Reduces pain and swelling related to injuries

• Reduces the formation of scar tissue following soft tissue injuries