Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. That’s why it is required that you complete an Intake and Consent form before your first session and let me know of any needed additions or changes later. It is very important that you inform me 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 or bodywork prior to any session. I may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor. Massage and bodywork can be safely performed during pregnancy, but high-risk factors need to be discussed and some treatments may be modified for safety.
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a comfortable, quiet room. Soft music will play to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort. I will leave the room while you undress and relax on the table, and cover yourself with the provided table linens. I will knock and ask if you are ready before entering the room.
It depends on the service and what areas need addressed, but most services work best with all restrictive clothing removed. Removing your underwear is not necessary for you to receive a massage, but there are some cases when removing them will make it easier for you to enjoy your massage. If your problem area is the low back, hips, buttocks, or inner thighs, tight-fitting or large underwear can sometimes get in the way of massage work or it may need to be moved aside and can become restricting and uncomfortable. I will ask you to undress to your level of comfort. Many people prefer to keep their underwear on during a massage, while others prefer to remove it. It is up to you. I can work effectively either way. Women usually remove their bras to allow me to work on the back and shoulder area without getting massage oil or lotion on the bra. You can ask me before getting changed. You WILL be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.
We will discuss the desired outcome of your session at the start. This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breast tissue (female). If breast massage is requested as part of a therapeutic, lymphatic or body contouring session, a written consent form must be completed by the client and therapist. You can ask that I spend more time on or avoid certain areas as well.
It depends on the technique, but the Therapeutic Massage session will start with broader strokes or light stretching motions 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. A light lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The lotion also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more. See the descriptions on the Services page for more information.
Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being. Click here for more details on the benefits of massage.
Being self-conscious should not keep you from seeking health care, whether it’s visiting your doctor or getting a massage. I will be non-judgmental and focused on your muscles (and other soft tissue). If you are uncomfortable with getting a specific area treated, do not be embarrassed to mention it. These areas can be avoided or, if it is an area that needs to be addressed, there are other options, such as treating through the sheets. As a massage therapist for 10-plus years, there is not much that I have not seen or dealt with.v
If you didn’t have time to shave, not to worry. Whether or not there is leg, back or armpit hair is of no concern. It is always appreciated if clients can schedule so they can arrive showered and with good hygiene, but if you are a bit sweaty from the heat, do not worry about it.
Although some people prefer to talk throughout the massage (and I am happy to talk to those who like to chat), don’t feel like you have to make conversation with me. Many people close their eyes and try to relax. I will take the cue from you, but please let me know if you would like more or less verbal feedback. Therapeutic massage and sports massage may require more feedback from you on pressure, pain level or activities that may have led to the tightness/pain.
Falling asleep during a massage is very common. Many people go into a massage stressed and sleep-deprived and feel so relaxed that they fall asleep on the massage table. I won’t judge you if you snore during the massage, and I will continue working as usual. If you drool on your face or on the massage table, it is common and has to do with your positioning on the massage table. You do not have to do anything about it, but you should feel free to ask for a tissue. During your massage your circulation will increase, your digestion will be promoted and most of the time, the aim of the treatment is to get you to relax. Passing gas sometimes cannot be avoided and happens pretty regularly. I will not acknowledge it and just keep working.
If you need to use the facilities during the massage, just let me know. Holding it for the duration of the massage is not comfortable or conducive to relaxing. We can take a quick break for you to put your clothes on and go to the restroom. Unfortunately, the break will come out of the session time, so try to visit the restroom before if possible.
Let me know if you are really ticklish before your massage begins. Usually, firm, slow pressure (and avoiding certain spots) can keep you from feeling ticklish during a massage.
YES! Here are some suggestions: Try to be properly hydrated in the days before and after the session. Be nourished/fed before the session without eating something heavy or that may cause gassiness or discomfort when laying on your stomach. Avoid wearing perfumes, colognes, scented lotions or essential oils to the session. I am sensitive to some fragrances and products, as are some of my clients, who may be in after your session. (I do offer essential oil offerings under the right conditions. Ask me if you would like to add essential oils or other therapeutic topicals to the treatment.) Let me know if you have any allergies or skin sensitivities. I use massage lotion that does not contain nut oils, avocado oil, coconut oil or shea butter due to common allergies to those ingredients, but let me know of any other problem ingredients. You are welcome to provide your own lotion for the session if you require a specific brand or type. (I have sensitivities to menthol, so I will not apply anything with that as an ingredient.) Turn your cell phone on silent (unless it needs to be on to receive emergency calls). Do not wear/bring a lot of jewelry or extra items to the session (especially anything expensive) that could get lost or left in the office. Be on time or a few minutes early! Please call or text if you are running late. Contact me before the session if you have any concerns or questions.
Foot reflexology sessions last about an hour. First sessions can take longer as you’ll need to complete a “Client Intake” form with questions about your medical history and overall health. You will be given an explanation of reflexology and a review of the benefits and reactions you may experience. You will be required to remove your footwear. While on the table I will gently relax your feet and proceed to work through all the reflex areas by applying pressure using thumb walking, finger walking and pressure pointing techniques. The pressure will be adjusted to your level of sensitivity. Reflexology is used primarily to improve circulation and reduce stress. By stimulating the reflexes in the feet, reflexology interrupts the pattern of stress. By reducing stress and tension, reflexology improves blood and lymph circulation, strengthens the functioning of the immune system, improves assimilation of nutrition and elimination of toxins, and calms the nervous system. In these ways, reflexology facilitates the body’s natural healing processes and thereby helps to influence homeostasis in the body. Reflexology can identify where stress and tension is located in the body. However, reflexology is not a treatment or diagnosis for any specific medical condition. Reflexology is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Reflexology creates a healing response by persuading the body to biologically correct itself, promoting better health and well being. Reflexology therapists do not diagnose, prescribe or treat a specific symptom or illness.
I accept cash, checks, credit cards and multiple electronic payments (including Venmo and Zelle). Please bring exact cash if paying in that way as I do not keep change in the office for safety reasons. Tips are not expected but always appreciated if you feel so inclined.
costs more. Some massage centers charge rates that are less than what you should expect to pay to work with an experienced therapist. To support those low rates, these centers tend to hire new graduates from massage therapy schools who are hoping to gain experience rather than looking to offer you, the client, the best massage possible. They also force therapists to work schedules that work for the business rather than the therapist, schedule sessions back to back with virtually no break time, and give clients 50 minutes of hands-on time rather than 60 minutes. Just as there is a place in the world for both McDonalds and “world-class” restaurants, there is a place for entry-level massage and high-level massage. I strive to provide a “high-level” experience at a price that is still accessible to clients who need and appreciate the difference. (Please also note that many “establishments” that offer reflexology or foot massage may not hold a massage establishment license nor employ licensed massage therapists. On the very bad end of the spectrum, some places offer illegal services or are conducting human trafficking, so be careful where you go.)
There is no definite answer to this question – clients vary with different ailments, some chronic, some intermittent. The therapies to alleviate these conditions varies as well. Some people walk away from a single massage therapy session feeling immediate relief, others have felt a physical improvement from their massage session the next day or a few days later, and some have required a series of regularly scheduled massage therapy sessions in order to notice significant improvements. It is important to speak with me about your ailments and your expectation, so I can help you understand the benefits I anticipate you will receive and how soon you can expect those benefits. Also, what you do in terms of activity level/intensity, hydration, rest, and various other factors play a big role in how effective the massage treatments will be. I can advise you on what to do to get the most from treatments.