These are some of the most frequently asked questions about massage therapy. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
Is there anything I should or shouldn't do before my massage?
Try to arrange your schedule so that you are not rushed to make your appointment. This will allow you to be as relaxed as possible right from the start. It is good to avoid eating a large meal for 1 hour before your scheduled session so that you will not be uncomfortable lying down. You may also be most comfortable if you are able to shower before your massage, especially if you have been exercising. Please note that it is against NYS law to provide massage to any one under the influence of any prescribed or non-prescribed intoxicating substance.
Why do I have to fill out paperwork?
While massage can greatly benefit many health conditions, some massage techniques are not appropriate to use when certain health conditions are present or certain medications are being used. By filling out a health history form at your first visit with all of your known health conditions (i.e. allergies and heart conditions), I can design a safe and appropriate massage session for your individual needs. Your wellbeing is always the highest priority.
What type of massage I should receive?
After reviewing your health history with you, I will ask you what your goal is for the current session (i.e. relaxation, pain relief, increased joint mobility). I will then design the most appropriate session for your personal goal. I may use one technique or, most often, incorporate a variety of techniques into the massage. I will let you know what to expect during the massage and answer any questions you may have before we begin. You are welcome to request a specific technique that I provide, as long as there are no health cautions for it. Please see massage services for more information on the techniques I use.
Do I have to undress for my massage?
You are invited to undress only to your level of comfort for your massage. Certain techniques, such as Swedish massage and myofascial release, need to be performed directly on the skin and might require the use of massage oil while others, like stretching, may be more comfortably performed with exercise clothing on. Specific techniques to be used will be discussed during your intake. When undressing, some people choose to remove all of their clothing, and some people leave undergarments on. You will be left alone in your private room to dress and undress and will always be discreetly draped with a sheet, with only the area being massaged uncovered at any given time. All NYS guidelines for draping are strictly followed. It is best to remove all jewelry possible.
What if I am not comfortable with my body?
As a professional massage therapist I believe that health and beauty exists in everybody that I work with. My goal is to create a safe and comfortable space where you can come to share these beliefs too. I do not feel any judgment toward the wide variety of body types that I work with and I hope to instill that attitude in my clients as well. Experiencing the "good feelings" that come from receiving massage can gently reconnect your mind and body and result in an improved self-image. Of course, if there are any areas that you are not comfortable having addressed during the massage, please feel free to let me know before we begin.
What is the massage room like?
Your private massage room has a cushioned, heated massage table with fresh linens just for you. Soft lighting and music will also enhance your relaxation. There is space for your clothing and belongs as well.
Do I have to talk during my massage?
Some massage techniques may require communication regarding
pressure or joint movement. If this is not necessary it is fine for you to let yourself slip into quiet relaxation. Talking is OK too, but sometimes conversation keeps us from noticing how things feel in our bodies during a massage and reduce the effectiveness of the work. If you need any changes at all during the massage, such as more or less pressure, a change in body positioning or a temperature adjustment, please feel free to ask for it at any time. Communicating about your comfort and needs is always important.
Should massage hurt?
Masage should not hurt. The attitude of "no pain, no gain" does not apply to massage. While some massage techniques may be intense, painful bodywork can actually be counterproductive. If you feel like you want to flinch, or hold your breath during massage, then your muscles are contracting, not relaxing and lighter pressure is called for. It is important to communicate about your pain level during intensive work and keep it at therapeutic level. As you breath through a pressure on a tender point, the discomfort should diminish. Deep tissue work in a particular area can cause mild soreness for 24 hours after your session. See "after my session" below.
Is there anything I should do after my session?
To maximize the benefits of your massage, you should drink extra water following our session to rehydrate your tissue and assist with the flushing of waste products. Drinking plenty of water after your session can also help reduce soreness. Try to take it easy after your massage. Rest and gentle movement will help integrate the work you have received. If mild soreness occurs from deep work, applying ice as prescribed should help. Gentle stretches in the hours after your massage to help your muscles work in a more efficient, balanced way and continued stretching as suggested will make your massage benefits last longer. Lastly, emotions are held in the tissues of the body and may come to the surface during or after treatment. If you feel any range of emotion, you should try to allow it to surface and be expressed without judgement until it recedes. This is a very effective way to reduce pain, increase energy and get the maximum results from your bodywork.
Should I tip?
Tipping is always at your discretion. Referrals are another great way of showing your appreciation for a valued service.
How quickly can I get an appointment and what length session should I book?
To ensure that your schedule can be accommodated most easily, it is best to schedule an appointment 3-5 days ahead. Short notice requests are accommodated whenever possible, but booking ahead guarantees you will get your bodywork needs met on a specific day. Please be aware some injuries should not be treated with certain types of massage until after a 48 hour recovery time had occurred and it may be best to first consult your primary care physician as well. 30-60 minute sessions are good for focused, specific work in one area. It is best to allow at least 60 minutes for a full body relaxation massage. And a 90 minute session is suggested for thoroughly addressing both a specific, focused area of discomfort and full body relaxation. Some soft tissue pain can be eliminated in just one appointment, but pain which has taken months or years to develop may take multiple sessions to be eased. Every session will produce benefits towards your recovery.
Licensed Massage Therapist
4 Executive Park Dr., 2nd Floor
Albany, NY 12203