215 West Second Avenue, Suite B Spokane, WA 99201 US
GENERAL MASSAGE INFORMATION
What Is Massage Like?
Your First Appointment Massage 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 be like?"
What are some types of massage?
There 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. Many 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 body.
What is a massage therapist?
Massage 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.
What is the first appointment like?
Your massage therapist will begin by asking you general health questions since there are some conditions for which massage is not appropriate. Depending 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 worked on. You 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. For 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. A 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.
What should I do during a massage?
Make 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. Many 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. The 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.
How will a massage feel?
Massage on healthy tissue feels good. The normal response is to slow down, breathe deeply, and relax. Some people are surprised to find that a massage does not tickle. Your massage therapist uses gentle but firm pressure, gradually preparing you for deeper touch. The 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.
How long is a session?
Sixty 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 area.
What should I expect afterwards?
Massage and bodywork can be profoundly relaxing, affecting all your body's systems. Give yourself a moment to reorient before slowly getting up. After 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. Sometimes 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.
Grounds 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.