What will my first session be like?
For your first appointment, you will fill out a health history and consent form. We will discuss your goals for each session and develop a plan to meet your needs. Sessions (time spent on the table) last for 45-105 minutes. I highly encourage clients to voice their needs as they arise in the massage setting, whether that is for deeper or lighter pressure, different draping, a change in temperature, a blanket, or to stop the session entirely.
When Should I Get A Massage?
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.
When Should I NOT Get A Massage?
If you have any of these conditions, you should not come in for a massage:
uncontrolled high blood pressure
burns, sunburns, or open sores (area may be avoided)
phlebitis or lymphangitis
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!
What Conditions Can Massage Help?
Just a few of the conditions I am accustomed to treating with massage:
decreased joint mobility
low body awareness
muscular soreness and pain
sub acute and chronic injuries
How Does Massage Work?
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 that 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.
Is Deep Tissue/Myofascial Massage Painful?
If it is painful, 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.
How Often Should I Get A Massage?
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.