Back In Balance ~ Massage & Wellness

Unwind~ & Get 'Back In Balance'!

Frequently Asked Questions


 

1. Do you enjoy doing massage?
2. What should I wear- will I be covered during my massage?
3. Do I have to remain draped?
4. Why do I need to fill out an intake form-client history?
5. Why do I have to drink water after my massage and not coffee, soda or alcohol?                                                                             
6. Why the cancelation policy?
7. Why do you wait 2 days to call back?
8. Why is your availability so limited? 
9. What massage methods do you use?
10. Why is proper posture/stretching so important?
11. What is this ‘Fascia’?
12. How often should I get massaged?
13. I wish I could afford to get massage more often- Why is massage so expensive?
14. Gratuity?
15. What kind of products do you use?
16. Is Maternity Massage safe?
17. What if it s 'that time of the month'?
18. Do you make house calls?
19. Is massage sexual? Like prostitution? Do you do ‘extras’?
20. Is there anyone you won't massage?
21. Should I cancel my appointment if I catch a cold or poison ivy?
22. Do a lot of people fall asleep during massage?
23. Should I talk, or not?
24. Do you have shower facilities?
25. Ack! I forgot to shave my legs!
26. Ack! My stomach is making noises! 
27. You must really hate massaging people as fat, old, ugly as me…                                         
28. Can you massage the fat/cellulite away?
29. Can you skip massaging my _________?
30. Can you teach my spouse to massage me like that?
31. Can you diagnose my illness?
32. Can you adjust/crack my neck or back?
33. Do your hands hurt from doing massage all day?
34. How old do you have to be to get a massage?
35. Can I bring my own music for my massage?
36. Can you massage pets?
37. Are your linens clean?
38. I have had other massages that made me sore the next day, why is that?

39. How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?

1. Do you enjoy doing massage? What got you into this line of work? 
I consider myself very lucky to have a career that I absolutely love and am fulfilled by every day. I truly believe in the power and importance of a healing touch and enjoy being able to give that to others. I also love to help people find ways to empower themselves. I have massaged people since I was about 6 years old, and have been a massage therapist professionally since 1994.


2. What should I wear- will I be covered during my massage? 
You may undress to your particular level of comfort (you can wear shorts or underwear if it makes you more comfortable) however, you will be modestly draped with a sheet and/or blanket at all times.


3. Do I have to remain draped?  

Yes, you must remain draped throughout your massage session.                                             

4. Why do I need to fill out an intake form-client history? 
This will enable the massage therapist to serve you in the best way possible. This will show if you have any contraindications or conditions that would make it uncomfortable or even harmful to receive a massage. This is for your safety. It will also give me a history of your injuries, surgeries, or any type or repetitive movements (from work/hobbies, etc.) that you may do consciously or unconsciously, that may be causing your pain or discomfort. It will also help me to know what you like or dislike in a massage experience so I can make your appointment with me absolutely wonderful! (Information is strictly confidential).


5. Why do I have to drink water after my massage and not coffee, soda or alcohol? 
In general, we need plenty of water just to hydrate our tissues.(Please request a copy of my article on the importance of water). When we aren't t hydrated, our bodies can't perform optimally, and we can feel fatigued. When your muscles are tight, they may be entrapping nerves and blood vessels. When blood vessels are entrapped, the muscles can't get enough blood, oxygen and nourishment that they need. Meanwhile, the body’s cellular waste stays stuck in the restricted muscles (knots). (Imagine a kink in a hose).
When you receive a massage (particularly a deep tissue massage), this waste is flushed out of your system. 
It is also recommended to drink a few glasses throughout the day before your massage appointment. If you don’t drink at least 2 eight ounce glasses of water within a few hours after your session, or if you choose one of the other beverages listed above instead, you will more than likely experience soreness, fatigue, weakness or headaches for a day or two following your massage. WE DON’T WANT THIS TO HAPPEN!! We don't want to turn a relaxing, therapeutic experience into an unpleasant experience, so please --Drink your water!!


6. Why the cancelation policy? 
Well, believe it or not, this is how I make my living! Imagine going in to work your 8 hours, and your boss says, “Well, you have to sit at your desk all day, but there is no work so I am not paying you”, when you knew the day before you had much work to do…When a service provider (massage therapist, hair stylist, mechanic, dentist) puts you in their appointment book, that time slot is dedicated to you. If you give at least 24 hours notice, chances are we can fill that spot with someone else who needs the appointment. If not, that is fine…we would know ahead of time that we can take a break or study or run home to let the dogs out…or anything productive. Please don’t just 'not show up' -or call only 10 minutes or an hour before your appt---this is appreciated rather than just not showing up, but it still means that we can’t fill that space. I wanted to develop a cancelation policy that I would be comfortable with on both sides, so with me, if it is less than 24 hours notice there is a $30 fee to be collected at your next appointment time. I know things come up~ emergencies, illness, bad weather, and I will usually let it go once or twice. But, in order to stay in business and also pay my bills, I need to have this policy in place, and hope to attract clients who are honorable and respectful of my time, as I am theirs. The flip side of my policy is that if I ~ever~ need to cancel less than 24 hours notice, I will give you an extra 20 minutes free on top of your next paid hour appointment. I feel this is only fair. The only time I ever cancel is significant illness or other emergency. I have had people cancel last minute to go to a concert, or skiing, or just to party…and that is great to go have fun, but it is also important to be respectful of others. I truly thank each person for their understanding in this matter!


7. Why do you wait 2 days to call back? 
I have had a few people get very irritated at me, and a few business people allude to the possibility that this is not good business. I have placed on my outgoing messages that I will call back within 2 business days Mon-Thurs, and also to please state your name and number s-l-o-w-l-y.  Due to the nature of my business, I am usually either in a massage service/class, or on the road, and occasionally even take the whole day off.  wink I am not always able to answer the phone to give my undivided attention, or call back right away. If someone happens to call while I am in the middle of a full day, it may take me 1-2 days to call back. Friday is my only ‘real’ day off, and I work at other places on the weekend. 
It is much easier/quicker to contact me by Text... or by Email. Many times the time slot I get to contact people back is very early morning, or later in the evening. 

ALSO, sometimes I cannot make out the phone number because the caller said it very fast, or it gets warbled and it doesn’t come up on caller I.D….there is no way I can call them back.  There are also times I am sure to call clients back, and their child answers the phone, or something happens with their answering machine, so it may look like I didn’t call back, when I have… I very much appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding with this. I would never not call back just for the heck of it! 


8. Why is your availability so limited? 
I understand that this can be an inconvenience, and one of the reasons that the chain massage locations look so inviting, and I will do my best to accommodate.
 Evening appointments tend to book up quickly. I offer On-Site options on various days of the week and I work at other locations as well.  I also teach wellness workshops and write articles, and of course like to continue my studies to bring the best combination of techniques to you! I am also learning the art of “balance”, myself! So in order for me to refill my well to give the best service that you deserve, I am learning to carve out time to practice what I preach in terms of “self-care”~  
I always recommend booking in advance, and regular clients tend to book 2-6 sessions in advance to guarantee to time spots that work best for them. Daytime appointments are much more available.               

9. What massage methods do you use? 
I primarily combine Thai-Yoga Massage/Therapeutic Assisted Stretching techniques with  Relaxation and Corrective Deep Tissue Techniques, such as Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), Myofascial Release (MFR), Trigger point Therapy, Sports massage.


10. Why is proper posture/stretching so important? 
What you do at home is just as important as the massage sessions. One massage cannot undo the many years of neglect, abuse, injuries, etc. Likewise, regular massage can only be truly beneficial if we continue to take care of our bodies at home, even if only for a few minutes, several times throughout the day, and take notice of, and change the detrimental postural habits we all do.

After I give a massage, I will demonstrate a few stretches or self-massage techniques, suggest breathing exercises, and explain the importance of becoming aware of your posture and body mechanics. 
Particularly if you are participating in a series of massage with the purpose of rehabilitating your body. 
These are all important, along with proper nutrition, because your body wants to be in balance. 
If, for example, the muscles on the left side of your neck are consistently tight- over time they will shorten. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 
Therefore, the muscles on the right side of your neck will over-lengthen, and this will cause one imbalance which can cause tension, pain, headaches, limited movement, etc. Then because of our connective tissue (fascia), and your body's own righting reflexes, compensations start to happen throughout the body. What started off as a tight neck can also turn into a tight and raised hip, which will make one leg look shorter than the other. This is known as a functionally shortened leg. (A structurally shortened leg is when one of the leg bones is actually shorter than the other.) By massaging and stretching the shortened muscles longer than the lengthened muscles, we can bring the body back into balance, where it wants to be so that it can function optimally. Imagine what can happen in the body if our organs are being compressed by improper balance of the muscles!                                                                     
I can also take a few minutes before your session in order to do a brief posture assessment. This will help me to target the exact muscle groups that we would need to focus on, and which muscles need to be stretched longer. My goal is to help you release the restrictions in your body that are causing you pain and limited movement. If you also work toward that goal at home, this will increase the benefit and create longer lasting  changes.


11. What is this ‘Fascia’ ? 
Simply put, fascia is a connective tissue, similar to tendons and ligaments in your body that is like webbing from head to toe. It goes in, around and through all of the muscles in your body. One of its functions is to allow various sets of muscles to glide over each other. When there are restrictions, especially old restrictions, the muscles tend to get glued together and they have to move together, rather than glide over each other. This will make them tired, sore and weak.
Because of this gluing, the body begins to stay stuck in certain postures, particularly poor postures. When fascia is healthy, the body feels freer with much more movement and mobility, and less pain. We can keep it healthy by staying hydrated, stretching and receiving regular massage. 


12. How often should I get massaged? 
Each person is totally individual: it depends on the results that you are looking for. If you just want to generally relax or pamper yourself, perhaps once per month or quarterly would be fine. If you lead a more stressful life, between once per week and once per month. If you are looking for more corrective or rehabilitative work (have limited range of motion or chronic tension) once per week would be best. 
Remember that in most cases the chronic tension didn’t happen overnight, so it will take some time to bring the body back to a balanced state. I will show you various stretches to do at home to increase and enhance the benefits between sessions.


13. I wish I could afford to get massage more often- Why is massage so darn expensive? 
There are several factors to consider. After Uncle Sam, overhead costs, dividing other duties, such as laundry, accounting, errands, phone calls etc. the therapist isn't getting the full amount that you are paying 'per hour'. You are also paying for the therapist’s experience and education. We generally do not have paid days off for vacation or sick time. And of course it is also physically demanding. In a Spa, you are also paying for the pretty extras. 

That said, I also try to make massage as affordable as possible.
**In my practice, you will receive the full amount of time that you paid for. Some places give you a 50-55 minute hour and charge ‘less’, so it looks cheaper, or they charge more for heated stones/heated towels or aromatherapy.   

I also run specials and give incentives for referrals. You may want to host a Massage Party. You could come in with a friend for a Massage Lesson and I can teach you how to massage each other. 

 If you put $5- $10 aside each week, you could get a massage every 2 1/2 to 5 months. (Are there any bad habits you are trying to break? Maybe put a portion of that money into the jar…?) Massage makes a wonderful gift! Many people, rather that worry about receiving gifts that may need to be exchanged or are trying to 'declutter' and prefer experiences over tangible gifts, simply request Massage Gift Certificates for holidays and birthdays. 

14. Gratuity? 
To me, a gratuity is any token of appreciation. While monetary gratuity is appreciated, it is not expected. I enjoy big hugs and the look of relief on my client's faces just as much, if not more. Referrals are also a way to show gratitude. My business grows through your referrals, and it is the biggest compliment that I can receive. I would prefer someone who really needs regular massage to come in more often and NOT tip me, than not schedule because of the added expense.


15. What kind of products do you use? 
I use only plant based, cruelty free products. The oils and creams that I use are from plants, nuts, and seeds. For those with nut allergies, I use jojoba oil. I do not use petroleum based products (mineral oil or baby oil) because these are from non-renewable resources, they are not beneficial to the skin and usually leave a residue on the skin. (In fact, it is just refined motor oil…yuck!)

Plant based oils are absorbed more easily into the skin and act as a natural moisturizer. I also make sure to only use products that have not been tested on animals (which causes unnecessary pain and suffering).  The products that I use are safe and tested using other methods. (See www.caringconsumers.com for a listing of many products that are not animal tested).

I also offer the Body Cushion system. Rather than lying flat on the massage table, this system of specially designed bolsters follows the curves of your body, so it takes the stress off of your joints and back.


16. Is Maternity Massage safe?
 Absolutely! If you have any health concerns, please refer to your physician. In general, and as long as you are in good health, massage during pregnancy can actually ease a lot of discomfort. There are some therapists, out of personal preference, who choose not to do maternity massage, and some who choose not to massage until after the first trimester. However, there is no reason that massage cannot be administered in most cases. If in doubt, check with your physician. (My friend, Dr. Laureen Pladdys was sure to receive weekly or twice weekly massages during her pregnancy with triplets. It aided in her discomfort, and she gave birth to 3 beautiful and healthy baby boys!)


17. What if it’s ‘that time of the month’? 
This is a personal preference. There is no reason not to receive a massage at that time. It all depends on your comfort level. And of course massage certainly helps with aches, pains and bloatedness during that time!


18. Do you make house calls? 
Yes, I do house calls, massage parties, and couples massage. There is a 2 hour minimum, plus any applicable travel charge. Please see the On Site Options section.


19. Is massage sexual? Like prostitution? Do you do ‘extras’? 
No, No, and No! I personally haven't been asked this too often by my clients. Of course there are places that do that. But that is not what you will find here. I specialize in massage for therapeutic purposes only. Strictly non-sexual and non-sensual.


20. Is there anyone you won’t massage? 
Yes, see above question! I also won’t massage anyone that has a contagious skin condition, other contraindications (see Benefits & Contraindications), anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or who is extremely rude~


21. Should I cancel my appointment if I catch a cold or poison ivy? 
If it is a minor cold, you should be okay. However, it you get a bad cold or flu it would be best to cancel, for your benefit as well as mine. 
I would rather lose one appointment for the week rather than 20 and letting those 20 folks down… 
Poison Ivy- please do cancel!  And do not reschedule until there is no more rash. I am susceptible to it. This goes for any contagious skin conditions. Thanks!


22. Do a lot of people fall asleep during massage? 
Yes, about half of the clients drift off for a while.  I have only had to shake someone awake 2 or 3 times! Yes, sometimes people snore, the best compliment you can give a massage therapist! (along with drooling and belly rumbles!)


23. Should I talk, or not? 
This is up to you, I will follow your lead. I encourage whatever makes you feel most comfortable. I do suggest that you keep your topic something positive or light, for relaxation purposes.
Many people like to talk for the first 5-10 minutes just to sort of get 'out of their head' to be able to relax the rest of the time. 


24. Do you have shower facilities? 
No, I do not. It is always appreciated that you come to your appointment relatively clean.  If you are simply coming from the office, that is not a problem. If you are concerned with feeling oily afterwards, I use massage cream or a lotion/oil combination to prevent this. I can also remove the oil/cream with heated towels.

25. Ack! I forgot to shave my legs! 
I always apologize when I forget, too but it s really not a problem. Besides the guys rarely shave their legs, so I think I can handle it!


26. Ack! My stomach is making noises! Or something else just made a noise… 
Again, not a problem. Stomach noises are a positive sign. When you are stressed, your body is in sympathetic mode, your digestive process slows down so other things can speed up. When you are relaxed, you go into parasympathetic mode. 
This is when your digestion picks up and everything else calms down. Sometimes my stomach makes noises while I m giving a massage, so we can have a little symphony! As for other noises hey, we’re all human. It happens to everyone at some time or another!


27. You must really hate massaging people as fat, old, ugly …as me. 
First, when I massage someone, I am not looking for imperfections. I do not see fat/thin, male/female, young/old I simply see someone who needs a healing touch. The only thing I am searching for is tension in muscles. Secondly, with that in mind, please, please do not ask or say those things when you come in for your sessions.   I’m not looking for those traits and those statements cause some pretty awkward moments! 


28. Can you massage the fat/cellulite away? 
If I could I would be a millionaire! And I would have the best legs on the block wink Massage can give you more awareness of your body, and make you feel better about yourself to take measures to care for yourself in various ways. There are several different theories as to what cellulite is…the fat cells themselves, fluid between the cells, toxins, and muscle adhesions in some cases… Even if I could massage it away, I would not offer that service, because it largely depends on various measures of self care (Including diet and exercise along with various products and skin brushing) and since I cannot possibly monitor how much effort someone is putting into their self-care, I would prefer not to encourage anyone to waste their time or money.

29. Can you skip massaging my _________?
Some people have certain areas they prefer not to be massaged. 
Typical areas would be; feet, face, scalp, abdomen or buttocks. Other people may love to have those areas massaged. I list this in my Intake Form, we can skip any such areas you like. Private areas are never massaged.


30. Can you teach my spouse to massage me like that? 
Absolutely! Well, maybe not exactly like me! I can teach you some basic movements. I can show you how to do it with more benefits to both the giver and receiver. The main thing to remember is, it needs to come from your heart, not from a sense of obligation. See Wellness Workshops and Calendar of Events.


  
31. Can you diagnose my illness? 
No! Please don’t ask me to do that. It is out of my scope of practice.
Do you really want someone diagnosing you that doesn't t have the proper training?


32. Can you adjust or crack my neck or back? No!
Please don't ask me to do that either. I never intentionally adjust anyone. Sometimes a spontaneous alignment may happen as the muscles relax. That is just a little bonus, similar to when you stretch and feel your spine align.


33. Do your hands hurt from doing massage all day? 
Not too often. I use my body weight and posture more than the strength of my hands. Oddly enough, they usually don’t hurt 'til someone asks me that!


34. How old do you have to be to get a massage? 
Actually, even infants can receive massage.  Generally, you can find classes where a practitioner will teach the parents how to do it. 
I require that a client be a minimum of 8 years of age. I will massage those between the ages of 8-14 up to 30 minutes, with parent present. 15 and older can receive an hour or longer. 
Time frames can also depend on whether someone is exceptionally small or tall for their age. Massage is exceptionally beneficial for the mature population as well.


35. Can I bring my own music for my massage? 
Absolutely! I play relaxing music, however bring in anything that makes you feel relaxed-- kindly leave your death metal music at home though! Thanks! Some have even brought in meditation cd’s. 


36. Can you massage pets? 
I massage my furkids all the time. I would be happy to show you how to massage your dog or cat. 

 
37. Are your linens clean? 

No! I re-use them over and over until someone complains about the smell! laughYes, of course I wash my linens between each use. I haven’t been asked that, but it has crossed my mind at some appointments that I have had~.


38. I have had other massages that made me sore the next day, why is that? 
There are several explanations for this. First and foremost, is the importance of drinking at least 2-8oz glasses of water within an hour of your massage. If your muscles are restricted and get loosened up during your massage, then metabolic or cellular waste (such as lactic acid) is released into your bloodstream. The water helps to flush it away. If you don't drink the water, it is very possible you will feel tired, sore, or headache-y. Another possibility will depend on the amount of adhesions (knots) you have, and if the therapist was really working them out. This should feel like general workout soreness, but NOT "PAIN".  It is also possible the therapist did use too much pressure for your body. Every "body" is different, and each individual can be different from day to day, body part to body part.  I have learned over the years to listen to my client's body, in addition to what they say they want. If the client says "extremely deep pressure" but their body is saying "no way!" I listen to the body. If the client gets mad at me, then that is something I have to deal with. I would prefer that than someone to be in actual "pain" the next day. I will ask you once or twice if the pressure is suitable, and ask that you let me know if you are ever uncomfortable. PLEASE, do not worry about "offending" your therapist if the pressure isn't suitable to you. Let them know, especially if it is really hurting you. While a "mild discomfort" is necessary in certain modalities to create a response in the tissues (such as in NMT), this will feel like a "good hurt"...not "pain". A responsible therapist always stays within the tolerance of their client.

(On the other side of the fence... I know I can take a good amount of pressure on most of my body, and yet have had multiple therapists refuse to go deep enough...which has resulted in much frustration, disappointment, and in some cases even more pain. There is a unique balance between listening to what someone vocally asks for, what their body is allowing us to do, and our knowledge base/limitations as a therapist. I also know that many clients have underestimated my ability for pressure, and some shy away from pressure because they have had therapists who have been too rough in  the past. All of this is to say that communication between you and your therapist is of utmost importance! There are many times I have not spoken up to my own therapists, partly because I wanted to see how bad it could get... and I also learned from it professionally. And in more recent years I have spoken up, to my chagrin being met with insulting rational as to why someone would not give what I was asking for (my body was too 'delicate'... or even my muscles were too 'dense'...(neither was true)... they did not want to give an extra 2 minutes on my hands because it would hurt their own hands...'oh, I know you asked for this, but I am going to do what I want anyway' (yes... at least 4 different therapists have said that to me...) So... I GET IT. This is a short list of many many disappointments I have had. So please, lets communicate freely!
 
  
39. How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins (metabolic waste) are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage.

 

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