Here you will find answers to many commonly asked questions regarding massage. Click on a question to see the answer.

  • I’ve never received a therapeutic massage. What should I expect?

    Everybody has their own reasons for booking a therapeutic massage. Good massage treatments begin with good communication. When booking your massage, feel free to ask any questions you might have. For a first appointment, arrive five to ten minutes early to fill out a brief two-sided Medical History form. When your appointment does begin, your form will be reviewed, and some further questions will be asked to help direct the treatment. If you are in pain, injured, or interested in improving your range and quality of motion, a clothed assessment will follow, where you will be asked to perform specific motions. After this assessment, a treatment plan will be agreed upon, and you will have a clear notion of how your treatment will proceed.
  • How much clothing do I remove?

    In therapeutic massage, your modesty is always respected. All Massage Therapists know and practice effective draping technique. How much clothing you remove is up to you, however you should expect that only the agreed areas will be uncovered while your massage evolves.
  • What is the difference between a relaxation massage, and a therapeutic one?

    In a word: intention. A therapeutic massage is designed from the ground up, your reasons for getting a massage: Your history is considered, assessment is involved, and a treatment plan, is articulated and agreed upon.
  • How does massage work?

    Circulation. Massage passively moves massive amounts of blood and lymph throughout the body. The movement of blood and lymph effectively removes toxins from and delivers oxygen and nutrients to areas worked upon. Oxygen capacitates a muscle cell to do the work of lengthening. Oxygen-deprived muscles are tight muscles.
  • Why does massage sometimes feel painful?

    To be effective, massage does not need to be a torture session. There are strategies available to therapists that can facilitate the release of affected tissues, with a minimum discomfort. Deep tissue massage is typically closer to what many call “painful”, and is so for two reasons: 1. Pressure. The sensitivity tight muscles manifest is heightened, and as a result, will register additional pressure as pain. 2. Toxins, chiefly: lactic acid. Cellular respiration creates waste. Sometimes, especially after strenuous exercise, excess lactic acid is present in the muscle and when moved through with massage, pain is registered.
  • How can pain be minimized?

    Pain is not the enemy. In fact, pain is the body's means of telling you that something is in need of attention. But pain can overstate its case; to minimize it in a massage, try these following steps: 1. Intention. Imagine the affected muscles yielding to the pressure being applied. 2. Breathe. Do so: i. Slowly. ii. Deeply (imagine your capacity for accepting a breath to be like a vase accepting poured water). iii. Evenly: exhaling just as slowly and fully as you inhaled. -Send your inhalation precisely to where you are being worked on, granting the affected muscles permission to soften as you exhale. Repeat. 3. Acceptance. Open yourself to the discomfort should you experience it. Don't judge it. Dismiss your inclination to tense up against it. 4. Communicate. Should you deem the enthusiasm of your therapist to be beyond your tolerance level, communicate. 5. Logic: In my experience, the more we resist something, the more likely it is to push back. Trust the touch, actively relax, and enjoy your massage.
  • My shoulders are so tight they feel like they’re knotted. What's up with that?

    The area between our shoulders and neck are prone to “tightness” or “knots” because we tend to manifest stress, by physically elevating our shoulders towards our ears, and holding them there. The same when we perform seated work such as using a computer: the muscles are engaged, tightened, contracted but not going through an active range of motion; this results in impaired circulation, and a neurologically shortened resting length. 1. Physiologically, in order for muscles to lengthen, muscle cells require an adequate supply of oxygen with which they can create ATP (adosine tri-phosphate). Without ATP, muscle cells are effectively “locked” in a contracted position. Massage restores blood flow to these cells and physically prompts them to lengthen. 2. Neurologically, chronically tight muscles can begin to believe that the shortened length is normal. Massage and ancillary strategies such as muscle energy technique (MET) can help reset the muscle to a longer resting length.
  • What is the relationship between pain and massage?

    There is a measure of paradox. As massage can relieve pain; even as it's application, can be uncomfortable.