Some common questions about massage therapy and bodyworks are answered below. Call us if you have other questions or if you are interested in improving your quality of life through massage and other therapy treatments.
Q & A
What is a Massage Therapist and what do they do?
A Massage Therapist is in one of the fast-growing healthcare professions. For many years, massage therapy was virtually an unknown practice, even considered therapy for spiritual healing. In recent years, public interest has grown. Many insurance companies and healthcare services have started to recognize the benefits of skilled practitioners. Consumer interest coupled with insurance company funding has led to more practicing therapists, more formal accreditation programs, and therapy specialties services within the
Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.
Massage Therapy is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic treatment for many ailments.
What Will Massage Do For Me?
Overall benefits of massage therapy are general relaxation, relief of stress and muscular tension and improvement of circulation. Benefits for more specific health conditions or injuries can be discussed with a therapist upon initial consultation.
Is massage safe for children?
Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to having too much pressure, please inform your massage therapist.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see changes, but typically after each treatment you will feel totally relaxed.
Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem. A massage therapist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”. Treatment frequency is also determined by your primary healthcare provider (your primary doctor) in the case of private health insurance, workman’s compensation claims and motor vehicle accident claims.
How much does it cost?
Rates vary and depend upon what procedures are performed. It is best to consult with your massage therapist about costs.
Will my insurance cover massage therapy?
Insurance coverage varies from state to state. Contact your insurance provider to learn what kind of care is covered. Here are a few questions to ask: Will my plan cover massage therapy treatments? How many visits per calendar year? Do I need a referral? Do I have a co-pay? Do I have a deductible? If yes, has it been met?
How should I prepare for a massage therapy treatment?
Write down and bring any questions you have. We are here to help you. Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy disrobing and access to areas. Do not eat large meals just before or after your visit. Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit. Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest. Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.
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 safe is massage therapy?
Massage Therapy is extremely safe. Massage is a natural, drug free, low impact way of helping the body unleash its own healing potential.
LMP’s are trained to understand many health conditions and adapt their techniques to provide a safe and effective treatment. LMP’s are also required to carry liability insurance and show proof of their credentials upon request. Furthermore, extended health benefits and insurance claims only cover massage treatments if performed by an LMP.
How are massage therapist educated?
Today, massage therapist undertake 6 months to 2 years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All massage therapists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.
Do I have to take my clothes off?
Because many people have some level of apprehension about their body type, size or condition, having a suitable answer to this question is important. Most massage sessions are performed with a client disrobed either entirely or partially to access the skin directly. The client is left to disrobe in privacy and is adequately draped at all times once on the massage table. Only the body part being massaged is exposed.
Corporate or chair massage sessions typically do not require disrobing.
What do I have to do?
In general, a client will be asked to breathe naturally and attempt to let thoughts drift in and out of the mind without trying to control them. A massage therapist may, at times, ask the client to take a deep breath during a specific technique or to move into a new position. Communication with your therapist is encouraged during the massage session. Topics to discuss include areas of concern, changes to your physical and emotional state, and sensations you may be experiencing during the massage session.
How will I feel during the session?
How a client feels during the massage is subjective to the goals for the session and the type of massage you are receiving. Dim lighting, soothing music and the skilled hands of the therapist are utilized together to enhance deep relaxation to release muscle tension and pain allowing the client to feel as if she is in a semi-sleep state–comfortably aware of what’s happening around you–yet totally relaxed.
How will a massage feel?
It typically depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is a baseline for practitioners. 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. Do not hesitate to ask questions or mention if you feel any discomfort so that the massage therapist can use another approach or technique.
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 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.
I have some health conditions, is it okay for me to get a massage?
Your massage therapist will require you to fill out a health history form. Afterwards, the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, whether there are any conditions that need to be addressed and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition, and to see if you have any presenting complaints.
Where will my massage session take place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
Will the massage oils used make me break-out?
Most massage therapists use hypoallergenic massage oils or lotions. However, if you have sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotion please bring it to the massage therapist’s attention as most practitioners have an assortment of oils and lotions available.
How Can Massage Help My Health and Wellbeing?
Generally, people use massage for either general relaxation and wellbeing, or to address a specific complaint, such as pain or limited range of motion. Research suggests massage therapy may contribute to both goals.
Some of the general benefits of massage therapy may include:
- Physical relaxation
- Improved circulation, which nourishes cells and improves waste elimination
- Relief for tight muscles (knots) and other aches and pains
- Release of nerve compression (carpel tunnel, sciatica)
- Greater flexibility and range of motion
- Enhanced energy and vitality
- Some clinical styles may help heal scar tissue as well as tendon, ligament, and muscle tears
What specific conditions can massage therapy help?
Massage therapy may help the body in many ways. Massage can relax muscle tissue, which may lead to decreased nerve compression, increased joint space, and range of motion. This may lead to reduced pain and improved function.
Massage therapy may also improve circulation, which enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells and helps remove waste products. These circulatory effects of massage may have value in the treatment of some inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or edema (an excessive accumulation of fluid in body tissues, which may be reduced using manual lymph drainage).
Massage therapy is also thought to induce a relaxation response, which lowers the heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure; boosts the immune system; and generally decreases the physical effects of stress.
These effects suggest that massage may be helpful for a wide range of conditions. Some of these are listed below.
|Decreases pain and increases functioning in these conditions:
|Helps treat and manage symptoms or complications of:
|Other psychological, emotional, and physical benefits: