GENERAL MASSAGE INFORMATION
What Is Massage Like?
Your First Appointment
and related bodywork techniques can release painful muscle tension, improve
circulation, increase joint flexibility, and reduce mental and physical
fatigue. In addition, massage is among the most effective means available
to combat stress. But the question most people want answered before first
trying this healthful and enjoyable experience is, "What will it actually
are some types of massage?
are too many to list! Swedish massage is what many people think of when
massage is mentioned. One of the
most commonly taught and well-known massage techniques, Swedish massage is a
system of long gliding strokes, kneading, friction, percussive, and shaking
motions or vibration techniques on the more superficial layers of muscles.
Swedish massage is intended to vibrate glands and organs as well as move lymph,
and to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Five basic strokes, all
flowing toward the heart, are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body.
therapists are trained in specialized types of bodywork which they may use
exclusively or in some combination. For example, there are special
techniques to relieve painful trigger points, relax contracted fascia (the
muscles' protective coverings), realign and heal injured tissue, aid lymph
drainage, or restore the natural balance and flow of energy throughout the
is a massage therapist?
therapists have completed many hours of education which includes a variety of
bodywork techniques, extensive anatomy and physiology, and knowledge of when
massage is and is not appropriate. A growing number of states and
provinces license massage therapists. Ask your therapist to explain his
or her unique combination of specialized training.
is the first appointment like?
massage therapist will begin by asking you general health questions since there
are some conditions for which massage is not appropriate.
on the primary technique your therapist uses, you may or may not need to
undress. For a full body Swedish massage, most people undress completely,
though you may choose to wear underwear. Your massage therapist will give
you privacy to undress and you are covered except for the area being
will relax on a padded table designed for stability and comfort. Your
therapist may offer cushions or an adjustable face rest for support. The
room will be warm and quiet, often with soft music to set a relaxing mood.
many techniques, your massage therapist will use a lubricant, such as a light
oil or lotion, which is good for your skin and absorbs well. For some
kinds of bodywork, no oil is used.
massage or bodywork session usually begins with relatively gentle pressure to
calm your nervous system and begin releasing superficial tension.
Gradually, your therapist works more deeply to address specific areas.
should I do during a massage?
yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your
position, she or he will either move you (for instance, lift your arm) or will
tell you what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make
yourself more comfortable.
people just close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others
prefer to talk. It's your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is
the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time. The therapist will not initiate conversation.
desire to sigh or take a deep breath is a sign that you are relaxing. In
fact, deep natural breaths can actually help you relax. Take several deep
breaths during your session to assist in relaxation.
will a massage feel?
on healthy tissue feels good. The normal response is to slow down,
breathe deeply, and relax.
people are surprised to find that a massage does not tickle. Your massage
therapist uses gentle but firm pressure, gradually preparing you for deeper
saying "no pain, no gain" is not true for massage and bodywork.
The most effective and deepest massage works with the body's natural responses,
not against them. Working in the area of an injury or chronic pain may at
first cause some discomfort, which usually lessens in the first few minutes.
Your massage therapist knows ways to minimize pain, and will work carefully
within what feels right to you. Always tell your therapist if you feel
any discomfort so she can adjust.
long is a session?
minutes is a common session length. This gives time for a deeply relaxing
full body massage or more in-depth work on a particular area, for example back,
neck and shoulders. A 90-minute session can be an excellent session for more concentrated for me to address the whole body, with special attention to a problem
should I expect afterwards?
and bodywork can be profoundly relaxing, affecting all your body's
systems. Give yourself a moment to reorient before slowly getting
a session, most people feel very relaxed. Many experience freedom from
aches and pains that have built up over months of tension or repetitive
activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often
experience an increase in energy that can last for several days.
you may not feel dramatic results right away. Watch for changes over the
following days, such as pain relief, increased mobility, or reduced stress.
If you have chosen massage as your treatment for specific chronic issues be
aware that it will take several sessions to work through the release of the
tissues. After all, if you have had chronic pain for months or years it will
take more than one or two sessions to resolve the problem.
for Session Termination
Therapeutic massage is strictly non-sexual. The session is terminated
if there is any kind of sexual interest expressed on the part of the client. If this happens their file will be red
flagged and they
will not be accepted as a client anymore. Sexual misconduct on the part of the
massage therapist is grounds for dismissal from the A.M.T.A. and loss of license.