What is Massage?
By using various touch techniques the therapist can intitiate changes in the body, mind, & emotions via the manipulation of soft tissue (muscle & fascia) producing a positive impact that directs the recipient towards healing and greater wellness. There are both short term and long term effect of massage therapy. Short term effects are those that occur during the session lasting for brief period post session lasting hours or a day while the long term can last a few days to a week. Regular (monthly or bi-monthly) treatments can extend these effects and help manage ongoing chronic issues (pain or discomfort associated with arthritis, injury, poor posture, fibromyalgia, etc.).
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which can translate into:
- Increased circulation.
- Enhanced sleep quality.
- Increased energy.
- Improved concentration.
- Decreased anxiety.
- Reduced fatigue.
Massage can also help address a number of specific health issues. Bodywork can:
- Improve range of motion, increase joint flexibility, & alleviate back pain.
- Relieve migraine pain.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Enhance immune system function by stimulating lymph flow.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level recover from strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body's epidermis (skin).
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue.
- Improve circulation by reintroducing oxygenated blood and nutrients into ischemic muscle/connective tissues.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and inflammation.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
- Reduce muscle cramps & spasms.
- What should I expect for my first massage therapy session
Your massage therapist will require you to fill out a health history intake form. After completion, the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Your massage therapist may perform certain postural assessments and testing to evaluate your condition, and to see if you have any presenting complaints.
- What do I wear during the massage?
For a full body massage, most people undress completely. However, you may choose to wear underwear. Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress, and you will be covered with a sheet and blanket at all times except the area being worked on.
- What do I do during a massage therapy treatment?
Make yourself comfortable. It is likely that your therapist will adjust your position., they will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It's up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels good for you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask any questions that you may have.
- Could my skin have a bad reaction to massage oils?
Many massage therapists use hypoallergenic massage oils or lotions. If, however, you have a sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotion please bring it to the massage therapist's attention as most therapists have an assortment of oils, lotions, or creams available.
- Is a massage always appropriate?
No, there are several medical conditions that would make massage inappropriate. That's why it is necessary that you fill out the health history forms and before you begin your session. The massage therapist will ask general health questions to rule out if you have any contraindications to massage. It is very important that you inform the practitioner 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 prior to any session. Your massage therapist may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.
- How long will a massage treatment last?
The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.
- How long will the massage effects last?
There are both short term & long term effects after receiving a massage. Most short term effect will last approximately up to 24hrs while long term effects can span days or even up to a week. General feelings of lightness/freedom in hips or shoulders/neck area is common, as well as a simple sense of relaxation. Aches and pains are often reduced or eliminated.
- Does deep tissue hurt?
A very common misconception about deep tissue is the amount of pain one could experience during such treatments. Most people think of deep tissue as purely a “no pain, no gain” attitude when in fact it is not about pain. While there is some truth that there is associated discomfort, deep tissue is about affecting the deeper muscle compartments. The therapist will check in with you throughout the massage to ensure any discomfort experienced during session is minimized per your tolerances. Pressure levels are relative to the client. One's firm pressure may be too heavy for another client.