Six Unspoken Questions About Massage Therapy
Question: I’m uncomfortable getting undressed for massage, do I have to be completely undressed for a massage?
Answer: No, you take off the clothes you are comfortable taking off. Talk to your massage therapist and he or she will explain and adapt to your needs. Wearing more clothes can complicate or diminish the effectiveness of certain techniques, but can most certainly enjoy getting a massage wearing casual clothes. Your massage therapist may not be able to use lotion and your massage may not work as deeply, but your comfort is important and you will still be able to have a very satisfying massage experience.
Question: How do I talk to my massage therapist about money? I would like to come more frequently but it is financially not possible.
Answer: If you feel your financial situation won’t allow you to receive further treatment, please talk to us we can help make sure you’ve considered all your options.
Sometimes your employer or insurance carrier may have you covered to receive massage therapy. Many people have coverage, but do not know it. Conditions and reimbursement can vary greatly, but may include full or partial reimbursement of your massage therapy sessions.
If you do not have any coverage, there are still options available. Consider coming in for shorter sessions, or if you have some flexibility with your schedule ask your therapist for a spot on their standby list. Your therapist might consider a discount fee if you can pop in for a last minute appointment.
Question: I’m not sure how much to tip for massage services.
Answer: Massage therapists working in spas usually receive only a percentage, and split the fee with the spa owner or receive a salary. When visiting a spa, it is common to tip 15-20 percent. Therapists may depend on tips for their income, in the same manner as restaurant servers will.
Your independent massage therapist will appreciate tips as well. The bottom line is if you feel like tipping, offer, and if you feel tipping is not appropriate, don’t.
We will visit more questions in our next blog entry. Make sure you come back and get answers to all your questions, or talk to your massage therapist today.
Lately, people have been asking about what a Spa Party is. GREAT question! We actually specialize in Mobile Spa Parties for every occasion.
If you have any day or several days where you want to gather friends for birthdays, girlfriend getaways, bachelorette parties, bridal parties, golf outings, family reunions, conventions, office retreats, employee appreciation, anniversaries, chair massage, private events, CHAMBER events, etc., we are your team.
A Spa Party is essentially a few therapists on-site to provide massages, facials, body treatments, manis pedis, etc. specifically for your event. These are usually priced for your budget and we design the day for you according to treatments and schedule. Poolside massages are wonderful for your group after the sun goes down.
Each guest receives a spa goody bag. Additionally, morning bookings receive a supply of bagels and cream cheese from Townie Bagels and late afternoon early evenings receive wine from CraveyonCloudWines.
We just introduced an offer where you can get a free massage! Yes lots of freebies with us!
Buy 5 sessions at regular price and get the 6th free. That can be used for anyone, and are often for the bride-to- be at the bachelorette parties. Of you can choose a gift certificate to be used for yourself or to give as a gift.
Our team has licensed male and female therapists and we have been in business for 18 years. Please make sure you make the right choice!
The Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area is all about relaxation. A mobile massage or facial completes that experience.
What is the best way to choose a mobile massage or facial professional? Here are some things to consider.
Make sure you are engaging a licensed and insured company. Don’t hesitate to ask to see the license when they arrive.
When booking your appointment, ask if they travel to the area you are in. Whether you are in Palm Springs, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Indio or Coachella, ask if the therapist knows your area. If that therapist only works in Palm Springs, they may be unfamiliar with the area or unwilling to travel to you. Speaking of travel, you should not have to pay for travel time. The price you are quoted should be for the time you are spending on the table.
When quoted a rate, ask if it’s for a full clock hour, or only 50 minutes. The 50 minute session often is 46 minutes in reality. Wouldn’t you rather have your full hour?
There are other considerations, so please call or email to hear more.
In addition to relaxation, there are other reasons to get massage. A popular one is to relieve pain brought on from sciatica or if you are a golfer or tennis player massage can help prevent injury. Therapeutic mobile massage is helpful to those already injured and prefers to stay in their own environment.
Whether its stress, pain, injury, inactivity or disease, a mobile massage is just what your body yearns for.
If you look at the natural world around you, you’ll be surprised by what it can teach you about your own self-care. We can attune to the cycle of the seasons, letting that awareness bring a healthy balance of self-care measures into our lives. Spring, for example, is the season of new growth and is associated with movement, physical exercise, and activity.
So how can massage and bodywork best support us throughout the changing seasons? Whether literal or metaphorical, the seasons represent times of differing needs and preferences.
Spring is a time of growth and change, and naturally gives rise to the urge to become more physically active. The growing light and warmer days are conducive to greater movement, including therapeutic and recreational exercise. Bodywork that supports you in your exercise regimen can be useful in this phase and helps keep you motivated.
This is the natural season for sports massage, or techniques that address muscle soreness after exercise. Deep-tissue massage or orthopedic modalities can address specific muscle pain or tension. Getting work on trigger points or motor points of muscles helps them relax after exercise. Massage before exercise, using techniques of broad or specific compression, can help prevent soreness by warming and activating the muscles.
Many people find that massage in the early part of the day, while relaxing, can also be rejuvenating, helping them feel motivated to exercise. It also helps you feel energized and in tune with your body. Conversation during the session should focus on your specific needs. It can be useful to tell your therapist what kind of exercise you are doing and what your goals are as they relate to your physical activity.
Here are some tips for ensuring that your Massage Therapy session is exactly what you need. You can ask some of these questions at the time of booking your appointment and/or with your therapist. Each item is not listed in order of importance.
- Ask about licensing and insurance. This seems obvious but many are operating without one or both of these.
- Ask about education and how long they have been in practice. It is more important that they have experience over how many hours they have of school instruction. I myself have been a full time therapist for 18 years and have a lot of mileage, versus thousands of hours of schooling.
- Tell the therapist of any injuries, neck, back problems, situations, medications, surgeries and allergies if any.
- Talk about why you are there today. What is your goal of the session? Ask about a longer session to include more time on one area. This is especially applicable if ordering Deep Tissue, as this is a slow modality often designed to focus on one area.
- Make sure the therapist is listening to you. If you don’t want your feet or any thing else worked on, say so. It is your session and you are in control.
- Know that you will undress to your level of comfort, meaning leaving underwear on or not. You will always be covered except for the area we are working on at the time we are working on it.
- Eat a light meal or snack about an hour before the session and of course hydrate before and after. Feel free to use the restroom during your session and you will still get your full time on the table.
- Ask if you will receive a 60 or 90 or 120 min hour, or a ‘spa hour’ which is often 10 plus minutes less (as is customary in most large spas)
- When purchasing a gift certificate, suggest that the recipient can easily make their reservation by contacting is and whether they want it at their location or our studio.
- If pregnant, know that lying face down on the table is a contraindication. Some spas do it. We don’t. We can access the entire body without risking your safety.
- If ordering a mobile service, please ensure that the therapist has enough room to set up the table and walk around it comfortably. If the therapist can work comfortably, you will get a better massage! If enjoying your treatment outdoors, ensure that sprinklers will not operate at that time.
- After your treatment and as often as possible, consume at least 2 glasses of room temperature or warm lemon water.
- When booking a spa party, tell us what time you need to start and be finished by and approximately how many guests so we can schedule accordingly.
We all need “time out” — the personal space to step outside of our routine activity and settle into a quiet healing time alone with ourselves. Whether it is a physical haven or an inner refuge, it is a safety zone to which you can retreat when you feel out of balance, overloaded or stuck; a place where you are not judged, criticized or pressured; a place where you feel supported to let go and to be “you.” We all have this need for sanctuary.
Sanctuary is a safe container — a place where we can be authentic and vulnerable. In a world that appears increasingly unsafe, we need this. Whether we are weary in body, mind or spirit, or we are feeling in some way wounded or afflicted by anger, grief, fear or despair, sanctuary is a womb we can retreat to for support and rest. It can be restorative, helping us to once again find renewed balance within ourselves and our world.
Sanctuary is a place of sacredness. In it, we reconnect with the vibrancy, the beauty and the wonder of life. It can inspire deep communion, a celebration of relationship with nature or another being. In sanctuary, we remember our interconnectedness.
Sanctuary is a place of healing. Here we attune to truth, to wholeness. We are able to turn inward for reflection and insight, spiritual renewal and creative regeneration.
An important criterion is the feeling of emotional safety. This is an emotional, somatic and spiritual experience. When we feel emotional safety, we open. There is a sense of peace and of connection, as well as the ability to let go and breathe freely. Feelings of warmth, joy, trust and belonging are common. When we do not feel emotional safety, typical experiences include feelings of isolation, hopelessness, wanting to hide or disappear, a sense of impending doom or threat, physical tension and the inability to relax, a visceral sense of unease or distress, feeling overwhelmed by dark emotions, and a mind that works overtime. For these latter symptoms, we often turn to pharmaceuticals, psychotherapy, medical treatments or immersion in activity in our search for relief.
Massage is one way we can experience sanctuary. Clearly, not all bodywork has the intention of creating a container for emotional safety, but when so desired, massage therapy can be an invaluable sanctum in the midst of a spirit-eroding environment of conflict and turmoil.
Growing older does not have to mean growing old. So you might be asking yourself just how to stave off the effects of aging? Well it just so happens that the preventative and restorative nature of massage might just be what your body needs, and here is how.
Improved Circulation, Healthier Skin
As your body ages, your circulation slows and your skin loses its youthful vitality. Experts say massage helps to combat these effects by increasing circulation through the manipulation of tissue, improving the appearance and condition of the skin and its elasticity, and toning muscle tissue.
Immunity and Stress
If you already enjoy massages regularly, you know how massage helps combat stress, but did you know how detrimental stress can be?
Experts are saying that many diseases we encounter today can be associated with stress. Researchers are also saying how stress ages the body, weakens your bodies ability to fight off illness, and can make your cells appear up to 17 years older than they are. Through massage you relieve stress and are directly helping your bodies immune system.
Part of the aging involves dealing with various forms of pain. For example back pain you never experienced before, or your biking regimen now requires greater recovery time afterward. Even though pain is a constant source of grief for an aging body, massage can make a difference.
The passive movement in massage keeps joints more mobile and stimulates the synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints and nourishes the articular cartilage. Massage also prompts the release of endorphins and other pain-reducing neurochemicals.
In addition to the pains of physical exertion an aging body experiences, the discomfort caused by arthritis can be just as debilitating. Experts predict that one third of all Americans will experience some level of arthritis. Most arthritis sufferers do not think of massage when they consider therapies to help ease their pain. While it is unlikely for massage to cure arthritis, it may help to lessen the pain with no side effects.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, an increasing number of doctors are recommending massage to their arthritis patients. Massage can increase circulation around painful joints, bringing healing oxygen and nutrients, including amino acids, to rebuild tissue. Many massage therapists report that their arthritic clients find better and longer-lasting relief from massage than from pharmaceuticals.
Whether its reducing the symptoms of arthritis, or simply addressing the aches and pains of living an active life, massage can play an important role in aging well.
The benefits from massage and bodywork can help bodies of all ages:
- Improve range of motion and helps with lower back pain.
- Improve circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
- Provide exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles.
- Reduce swelling and scar tissue.
- Reduce recovery time from injury or after surgery.
- Reduce stress.
- Releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller, thereby reducing the need for medications.
- Stimulates lymph flow and supports the body’s natural process of detoxification.
In addition to all the physical benefits massage and bodywork offers, there also are proven psychological changes we experience with massage. If you suffer from arthritis, we are confident you will feel the difference. Call us today and let us help reduce your arthritis pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can starts as a feeling of numbness in the fingers or hand. It can quickly become debilitating and put you out of a job if you work with your hands.
It is often caused by repeating the same movements day in and day out for prolonged periods of time. This type of injury creates tiny tears in the fibers of the soft tissues of your body. While they don’t immediately cause loss of function, these micro-tears set up conditions for chronic inflammation that will eventually manifest as pain, soreness, tightness, tingling, and burning.
Recent studies show that massage, can provide a wide variety of benefits that may surprise you. Boost your bodies immune system, relieve non muscular pain and better control your blood pressure.
1. Boost your immunity. Multiple studies have measured the stress hormone cortisol, a hormone that kills cells that are essential to your immunity. Studies showed that regular massage reduces stress levels and greatly diminished the cortisol in your body.
2. Blood Pressure: Recent research suggests massage reduces hypertension. A Southern Florida University study showed that hypertension patients who received 10 massages over a three week period demonstrated dramatic improvements in blood pressure as apposed to a group who received no massage and just rested in the same environment.
3. Relieve Pain: Massage creates chemical changes in your body that reduce pain and stress throughout the body. Massage can reduce the brain chemical substance P that is related to pain. In a recent study, individuals with fibromyalgia showed diminished levels of substance P after a just 8 massage sessions.
Give us a call today and feel the difference.
Summer is the season of abundance and warmth, and a time to enjoy the nourishing gifts of the natural world. It is the time for social connection, travel, and new experience. Massage and bodywork for this season encourage you to feel a sense of wholeness and integration in your body. It is deeply nurturing for your body and mind, providing an opportunity for physical and emotional healing.
Techniques of integrative massage can be the perfect modality to nurture you in the summertime. This technique utilizes a slow rhythm, full hand contact, and firm, gliding strokes that emphasize the interconnectiveness of the parts of the body. Like the warmth of the summer sun, massage for this season allows you to relax your body, effortlessly letting go of long held patterns of tension and opening your heart and mind to new experience.
Because summer is a natural time for travel, it can also be a time to indulge your own spirit of adventure and try something new in your self-care program.
Travel into our studio, or we will travel to your location!