FAQ's - What you really want to know.

Q: What forms of payment do you accept?

A: I accept cash, check, and credit - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express. I also accept HSA and FSA cards that have a Visa or Mastercard logo.

Q: What massage techniques are used?

A: I utilize a number of different modalities including Swedish, deep tissue, neuromuscular therapy (also known as Trigger Point Therapy), Thai massage, Shiatsu, myofascial release, hot stone massage, medical massage, sports massage, stretching, and also perform prenatal massage and oncology massage.

Q: What should I expect during my first massage therapy session?

A: Your massage therapist will have you fill out an intake form with questions about your health history, what kind of massage you would like, and what areas you would like worked on. The therapist will ask some questions to establish if you have any conditions that could be affected by massage that need to be addressed, and to determine that the massage is the right one for you. Certain assessments and testing may be done to evaluate your condition and determine if you have any current complaints. You should arrive ten minutes prior to your appointment time to fill out paperwork and have the consultation.

Q: Why do I have to give my health history to get a massage?

A: It is important to give information regarding your health history and current condition of health in order for your massage therapist to determine the best method of treatment. Some conditions may be contraindicated (not medically recommended) for massage, and others may require a certain type of modality in order for you to benefit. Be sure to update your therapist when you go in for session if any of your health information has changed since your last visit.

Q: Where will my massage session take place?

A: Your massage session will take place in a chosen space in your home. Your therapist will discuss with you ahead of time how much space will be needed to accommodate the massage table and adequate clearance around the table.

Q: How do I dress for the massage session?

A: For a full body massage most clients remove all articles of clothing, sometimes leaving on underwear, sometimes not.  Ultimately it is up to the client to decide to what level they are comfortable undressing. The therapist will give you privacy to undress and dress and your body will be covered with a sheet and blanket at all times except the body part that is being worked on. Client modesty is always respected.
In some types of massage, such as sports massage, you may be asked to wear gym shorts, and sports top or bra (for women), for the duration of the massage. Depending on what is needed, this will be decided by the therapist and client as appropriate.

Q: What do I do during a massage therapy session?

A: Make yourself comfortable. If the therapist needs to readjust you they will do so or ask you to readjust what is needed. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a massage, some even fall asleep, and others prefer to talk. Whatever you prefer is up to you, as it is your massage. Do whatever comes naturally and feel free to ask any questions you may have during the massage session. The therapist does not expect you to talk during the massage, so do not feel like you have to, but you are welcome to do so if you like.

Q: How will a massage feel?

A: This depends on the modality used during the session. A standard relaxation massage is Swedish massage, which will begin with long flowing strokes to reduce surface muscle tension and calm the central nervous system. As the massage progresses, firmer pressure will be used depending on what is needed and the comfort levels of the client. A massage creme is used to reduce friction against the client's skin.
    A massage can be relaxing to reduce stress, in which lighter pressure is used, or it can be used therapeutically to break up muscle tension and adhesions, allowing increased blood flow into the muscles. A Deep Flow massage can be intensely therapeutic at times due to muscle tension that needs to be reset. However, a deep massage is very beneficial and leaves the muscles cleaner and healthier after the massage, and some clients experience what they refer to as "good pain" but this all depends on tolerance and the current state of your muscles, but the pressure will not go beyond the point of resistance (called Muscle Guarding). Quite often deep pressure may be needed in some areas of the body while other areas require only moderate pressure.

Q: How long of a massage treatment do I need?

A: It depends. The most common length of a massage is one hour for a full body. However, if you only need one area worked on you may only need half an hour, or if you want a full body but want extra attention in a troublesome area of the body, an hour and a half would be more appropriate and effective. For a full body Deep Flow Therapeutic Massage, I would in general recommend a full hour and a half or two hours as it is more involved and can be completed more thoroughly in that allotted amount of time.

Q: How will I feel after the massage?

A: Most likely very relaxed. You may feel sudden relief from long-time tension and pain, and be more flexible. Taking it easy for the rest of the day after a massage is suggested, as well as drinking plenty of water. An Epsom salt bath can also assist in drawing out tension from the body. You could feel a bit disoriented after the massage, commonly known as "massage drunk". For areas that were especially tense prior to massage, some soreness can set in later that day or within the next day or two. This is normal and will pass, but heat applied to any sore areas for at least fifteen minutes twice per day will help relieve the soreness, or ice for ten minutes at a time, as well as gently stretching the muscles. Any soreness following a massage should not last more than two days, at which point the relief can be more clearly felt.

Q: What is Oncology Massage?

A: Oncology massage is massage for cancer patients and survivors that involves the modification of existing massage techniques that work safely with the complications of cancer and its treatments.  Studies have shown many benefits to cancer patients from massage therapy treatments by a licensed massage therapist who is properly trained to work with them.  Cancer survivors also often times must go to oncology massage trained therapists due to treatments they made have had for their cancer that can permanently affect the precautions which must be taken for massage; treatments such as surgical removal of lymph nodes, radiation, or other surgeries often come with contraindications and the affected areas must be handled with care.

For more information on various topics, visit the Zen Life blog.

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