Frequently Asked Questions

Your massage therapist will require you to fill out an intake form, and go over it with you. It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.

Afterward the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you.

When your intake is done, your therapist will take you to the treatment room and explain the procedure for disrobing and getting on the table.

You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, most people get completely undressed, however, it’s fine if you would be more comfortable keeping your underwear on. The therapist will work around your clothes as best as he/she can. If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session. The most important thing is your comfort.

If you prefer to stay fully clothed, then you should explore other types of bodywork that are performed clothed, like Thai or Chair Massage.

Yes. This is known as draping and it is required by law. The therapist will give you time at the beginning of the treatment to undress and get under the drape. Once you are on the table, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body being worked on. If the therapist is going to work on a woman’s abdomen, a second towel or sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet or towel can be moved to expose the abdomen.  Breast tissue can only be uncovered  for women that give written consent for breast work. The genitals will never be uncovered for any reason. Don’t ask.
Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she/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 drift off 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.
The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. Many people prefer a 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.
Usually not. Massage Therapists are trained to pay attention to the body and most treatments can be done with little to no pain. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘hurts so good’ 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.
This varies from person to person. If you are just looking for some occasional relaxation, then a session every 3-6 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 your massage therapist after your treatment when he/she has a better understanding of your particular muscular issues.
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 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, it is best to simply ask the therapist if she/he does this type of work. And of course, during your session it is perfectly ok to give the therapist feedback if you would like a lighter/deeper pressure. It’s your session! And remember, massage does not have to hurt to be effective.
Sure, if you’d like to talk go right ahead. The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and enjoying the experience. Many therapists discourage talking in hopes that you will relax, let your mind float free and enter a state of massage bliss. In many instances, people may feel more relaxed starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, enter quiet states of relaxation.

The important issue here is that there are times when you need to speak up. If the therapist is doing anything to make you uncomfortable, you should let her/him know immediately. Also, let him/her know if you get too warm or too cold, if the room is too bright, or if the pressure needs to be changed (lighter or deeper). If something is not working for you – speak up! It’s OK!

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience a significant decrease or freedom from long-term aches and pains. Many feel a little slowed down for a short period and then notice an increase of energy, heightened awareness and increased productivity which can last for days. If you received a deep massage, you may be slightly sore the next day – much like a good workout at the gym. Sometimes a hot shower, or a soak in the tub can ease this soreness. After your session you should increase your water intake a bit. Just a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body’s tissues hydrated and healthy.
Honestly, its hard to say. Every person is unique and every condition is unique to each person. It may take one session or it may take several. You and your therapist will be able to talk more specifically about this after your first session and he/she has had a chance to evaluate your body’s tissues.
You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection. There are many other conditions in which your therapist may need to adapt his/her techniques (i.e. arthritis or osteoporosis) or avoid an area completely (i.e. cuts or burns). With some conditions it is a good idea to get an approval from your physician before you receive massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy). This doesn’t mean you can’t get massage. But its always better to err on the side of caution. Your therapist can advise you about your specific needs.
Embarrassing things happen sometimes, but there is no reason to let it ruin your session. Therapists work with bodies on a daily basis and understand that some things happen that are out of our control. Men get erections, women have menstruation, and we all have flatulence.

Men do tend to get erections from time to time, but we know that they can happen during a non-sexual, therapeutic experience. It does not mean that the person is aroused or inappropriate. Touch administered to any part of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can result in an involuntary reaction. An educated, professional massage therapist understands this, and it will not be an issue for him/her. If you are still concerned, I recommend wearing more fitted underwear to make you feel more secure.

We know women tend to be nervous when it comes to having a massage during menstruation. Though they are infrequent, accidents do happen. Again, it’s a part of life, but as medical professionals, we are used to dealing with these things. If you have concerns, just make sure you wear something that makes you feel secure, and talk to your therapist if you are feeling uncomfortable.

As for gas, it happens to everyone.

Massage Therapists are trained to follow a strict code of ethics and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Of course this doesn’t always happen. First make sure your therapist is obeying all draping protocols. The genitalia and the gluteal cleft should never be uncovered for any reason. The breast area should also remain covered unless written consent has been given and that area is currently being worked. Even with a consent agreement, the client has the right to revoke that consent for any reason. Be aware, the Therapist is never allowed to work in any areas beneath the drape. Also the Therapist is at fault if they touch you anywhere that you told them not to. If you find that they have done any of these things, you should end the session immediately and report the incident.

If none of these things have happened and you are still feeling uncomfortable with the situation, the first thing to do is speak up and find out what is going on. It is always a good idea to ask questions. Maybe the treatment you are receiving is part of another modality you have never had. Ask the Therapist what he/she is doing and why. If you aren’t satisfied with the answer, end things immediately.

Also keep in mind that Massage Therapists follow the same protocol. If they feel that the client is being inappropriate, they will end the session immediately. These are safe spaces meant for healing, and misconduct of any kind will not be tolerated.

One of the most important things between Therapist and client, is communication. Your therapist wants this to be the best experience for you to relax and enjoy. If you want anything changed: pressure, areas worked, position or if you are too hot or too cold … speak up! You will not hurt the therapist’s feelings by asking for something that will make you more comfortable.

Also, what you requested in one session may be different in another. If you had a full body massage last time you had a session, but this time you only want your back/neck/shoulders/arms worked, it’s perfectly fine to ask. You will enjoy your sessions so much more!

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