Following are questions frequently asked about massage and what to expect. If you have more questions, please go to the contact page and I will answer them for you and/or will add them here for others who may have the same questions. Unless otherwise specified, I will answer as you would expect from me in my office. Other therapists may do things differently.
What do you mean I have to fill out paperwork? I’m just here to relax.
On the first visit, I do ask all my clients to fill out a couple of pages of information. I ask about your current health and medications, past injuries and accidents, and whether you’ve ever had a massage before. I also ask about why you have come in to see me and if there are any specific areas you would like worked on. All of this allows me to get a good idea of what tools I have that would make your massage the best experience for you. If you have health conditions that might be affected by massage, such as heart disease, hypothyroidism, cancer, etc., I can make sure the massage itself is safe for you.
Do I have to take my clothes off?
In my office, there are no hard and fast rules about disrobing, except that if you do get undressed, you will be under a sheet, and a blanket if needed for warmth. I will leave the room while you disrobe for your privacy while you get on the table.If you are uncomfortable disrobing, I have 3 techniques I can use to give you overall relaxation: CranioSacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation, and Thai Massage. We can also use compression techniques for a full body massage with you fully clothed. I’ve been asked many times what “most people do.” I respond that there is no “correct” way, but “most people” choose to get undressed, some choose to leave their underwear on, others don’t. It’s all about personal preference. Either way, your privacy, modesty, and comfort are my utmost concerns. If you are comfortable, the more you are going to enjoy the massage. If you do choose to disrobe, I uncover only what I am working on at the time, and when I am finished, will cover that area before moving on to a different area. If I work in the glute area (your “bum”), I always work through the sheet. I will never work on private areas.
Can I talk, or do I have to be quiet? / Do I have to talk, or can I just relax?
This I leave up to the client. If you want to relax / go to sleep / snore, that is just great. If you are more comfortable talking, we can do that as well. Silence is good for those who can relax and let the massage take you into deeper relaxation. On the other hand, emotions and memories are stored in your muscles and other tissues, so some need to express themselves as the massage happens in order to process. As a matter of ethics, what is said in the massage environment stays between client and therapist.
What makes you different than other massage therapists in our area?
Every therapist has their own style, but having been trained in Portland, OR, I was trained in a state with the 2nd most difficult licensing exam in the country (New York is the first), so the standard of training had to be top notch. East West College of the Healing Arts had a pass rate of the Oregon exam of close to 100%, which is 10-15% higher than the state average.
Training aside, in the area of deep tissue and trigger point, having had a few massages from some good therapists in the area, I would have to say my technique seems to be more specific in nature. I am on a mission to help find the source of your pain and create an environment of pain-free movement. I don’t subscribe to the across-the-board “no pain, no gain” philosophy. Everyone has their own pain tolerances and there is a difference between “therapeutic pain” (that hurts so good) and pain that makes you want to squirm and tense from the pressure. I work within each individual’s comfort level which can mean lighter touch for some, “getting in there” for others.
I also do CranioSacral Therapy which as you may have read in the Services page is a really light touch technique that can make subtle changes that make a huge difference. Thai massage is also a technique I use, but is not done by many therapists in the area.
In addition to techniques and style, I have chosen to be licensed in Washington and in Idaho, Nationally Certified by the NCBTMB, as well as being a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. To become state licensed and nationally certified, a therapist is required to pass exams showing aptitude in skill, law, and ethics while performing massage. All 3 require one to follow certain standards of practice as well as ethical standards. The AMTA membership provides liability insurance to protect both you and me in the event something happens as the result of a massage, which I try to prevent by taking the detailed intake your first massage.
Where can I find more information about CranioSacral Therapy and Visceral Manipulation?