There are contraindications to receiving massage:
It is an industry standard to have the following restrictions in order to protect your health and well-being. There are three types of contraindication:
When a massage should not be scheduled at all:
When a massage can be performed, but not over contraindicated areas:
When a massage can be performed with a doctor's written consent:
The information provided above has been published by Associated Body Workers and Massage Professionals. They, along with many other agencies and institutions, have set the Industry Standards for Massage Therapy. These standards are passed along to each licensed massage therapist. Each therapist is expected to maintain high standards, ethics and morals in providing massage therapy to their clients. This aims to regulate quality for the entire industry.
Frequently Asked Questions, and My Answers:
Q: How have you managed to stay in business with all of the competition in the massage industry today, especially the large frachises?
A: Clients do ask me this question, and it deserves a response.
In order to get to today, much history needs to be considered.
I began my massage career before massage therapy boomed. Life Magazine released a cover story in 1993 on the benefits of massage (Massage Feels Good and Saves Lives). One of the first medical studies on massage was revealed at the time. Daily massage was given to AIDS patients, and what was discovered was astounding! Their immune system (Killer T-Cells) were boosted by 50%! While that did not say that massage would cure AIDS, it did show that massage boosts immunity - the key to good health!
Other articles surfaced revealing studies on the benefits of massage with athletes (professional to weekend warriors). Massage increased their performance levels by 20%-50%, and helped to prevent injuries associated with overuse!
Fast forward to today:
Once the benefits of massage became known, the industry started to boom. With that came the business aspect of capitalizing on the trend. This is when the massage franchises came onto the scene, offering unheard of low prices (with contracts).
Most consumers who began to go to these establishments had little to no experience on what constitutes a great massage. But, the low price made it attractive to them. These low prices began a serious price war (though most have raised their prices considerably to date).
Here are some statistics on massage:
As with any business, once we see trends, we see lot's of competition. When it comes to massage therapy, comparing one massage therapist over another, doesn't come easy. Business owners can compete with prices, accommodations, and massage types, but all massage therapists work differently. Skills, techniques, and applications vary, so it takes receiving a massage before it can be valued or compared.
The best way to leave this question is to encourage those who haven't scheduled a massage yet, to experience one for themselves! This is why I offer a GREAT Introductory Offer to all New Clients!
Q: How often should I receive a massage?
A: To receive maximum results and benefits with chronic/longstanding, lingering pain or injuries: In the beginning of your treatment protocol, the optimal massage regime is once per week for 4 -6 weeks.
For maintenance: Most clients schedule every other week. A minimum of one massage per month is recommended if scheduling more frequently is not an option. For general relaxation or a special treat - as much as your budget will allow! These are only recommendations, and clients who prefer to schedule as needed are always welcome.
Q: How much time should I schedule for my massages?
A: All appointments are given the full time scheduled. Choosing the right amount of massage time varies considerably with each client. All attempts are made to provide you with an effective massage, given the time made available.
For a Swedish Relaxation Massage, 50 - 60 minutes is generally sufficient. With Comprehensive, Deep Tissue/Therapeutic Massage, the more time I have to work with you, the better. I will always make recommendations based upon the nature of your sessions. If extra time can't be scheduled, a partial body massage may be given.
Q: Will I be covered up with a sheet?
A: Yes. It is required by law and preferred by most professional massage therapists. You are "draped" with a sheet, and only the body part I am working on at any given point in time will be exposed.
Q: Do I have to get completely undressed?
A: Generally you are asked to completely undress. But, it is important that you feel comfortable during your massage. Panties & briefs may be left on, if preferred.
The only reason massage therapists ask you to completely undress is to be able to have free access to the gluteal region. This is the largest muscle group in the body, and is often involved in low back, hip and leg pain. However, this area can be worked on through a towel or sheet as well.
Trust in knowing that professional massage therapists are no different than doctors are in the way we view the body: in terms of anatomy and physiology only.
Q: Why does the massage feel uncomfortable at times?
A: When considerable tension is present, the tissues become tight and restricted. Because of that, they receive less blood flow and therefore less oxygen and nutrition, and can become full of toxins. The level of tenderness is equal to the level of tension and toxins present in the tissues. Once we clear those away, massages usually become very pain free and relaxing. Another reason regular massage is highly recommended!
Q: Should I wait to be in pain to schedule a massage?
A: No, but sadly, many people do. The goal is to maintain a stress/tension free body. Once you have pain, it is the same as waiting until you're thirsty to drink water, or hungry to eat food. Your body is definitely signaling something is not right to you.
The simplest way to put this is: tension accumulates, it does not go away. By the time you feel it, it is over done, your body is over saturated and screaming out for your attention!
Q: Will a few massages be enough to correct my muscular pain?
A: Not generally. Many clients who receive alternate treatments beyond their normal massage regimen will say they feel much better, and that this other treatment seems to be helping them. That usually comes with frequent visits of being seen 2 -3 times per week. But, there are just as many times when clients say that even one massage has helped them immensely, often over a lapse of 2 weeks or more! So, the right kind of massage can actually be more effective than many other treatments, if given the chance to work!
Regardless of the approach, it takes time to see results and to progress. With massage therapy, much depends on the nature of your condition. Chronic pain or long standing issues require frequent sessions, especially in the beginning, with a maintenance program afterwards, of at least one massage per month. Schedule as often as you can afford to, and you will feel better with each massage you receive!
Q: I receive regular massage therapy but I still have tension. Why?
A: Tension and stress will always be a part of our reality. Even exercising creates muscle tension. Emotional stress, postural habits and sleeping patterns also effect our body daily.
Because massage therapy is not a permanent cure in most cases, even the clients who receive massage every week come in with some degree of tightness and pain. The difference is in the amount of time that has passed between massages.
For every week that goes by, more and more tension will accumulate. The amount of tension that has accumulated since the massage received will have to be cleared away. If that was a long time ago, there's usually a lot of built up/settled in tension. If it was a week ago, you have one weeks worth, which is new tension, and is easily released.
Q: Is it okay to exercise before or after a massage?:
A: It is recommended that clients do their best to consider their massage day to be a day of R & R: Repair and Restoration. It is best to schedule massages on non-exercise days if possible, in order to achieve maximum benefits. But, if you must exercise, it is best to do so before your massage and not afterwards.
Postponing high energy/hard core workouts allows your therapist to become aware of, and differentiate between tension areas that are normally present, verses addressing tension due to being pumped up by strenuous exercise.
These are only recommendations, and each client must decide what works best for them.
Benefits of Massage:
Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is when the maximum benefits can be achieved. And remember, feeling good in your body is NOT a luxury! Regular massage is truly an investment in your health and emotional well-being, as you will discover by reading what is here for you!
I am happy to do whatever I can do to help clients schedule as frequently as possible. And best of all, as a private practitioner, I can help you establish a treatment protocol at a price you CAN afford!
Some of the Benefits of Massage:
Experts estimate that upwards of 90% of all disease is stress related, and perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be unrealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. Furthermore, the emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits. In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects. This translates into: