MASSAGE THERAPY – ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS
First Piece of Advice – SPEAK UP!
Why is speaking up so important? This is YOUR session – and the experience all yours. If you would like anything changed – the pressure, areas worked, position, temperature, music, etc… speak up! You will not hurt your therapists’ feelings by asking for something that will make you feel more comfortable.
What are the benefits of massage therapy?
The health experts at the National University of Health Sciences presents the top five health benefits of adding regular massage therapy to your health and wellness strategy. Massage therapy from a licensed practitioner can:
- Lower stress
The long-term effects of stress can take emotional and physical tolls. Massage therapy may relieve stress and conditions associated with it, such as tension headaches.
- Increased Immune Function
Medical research indicates that massage therapy can help boost immune system strength by increasing the activity level of the body’s natural “killer T cells,” which fight off viruses.
- Boost Mental Health and Wellness
Research suggests that symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression (all associated with mental health) may be directly affected by massage therapy.
- Pain Management and Improved Range of Motion
Pain can negatively affect a person’s quality of life and impede recovery from illness or injury. Recent findings highlight the role of massage in pain management.
- Improved Physical Fitness
Elite and recreational athletes alike can benefit from massage therapy – massage can reduce muscle tension, improve exercise performance, and prevent injuries.
When should I avoid getting a massage?
In general, there are a few conditions that would prevent you from getting a massage. Of course, do not schedule an appointment if you are feeling unwell, have a fever, cold, or a skin condition that is contagious. The first trimester of pregnancy is generally considered off-limits for massage, as are active chemotherapy or other intensive medical treatments. If you have a serious medical condition and you are unsure if a massage would be safe for you, I will recommend that you speak with your primary care provider to get approval first.
What should I expect during my first massage visit?
Your massage therapist will ask in-depth questions to establish which areas you would like focused on, or if there are any specific conditions needing to be addressed. It is important to list all health concerns and medication so that your therapist can adapt your session to your specific needs without causing any harm. It is also important to specify any allergies so that your therapist may adjust the oil or cream being used during your visit.
Do I have to be completely undressed? What do you wear for a massage?
You may undress to your level of comfort. Many people prefer to keep their underwear on during a massage, while others choose to be nude. Your massage therapist will leave the room so you can undress and lie on the massage table under a towel. You will be covered at all times with a sheet and blanket, except for the muscle being worked on.
Will the massage hurt?
In general, massages should not hurt. In fact, if you are in pain during a massage, this may cause your muscles to seize up, making the relaxing effects more difficult to achieve. If the pressure is too intense, speak up immediately so your therapist can adjust. Certain techniques may result in soreness during the days following a massage, similar to that of a great workout, but in general, you should not have pain during or after your massage.
Do you talk during a massage?
Some people enjoy having a conversation during their massage but keep in mind, the treatment is all about you releasing your tensions and enjoying the experience. Regardless of your choice, be sure to speak up during the massage if there is anything you’d like adjusted (temperature, pressure, music, etc).
What if I fall asleep and snore or drool?
It is very common for guests to fall asleep during their massage. If you snore or drool, don’t worry, your massage therapist has definitely seen this before and will not judge. We love seeing you so relaxed!
What if I have body acne, skin conditions, or forgot to shave?
Rest assured, massage therapists have seen and felt it all! Please do not feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Your massage therapist is focused on creating a relaxing and therapeutic experience for you, and you cannot relax if you are anxious about your body’s appearance. If anything, your therapist may be able to make product or technique recommendations to help alleviate any conditions that may be bothersome to you.
How often should I get a massage?
Individual preference varies, So it depends on your pain, physical needs, emotional needs, and of course, budget. Receiving a massage regularly has the most benefit; this can be as often as weekly or monthly.
How much do you tip for a massage?
Many clients are unsure if and/or how much they should tip their massage therapist. We, massage therapists, love what we do, and your tip may reflect your appreciation for the service.
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