Massage Frequently Asked Questions
Some people choose not to wear any clothes, while other people prefer to leave on their undergarments. In the case of a general or relaxation massage, or what is often called “Swedish” massage, there is an almost universal procedure among massage therapists in the U.S. You are asked to undress to whatever point you are comfortable. This means you may remain fully clothed, you may undress completely or anything in between. The massage therapist leaves the room and gives you sufficient time to undress. You get onto the table under a sheet or towel or some such covering. During the massage, only the part of your body currently being worked on is uncovered. Those parts of your body generally considered private are not uncovered or worked on. If you have any particular preferences about parts of your body to be exposed and worked on or not exposed and not worked on, you should discuss this with the massage therapist before the session. If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of the massage, you should inform the therapist immediately. As you get to know the therapist over repeated sessions, some of your preferences and your level of comfort may very well change, at which time you may discuss any aspect of your treatment with the therapist. In the case of pain relief work, or what I call problem-solving therapy, the matter of undressing and covering will depend primarily on two factors: 1) what and where the problem is (and remember, the true cause of the pain may not be where you think it is), and 2) what approach, modalities and techniques the particular therapist uses. The therapist will generally let you know where and how he or she intends to work on you, and ask you to undress to whatever degree is necessary for effective work to take place. You may be covered by a sheet or towel, or an examination gown may be provided. As in all health procedures, all treatment is subject to your informed consent. It is a good idea to discuss these issues with the therapist before treatment begins. In the case of posture alignment therapy, the therapist needs to be able to view your whole body at once, and work on broad areas of your body at a time. For this reason you are minimally clothed, usually in just your underwear, during treatment. The therapist is entitled — in fact, obligated — to establish treatment policies according to his or her best judgment, and you are entitled to decline any procedure which is not acceptable to you.
Massage therapy is generally purchased in 30, 60 or 90 minute increments (except for chair massage). The cost will vary depending on the type of package (if any) you choose to purchase. A one hour session will generally cost between $49.00 and $65.00.
The most important aspect to choosing a massage therapist should be based on their qualifications and level of professionalism. At D.R.E.A.M. Wellness, all of our massage therapists are fully licensed and trained in the most up to date techniques available. Some of the therapists may have a greater background in the type of massage that you may choose. If you click on the links to the side and read about each one and make a decision, you won’t be dissapointed!
It is rare for an insurance company to pay in full for a massage service. Currently the 3rd party pay system is more designed for “sick care” as opposed to wellness care. Therefore, many insurance restrictions are placed on services that include massage. That is why D.R.E.A.M. Wellness prefers to not take insurance benefits on assignment unless in some rare cases it’s combined with Chiropractic care. However, if your insurance does cover massage, we will gladly provide you with the paperwork necessary for reimbursement from your insurance carrier.
Massage should obviously not be done over the site of any recent tissue damage, such as a broken bone, a bruise, or a wound. Care should be taken with deep work on persons with fragile or brittle bones. Areas of internal organic problems should be avoided. If there is any doubt, you may certainly consult with one of our message therapists for advise, or if you prefer, you may visit your primary health care provider. Be sure to tell the therapist beforehand about any recent health problems, injuries or surgeries.
Chiropractic addresses the function of the nerve system based on the alignment of the vertebrae. Massage therapy addresses the soft tissues — that is, the muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments. Chiropractors acknowledge that if muscles are too tight, adjustments either may be difficult to perform or will not last very long. “Bones go where muscles put them. Bones stay where muscles keep them.”
The parent is always welcome in the room during a child’s session, and if the parent is ever to be absent for any length of time, it is made clear that there are no secrets in the therapy room — that the child should feel free to tell the parent any and everything that happens — and that nothing will be done in the parent’s absence that would not be done in the parent’s presence. Clearly, a parent should always be present during a session with a child of six or younger. Equally important to understand is, there is no particular need for the presence of a parent during the session of a seventeen-year-old, unless the client prefers it. It’s the in-between that gets tricky, and our basic policy is to have the parent and the child make the decision.
NOTE: When a parent of a school-age child is present during a session, I suggest that he/she bring a book or something else to do. The relationship between the therapist and the client is very important, and this is an excellent opportunity for a child to learn to relate to a health professional without a high degree of parent involvement.
It depends on the type of therapy and what kinds of problems you may have. General relaxation massage should not hurt. Most energy-related therapies are painless, except acupressure or shiatsu, which may access painful points. Any therapy that directly addresses myofascial (soft-tissue or muscular) problems (such as deep tissue, trigger point, or similar therapies) may be painful when treating problem areas; the pain comes not from the work itself but from the tissue pathology. As we tell our clients, nothing we do should hurt if everything is OK — but frequently they come to us because everything was NOT OK. In any case, the client needs to let the therapist know if the pain is more than he or she cares to tolerate. And many clients describe the therapeutic work as “hurting good,” meaning that they feel the difference between constructive and destructive pain.
Each person’s body is different, and responds to different things. Your therapist knows this, and won’t take anything personally. They want you to enjoy your massage, so if something doesn’t feel exactly right, speak up, and they will try and change things more to your liking.
When you get a massage, the kneading motion releases many toxins from your muscles into the body. By drinking water, it helps flush these toxins out of your body. If you don’t drink water, you may end up feeling really sore, or even nauseated.
Absolutely. It is important to find out why it is uncomfortable to lie on your stomach. Many times expectant mothers, people who are overweight, women with large breasts, and people who have had a recent surgery find it uncomfortable to lie on their stomach. In these cases, use of a special pillow that is placed on top of the standard massage table is helpful. The pillow has more cushioning, and most people find that they are quite comfortable lying on their stomach when they use it.
If, on the other hand, you are uncomfortable lying on your stomach because of breathing problems, or other issues, massage can still be done while you are lying on each side, and then on your back. The only drawback to this approach is that it may prevent your massage therapist from giving as deep of a massage as you would get if you were lying on your stomach.