How should I prepare for my massage session?
You may find your massage experience more enjoyable if you arrive well hydrated and without having recently eaten a large meal (some clients find they are more comfortable lying on the table without a full stomach). Please also give yourself enough time to arrive on time for your appointment – no sense in creating more stress while you’re trying to relieve it!
What will happen during my massage session?
At your first session, you will complete brief paperwork to make me aware of your overall state of health, any specific concerns you have that day, and to ensure there are no reasons it is not recommended for you to receive massage.
We will discuss your specific concerns, your goals, the types of work I do, and how we can use that work to best achieve your goals. If necessary, I will complete a postural analysis with you to assess where and how to work to be the most effective in relieving your discomfort.
During the massage, your main job is to relax. Let your breathing come naturally, and let your concerns from life before and after the massage fall away. Bring your awareness to the current moment and what is present for you. To do so, you may find it helpful to bring your awareness to your breath or the physical sensations you are experiencing in your body. You will be draped appropriately during the session for your comfort and mine.
The massage itself will consist of a combination of flowing, kneading, and rolling strokes; targeted pressure; percussive movements; directional hand movement; and holds. The exact combination depends on the type of massage we are doing, the body area we are working with, and what we encounter in the soft tissues of your body as I work. For certain portions of a therapeutic massage, I may also have you assist the work I am doing by moving (e.g., reaching with an arm while I am working around your shoulder).
In general, you will be both face-down and face-up on the table during a session. For certain work, you may also be positioned on your side. Your positioning depends on the type of massage we are doing. If you are uncomfortable in any position (such as lying face-down), let me know and we will adjust your positioning appropriately.
At the end of the massage, I will leave the treatment room for your privacy while you dress.
Does massage hurt?
As a general rule, massage should not hurt. There may be times that you experience sensations of stretching or of something that has been stuck starting to move and gain fluidity. Depending on the type of massage you are seeking, there may also be moments of mild to moderate discomfort. If you are interested in a purely relaxing massage, there should be no pain or discomfort. If you are interested in working to relieve chronic tension or pain, some temporary discomfort may be helpful in creating long-term results. No matter what type of work you are seeking, the work we do should always be within your comfort level. Communication is vitally important to massage work, and you should always, no matter what massage therapist you are working with, speak up if you are experiencing pain. My interest as a massage therapist is to open up the soft tissues of your body, not tear them apart.
How often should I receive massage?
The optimal frequency of massage differs from person to person, and is dependent on a number of factors. Generally, clients seeking stress relief, relaxation, and overall wellness support see the most consistent and greatest long-term benefit when they receive massage every one to two weeks. Clients seeking to address a specific concern (neck tension, knee pain, low back discomfort, etc.) often benefit from weekly treatments to start, with a transition to a “maintenance” schedule as their discomfort resolves. During certain acute discomfort, more frequent treatments may be helpful. There are also individuals for whom treatments more or less frequently than every one to two weeks is optimal.
That said, even a single massage can make a tremendous difference in alleviating stress, tension, and pain, and enhancing your wellbeing. No matter the frequency with which you choose to receive my services, massage can be a powerful tool for creating wellness and vitality in your life.
How will I feel after my massage?
Clients generally feel relaxed, de-stressed, and a greater sense of wellbeing after a massage. Clients may also experience greater body awareness, greater ease and freedom being in their body, and a sense of mind-body-spirit integration. Clients also report realizing that their body can feel better than what they previously thought possible. Each person’s experience differs and differs from session to session; I always enjoy hearing about the positive effects clients sense from the work I do.
What should I do after receiving a massage?
Embrace the relaxation! Make sure you drink plenty of water, especially if it is your first massage or you tend to not drink very much water regularly. I often suggest clients try to take it easy the rest of the day (or at least a little while), spend time reflecting on their experience, and try to incorporate some gentle exercise (such as a walk in the woods). Be gentle with yourself, especially if you are new to massage; relieving physical tension may have ripple effects into the rest of your life. Do what feels right to your body. Call me if you have any concerns or questions.
Should I tip?
Tips are of course appreciated but not required. When clients do tip, it is generally in the range of $5 to $20 per session. It is up to you whether or not to tip. I greatly appreciate your regularly scheduled appointments and the referral of your family and friends as well.
What types of payment do you accept?
I accept cash and checks. Purchases through Paypal are available through my "Rates" page.