I'm not sure what kind of massage I should book.
On this site there are descriptions of various modalities that I am trained to provide. There is no need to choose a modality though. When you come in for a massage, I will ask you some questions and listen to how your body is feeling. Then I will use whatever techniques I think will serve you best depending on your specific needs. I will check in with you periodically throughout the session to ensure that the pressure and techniques being used are comfortable for you. No need to wait for me to check in though. If anything is uncomfortable at any point during your session, please let me know so that I can adjust or modify what I’m doing to make your session an enjoyable and therapeutic experience.
How long of a session should I book?
That depends on the reason why you’re seeking massage therapy.
I offer 60/90/120 minute sessions (more if necessary).
A 60 minute session is good if you’re wanting a lighter, relaxing massage OR for focus work on a particular issue (carpal tunnel release, frozen shoulder, a kink in your neck…)
The 90 minute massage will give us time to get to a full body massage working out minor aches and pains, OR to address more complex pain resolution (ex. “I threw my back out”)
If you want full body attention and have multiple “problem areas” you’d like addressed, we’ll need 120+ minutes to get you feeling your best.
How much should I undress for my massage?
I always tell clients to “undress to their comfort level”. Depending on the type of bodywork we’re doing, certain articles of clothing can get in the way a bit, but overall the most important thing is that you are comfortable. The massage isn’t going to be as effective if your mind is preoccupied with concerns of modesty. There are styles of massage such as Shiatsu and Thai, that I will ask the client to wear clothing that allows for freedom of movement such as they might wear to a yoga class. There are other styles where it is preferable to undress completely in order to fully experience the long flowing strokes of a Swedish massage, or to get uninterrupted fascial release in a Deep Tissue Massage. Still, comfort is paramount and it’s no problem to work around underwear or bra straps if need be.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping therapy is an ancient technique originating in Egypt which utilizes negative pressure (suction) to remedy a variety of ailments from stagnant circulation (or chi), nerve entrapment, and soft tissue adhesions, to reducing visible cellulite, and lymphatic drainage. Cupping treatments can help to tonify the skin and even help reduce sinus and chest congestion. In my practice, I primarily use cupping as a myofascial release tool, as that is my main focus.
Is Massage Painful?
Pain is an individual and subjective experience. What some of us experience as pain, others may find enjoyable. That being said, in my experience the client brings the pain in with them. It is never the intention behind the work to cause pain, but if you are seeking massage therapy as a means of pain reduction, you may find some pain on the path to relief. However, you are always in charge of what happens during your session and you are under no obligation to endure more pain than you find acceptable. I will also be checking in with you throughout your session to ensure that he pressure is within tolerable limits. Even though some clients may desire more pressure, if i can feel the body tensing up I will naturally back off a bit because the pressure isn't productive at that point.
Is Massage Therapy Effective For Pain Relief?
This depends greatly on the cause of the pain, as should be expected. Massage therapy can be very effective releasing tension and freeing up joint mobility, which in turn often results in pain relief as well. As a myofascial specialist, one of the main things I work on is correcting postural deviations. I use the term "correcting" loosely here, as any coorection to your posture in a massage will be temporary. It will be up to you following through with some combination of corrective exercise and mindfulness to achieve long lasting results, but a massage is a great first step to get you on the healing path.
Can Massage Therapy Enhance Athletic Performance?
Absolutely! In fact this is one of my very favorite things about being a therapist! Professional, competent massage therapy is a great way to help condition your muscles and joints for optimal performance. I have worked with many high level athletes, from golfers and tennis players to boxers and MMA, to marathon runners and triathletes. There is no greater sense of accomplishment than watching the athletes under my care crush their goals!!
What Areas Are Included In A Full Body Massage?
For this question it is easier to say what areas are not included. Every therapist has a different comfort zone as far as what areas they will or will not work on. I am fairly comfortable with the human body and I don't have many reservations about what I will work on provided there is a therapeutic indication for massage. The only area that is ALWAYS off limits is the genital region, for obvious reasons. That all being said, I almost never get to a true full body massage in one session. The deeper style of work that I do necessitates moving very slowly. It would probably take at least 3 hours, maybe more for me to address the "whole body". In a typical "most of the body" session, I start with the back muscles, work into the shoulders/arms/hands, on to the glutes/back of legs/feet... then I'll have the client turn over onto their back, work the front of the legs/inner thigh, and then chest/neck massage to finish. Upon request, or if there is an indication to do so, I will also work the abdominal muscles, ribcage, face and head.
To answer an unasked follow up question, I do not believe it is wise to receive deep muscle work on the full body in one session. For the same reason that gym goers typically do not do super heavy full body workouts in one session. It takes considerable energy for your body to heal, and process the work we do not want to overwhelm it. In a Swedish style relaxation massage, I think it is perfectly acceptable to address the entire body at once. For deep tissue, myofascial, corrective type of work, I recommend breaking it down into multiple sessions as needed to address all imbalances in a way that is most beneficial.