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Questions & Answers

What is Massage?

The application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation. The many variations of massage account for several different techniques. [See also Description of Massage Modalities.]

What is Bodywork?

Bodywork is various forms of touch therapies that may use manipulation, movement, and/or repatterning to affect structural changes to the body.

Why should I get a Massage?

People get massage therapy for relaxation or for a variety of health conditions:

  • Back pain
  • Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
  • Stress relief and stress-related conditions
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
  • Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Circulatory and respiratory problems
  • Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation

Massage therapy relieves stress. It is thought to help the body's stress response by lowering levels of hormones such as cortisol. Massage therapy also appears to enhance immune function. [See also the Benefits of Therapies page for additional information.]

Will my Insurance cover Massage and Bodywork?

The services of a licensed Therapist in Massage and Bodywork may be covered by health insurance when prescribed by a chiropractor or osteopath. Therapies provided as part of a prescribed treatment by a physician or registered physical therapist are often covered.

Are there any medical conditions that would make Massage or Bodywork unsafe?

Yes. Before you begin your session, the therapist will ask general health questions about your current health. It is very important that you inform the therapist of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required.

Massage therapy is not recommended for:

  • People with infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds
  • Immediately after surgery
  • Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
  • People prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage
  • Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage. Massage in pregnant women should be done by massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage.

Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.

What is a Trigger Point?

A trigger point is a small contraction knot in the muscles of the body, which often feels like a pea buried deep into the muscle.  Trigger points affect a muscle by keeping it both tight and weak and are the primary cause of pain in roughly 75 percent of patients. 

What is Massage Cupping?

Massage Cupping rapidly facilitates rigid soft tissue release, loosens and lifts connective tissue, breaks up and drains stagnation, toxins and pathogenic factors, while increasing circulation and engaging the nervous system in ways not possible using compression.

Am I supposed to take off my underwear when I get a Massage?

Many people prefer to keep their panties or briefs on during a massage, while others prefer to be completely nude. It's up to you.

If your problem areas are your lower back, hips, buttocks, or groin, tight-fitting underwear can sometimes get in the way of massage work, but a thong for women or briefs for men should do the trick.

If you do remove your underwear, licensed massage therapists must ensure that you are always properly covered by a sheet or towel. Only the area being massaged will be uncovered.

Will the massage therapist be there when I undress?

The massage therapist will leave the room so that you can remove your clothing and lie on the massage table (usually face down) under the top sheet.

Don't rush or worry that the massage therapist will walk in on you -- the massage therapist always knocks and asks if you are ready before entering the massage room.

Should I talk to the massage therapist during the Massage?

Although some people prefer to talk throughout the massage, don't feel like you have to make conversation with the massage therapist.  Feel free to close your eyes and relax, which is what most people do.

Deep tissue massage and sports massage are just some of the types of massage that require more feedback. The massage therapist often works on deeper layers of muscle and will want to ensure that the pressure is not uncomfortable.

Be sure to speak up if:

  • the room is too hot or too cold
  • you experience pain
  • you have any questions related to the massage
  • there's anything you forgot to mention during the consultation

Will Massage therapy hurt?

Massage therapy shouldn't hurt. Occasionally there is mild aching when the massage therapist applies pressure over "knots" and other areas of muscle tension. If the pressure is too strong for you, let the massage therapist know.

How will I feel after a Massage?

Most people feel calm and relaxed after a treatment. Occasionally, people experience mild temporary aching for a day.

How often do I need a Massage to feel the benefits?

You can reap many of the health benefits — like lowered stress and anxiety with a single massage. Acute injuries like whiplash, however, may call for weekly sessions. You should feel physically much more relaxed and loose for the first three days afterward, and the physiological effects may last much longer.

Why am I told to drink water after a Massage?

After you have received a massage many of the toxins that are stored up in the muscles are released and need to exit your body. In order to do so you need enough water in your system to aid in the detoxification. If you do not get enough water your muscles will be sore, you will feel lethargic and possibly ill. 

What should I do after the massage? 

You can’t jump from first gear to fifth without your car complaining — likewise with your body. Rest for 20 minutes before you reenter the fray of traffic, work or grocery store lines. This allows your body to gradually ramp back up.

  Lisa's Healing Center