Frequently Asked Questions
- When should I get a massage?
- When should I not get a massage?
- What can massage help me with?
- How often should I get a massage?
- How long should my appointment last?
- How does massage work?
- Should I get a Swedish massage or myofascial/deep tissue?
- Why do you call it myofascial/deep tissue?
- Does myofasical or deep tissue work hurt?
- What differentiates you from other massage therapists?
- Why do you take such a detailed health history?
- What should I wear during the massage?
- What if the massage wasn’t quite what I expected?
- Is tipping expected?
- What does LMBT mean?
The shortest and most honest answer is whenever you want one. When your body needs nurturing touch, you will feel it. You may be tired, anxious, sore, depressed, tense, stressed, in pain. The longer you deny your body the work it is calling for, the harder it will be to undo.
If you have any of these conditions, you should not come in for a massage:
- uncontrolled high blood pressure
- blood clots
- infectious/contagious diseases
- burns, sunburns, or open sores (area may be avoided)
- phlebitis or lymphangitis
- uncontrolled diabetes
- acute infection of joint or skin (area may be avoided)
Many other conditions require caution by your massage therapist. Please be thorough when filling out your health history!
Just a few of the conditions I am accustomed to treating with massage:
|Session Focus||Suggested Frequency||Why?|
|Pain management||Every 1-2 weeks or more often, increasing the interval as the source of the pain is addressed||When you’re in pain, your muscles tend to tense up even more, which prolongs the pain you are feeling. Then you develop patterns of movement to mitigate pain which may instead cause pain in another area. Massage helps to break this cycle.|
|Relaxation/Stress Reduction||Every 2-4 weeks or more often, depending on stress level||The direct relaxation effects of massage last only a day or two at most. However, with the right session frequency, your body will be able to remember how it feels to be relaxed and stress-free for longer periods.|
|Improving posture||Once a week||Improving posture is as much about releasing chronic tension patterns as it is relearning how to stand and walk. You wouldn’t go to a dance class once a month and expect to retain much. The same is true here.|
|Reducing muscle soreness||As needed||Massage helps remove metabolic wastes from the muscle tissue, while lengthening and reconditioning it to be able to handle the excercises you are doing.|
|General health maintenance||Every 4-6 weeks||At this frequency, most people will still be able to notice the cumulative benefits of massage. Any longer than 6 week intervals is just an occasional treat for your body.|
A 45 minute massage is great for focusing on a specific region or two, i.e. just addressing the upper torso, or focusing on the lower body from feet to hips. Trying to fit a full body session into a 45 minute appointment can end up feeling rushed; I feel it’s more beneficial to focus on just a couple of trouble areas rather than try to do too much.
I can give a balanced full body massage in 60 minutes and still give some specific attention to one or two spots. I do find that being able to move through the body more slowly and with greater attention to detail can yield deeper results–I recommend at least 75 minutes if you’d like a full body session as well as extra focus on a region or two. 90 and 105 minute sessions can yield the greatest benefits in term of balancing relaxation and deep, specific work.
…And you can always book a 2 hour session for when you really need to rest and reset =)
There are two main effects: reflexive and mechanical. Massage stimulates a chain of events which tells the body to relax. For example, nerves in the skin and muscles send impulses to the brain, and the brain in turn tells the muscles to release. These reflexive effects are known as the relaxation response, or “rest and digest”: the heart and breath rate slows, stress hormone production slows, blood pressure goes down. It allows your body necessary time for recuperation a busy life often does not afford.
Massage strokes also move blood and lymph, as well as mechanically lengthening, stretching, spreading, separating, and releasing muscle and connective tissue.
I often use a combination of techniques with my clients. Every session is customized based on your needs; you don’t need to know what kind of massage you want before you get here.
Most people have heard of deep tissue massage. Myofascial is a more specific form of deep tissue with the main intention being to free adhesions and stickiness between the fascial layers and other tissues. Fascia is the connective tissue which covers all of the muscles and is continuous throughout the body. Constriction in one area can cause pain in another.
If it does, I need to pay more attention. Many clients find my myofascial work more relaxing than my Swedish work. My myofascial/deep tissue work may be uncomfortable at times, but I do not want to work past your pain threshold. If it hurts, there’s a reason which should be acknoewledged… I prefer to avoid pain in the pursuit of relief.
I initially trained at the Body Therapy Institute in Silk Hope, NC. I was then able to join the faculty for two years as a Teaching Assistant for the following courses: Massage Therapy Theory and Techniques I & II; Somatic Psychology; Hydrotherapy and Spa Modalities; Massage Therapy Ethics & Laws. I graduated from the 100-hour Spirit of Learning program, designed and taught by Carey Smith, a leader in the massage therapy education field; this course helped me develop skills to communicate and relate to each of my clients as individuals. My passion is for the human body as a whole, and I remain committed to continued study to expand my knowledge of the body and how massage therapy can benefit my clients.
NC State law requires at least an Informed Consent form be signed before treatment. Some conditions may require caution when treating a client, even with Swedish massage. A few are contraindicated entirely. Also, since massage treats the whole person, I like to get a well-rounded picture of what may be contributing to your current condition.
Whatever you feel comfortable in. A lot of good work can be done right through clothing (like in chair massage). However, even more good work can be done without a layer cloth between my hands and the muscle tissue. Only the part of the body I am working on will be undraped.
I love hearing feedback from my clients about pressure, pacing, or other particulars. I like to hear this during the massage so that treatment can be adjusted on-the-spot, and the client can get the greatest enjoyment out of the experience. If, for whatever reason, you did not make your needs known during the treatment, I very much appreciate hearing afterwards what will improve your next session.
I accept tips graciously in my private practice, but it is not necessary. Tipping is customary when you receive work at a spa.
LMBT is the abbreviation for “Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist,” North Carolina’s state certification. LMBTs have taken at least 500 classroom hours and passed a national certification exam. For more information or to look up a licensee, see www.bmbt.org.