Full-body massage is the type of work most therapists are taught in massage school. The entire body, with the exception of the breasts and genitals, is treated during the course of the massage session. Specific areas of concern, such as low back pain and neck tension, can receive concentrated focus. It has come to my attention that some individuals inquiring about full-body massage are looking for sexual or erotic massage. My work is professional in nature and is non-sexual.
It is recommended that you completely undress for your massage session. A sheet or towel will be used to drape your body, revealing only the area being worked. Your comfort is the most important part of the massage session. Therefore, if you prefer to wear some clothing during the massage, this is totally acceptable.
No, you do not need a referral from your doctor to receive massage. However, if you have a specific medical condition, you may want to consult with your primary care physician first and make your massage therapist aware of any pre-existing conditions prior to the start of the treatment.
Massage is beneficial to just about everyone in every age bracket and at every level of physical activity. Massage helps release the stress and tension of a tough day (or week) at work as well as relieve soreness and stiffness in the muscles associated with overuse and repetitive actions (too much time on the computer, a day behind the wheel of the car). Athletes at all levels benefit from improved performance and a shorter recovery period.
Bodywork is also effective in treating headaches, tendonitis, whiplash and general body aches. It can improve circulation, mobility and relax the nervous system.
Be open and receptive to the bodywork. Leave the worries of the office at the door. Let your body relax and sink into the table as you listen to the quiet music in the background. Take a couple of slow, deep breaths. Breathing is your key to letting go of stress and tension in the body. You will receive greater benefits from the massage the more you breathe. Allow your body to be heavy. The therapist will move your arms and legs as needed and you do not have to help. This is your time to be taken care of and supported. To ensure your comfort, communicate with the therapist – talk about the pressure being used (too much, not enough); the position of your body; and any boundary issues or areas of discomfort that may arise. Any other conversation is completely at your discretion. Keep in mind that talking may be distracting from allowing your body to fully relax.
Many people think that they have to give up control once they lay down on the massage table. This is not the case. You are in control of the massage session. One of the keys to receiving a good massage is communicating with the therapist. If a particular movement or position is uncomfortable or if the pressure is inappropriate, let the therapist know so that the approach to the massage can be changed to meet your needs. It is my goal as a massage therapist to make sure that your body receives the best possible experience.
Directly after a massage, most people feel very relaxed and at times a little light headed. (Always take you time getting up from the massage table for this reason.) Your body should have greater ease of movement without restriction and reduced pain. The effects of the massage will continue to settle into your body over the next 12 to 24 hours. Depending on the modalities used in your session and the intensity of the work, there may also be some delayed muscle soreness during this period – something akin to good workout at the gym – as your body continues to release restrictions and settles back into a place of balance.
Drink water – lots of water. During the massage, your body will release toxins from the muscles into the bloodstream and the result may be a little soreness (similar to a good workout at the gym). By drinking plenty of water, you assist your body’s natural functions in flushing the toxins from the system, preventing them from being reabsorbed into the muscle.
I believe that the frequency of when you receive massage is a personal choice. I encourage my clients to listen to their body and see how long they feel that they hold the benefits of their massage treatment. Ask yourself how much stress and activity is in your life and how can you minimizing their negative effects, taking better care of yourself. Some people receive a massage weekly, every other week or once a month, while others maybe only once or twice a year. It is a question of what fits your lifestyle and budget. Remember, massage is preventative health care as well as a pleasant indulgence and is most beneficial when received with some degree of regularity.
Leaving a gratuity is completely at the discretion of the client. If you feel that you received a quality massage or your expectations were exceeded, a gratuity is a nice way of showing your appreciation and thanking the therapist.
As a private practitioner, I do not expect gratuities. When they are received, these funds help cover the cost for clients who otherwise would not be able to afford a session. I offer sliding scale to clients with life challenging illnesses to assist them in their journey.
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