What should I expect when I come in for a massage session?
At the beginning of each massage or bodywork session I will spend a few minutes discussing any problem areas or requests you have for your massage. At your first appointment, you will fill out a brief health history and informed consent form. I will do my best to tailor the massage to you, calling on a number of different modalities. My style is Swedish and deep tissue massage with some integration of John Barnes style of myofascial release (MFR), foot reflexology, and more.
I will check in about what pressure feels meaningful and appropriate to you and your goals. I welcome your feedback and will often ask for you to let me know if you want more of less pressure. The point of massage is to avoid causing pain and often pain or tenderness tells you and me about what may be happening in that part of the body, so please make sure to speak up and let me know if the pressure is on the edge of pain or if you feel tenderness right away. The goal of the massage is to help your body relax and recover and feel better by the end.
Silence and relaxation go so well together. I am always interested to hear anything that is directly about your body or the bodywork I am doing at the time. Other than that, you may expect to receive your massage in silence except for occasional check ins about adjusting pressure to your liking in different areas of the body. There will be quiet relaxation music, unless you prefer no music-- please let me know.
Everything is adjustable in the room, so please be sure to speak up about temperature, blankets, pillows, anything at all that will help you to be as comfortable as possible. A massage provides a very special time just for you, when cell phones are turned off then you can completely be in the moment to experience your bodywork.
A massage can help you take care of you. At the end of each session I will check in on what you noticed and how you feel after. Based on the goals at the beginning of the session I would love to hear any feedback on how you feel and what has shifted for you. You are also always encouraged to let me know how the next couple days go and if you notice more shifts as some will take time for your body to adjust to.
I will offer some self care tools you can use or integrate into a bigger self care plan for between sessions. Depending on your situation and budget I am happy to figure out how to help you create routine or plan that works to help you feel great and keep feeling better for longer.
Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?
For Table massage:
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. I will build a plan for the session with you and go over a brief health history. Then I will leave the room so you can undress to your level of comfort and get on the table between the sheets, under the blanket. Professional draping will be used at all times to keep you comfortable and warm and to only work on one specific area at a time. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort. Depending on the season and temperature a table warmer and space heater may be used as well as an eye pillow and other custom amenities. Table massage may occur at the main office or arranged to be set up in the privacy of your own home at an additional fee. Often sessions last from 30 to 90 minutes depending on how long of a session you choose.
For Chair Massage:
Your massage or bodywork session will take place fully clothed on a comfortable seated massage chair which can be adjusted to your comfort. Depending on the season and location of the massage a space heater or fan may be used to achieve the perfect temperature. If receiving massage at an outdoor event the same set-up is used and often sessions range from 10 to 30 minutes.
What parts of my body will be massaged?
A typical full-body session will include work on your back, arms, hands, legs, feet, head, neck, and shoulders. You may request more specific areas to be worked on such as the forearms or knees. I will check to see if there are any areas to focus on or to avoid altogether and you are encouraged to speak up on what will work best to address any concern areas and avoid any areas of caution.
What will the massage or bodywork feel like?
A relaxing Swedish massage is often a baseline for clients. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is relaxing and not in any discomfort.
With foot reflexology you will typically have 1/2 the session spent massaging and relaxing your feet with a special foot cream. Then the feet are dried off to remove most of the cream and the reflexology piece begins with pressure and techniques utilized to refresh your foot reflexes to many areas and organs of your body. Often the areas of focus will change depending on what you want to address which is set together with me at the beginning of the session.
In a full Myofascial Release (MFR) session you will typically start out with an assessment of where you many be holding some restrictions or tension which is causing you body to be slightly out of alignment. Once assessed I will work with you to make a plan for the session. In these sessions you are encouraged to change into a Sports bra and bike shorts or boxers after I leave the room to help address a whole body MFR approach. I will use little to no oil for this technique. The work is gentle sustained pressure to engage and work with the myofascial layer.
You should feel free to research and read the descriptions on other types of massage or feel free to ask me to explain anything you don't understand about a technique.
What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
Prior to the massage, feel free to ask the practitioner any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable and relax. I will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). I will also work with you to check in about the pressure and technique used throughout the session. Many people just close their eyes and completely let go, communicating when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, or anything else relevant to the session. This session is about you and being the most helpful to what you need. The best sessions are achieved through good communication between pracitioner and client.
How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?
Most people feel very relaxed and/or energized. Your experience will be unique to you. If you have received some deeper work you may feel more awareness in that area of the body or even some temporary increase in soreness before it is released and you feel better. The body knows how to recover well. Often there are stretches or techniques you may want to try between session which can help to relieve reoccurring tightness. At the end of each session is a chance to check in and brainstorm what may help with your own self-care.
Are there any medical conditions that would limit massage or bodywork?
Yes. Before you begin your first session, I will have you fill out an intake form to cover general health information. It is very important that you inform me of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required. I am happy to work in conjunction with your health care team to figure out the best approach and use of massage and bodywork based on your individual situation.
What level of undress should I expect?
You will be only be asked to undress to your level of comfort and always in a secure, private room without me present. You will be fully draped throughout the entire bodywork session with only undraping areas that I am addressing while securing the sheets around that area.
In a Chair Massage session, you will be fully clothed but be asked to remove your shoes or any extra layers of shirts to achieve best results.
In a Myofascial Release session you will be asked to bring a change of exercise shorts (and a sports bra for women) to help faciliate the work that is done in these sessions.
How do I pay for my session?
Cash and local checks are also accepted and appreciated. Credit card payment is available through my online scheduler or at the end of your appointment through Square.
Health Savings Debit (or Flex Spending plan): Receipts for reimbursement are available at the time of your appointment. Just ask!
What is the Cancellation policy?
Call to let me know if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment. If you do not inform me 24 hours before your missed appointment, there will be a fee of 50% of the cost of that appointment (except for emergencies, sickness, and inclement weather). Thanks for your understanding.