Warning: I take what I do very seriously, but life is too short to be serious about everything all the time. So take the humor (ok, sarcasm) in the manner intended, and have a chuckle at my expense. However, I have answered all of these questions in sessions with clients. Yes. Even that one.
I tell my son this all the time. If there is an issue that you have that you want addressed, DO NOT keep quiet about it. I cannot do anything about it after the session is ended, unless you come in again. If I didn’t know about it, I can’t address it. If I can’t address it, you’re going to be mad and likely feel that I’ve stolen your money for the worst massage ever. That’s not what I want.
Now, I am a massage therapist. I am NOT a miracle worker. ESP and the gift of instantaneous healing did not get issued along with my license. Will you feel better? Hopefully. Will it be right away? Maybe. Depending on issue and severity, it may take several sessions to get to a level where you feel pain-free. I want to help you get there. Just don’t expect it to happen in the first 10 minutes.
No. Massage provides the most benefits when you’re comfortable, and if you’re worrying about your bits being exposed, then you’re not going to be able to relax and get the most out of the session. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
· If you choose to disrobe, you will be draped appropriately. This is done for modesty as well as comfort. I use a sheet for most drapings.
· If you choose to disrobe, you CANNOT forgo the draping. This isn’t an exhibition. Plus, I giggle. It won’t be pleasant for either of us.
· If you choose to remain dressed, I do ask you take your shoes off. Wiggle your toes and relax. It helps, trust me.
· I use a lubricant for most massages. If you choose to remain clothed, that it may get on your apparel. While I use things that are water soluble and usually easy to get out of most materials, the fact that I’ve just said it’s usually easy means that it’s likely to be the hardest thing ever to get out of your favorite shirt. I am not liable if it remains stubbornly embedded in the material. I get it. I had a goat eat my favorite shirt when I was four. I’ve never recovered.
· There is a different sensation of touch between skin-on-skin contact and massage through clothing. There is nothing I can do about that and will work with you to accommodate your preferences.
· Seams can often get in the way if you remain clothed. I may work just underneath them (around a collar, sleeve, or pant leg) to minimize any discomfort the stitching can cause. However, if a seam is directly in the path of a critical area, we may have to discuss a different approach.
· Yes, you can leave on just your skivvies. The level of naked is entirely up to you.
· I’m not phased by working around your underwear, or the fact that you leave them on.
· For the love of all that is holy, please wait until I step out of the room to disrobe.
· Just because I may have the same parts, or seen one of whatever you’ve got, does not mean I need to see yours today.
· I incorporate stretch and range of motion movements into a lot of my work. If you’ve disrobed for a massage, that is fine. You’ll be covered. I have ninja level draping skills, and you wont be flashing anything that should be flashed.
Yes. It asks information that is necessary for me to have on file. I consider myself a health care provider and offer services that are billed as such. As a result, you may be asked to provide more than what you’re used to giving at the local spa. If you refuse to complete it, then our session is over before it begins, and I wish you well. Don’t leave stuff out. I get you may not know the exact dosage of all your medications, but list them. Not sure of the spelling? I won’t hold it against you. Surgery? YOU MUST LIST IT. I don’t care if it was two weeks or 20 years ago. Can’t remember the name of the procedure? That’s ok. “They scraped stuff out of my shoulder joint” or “I have a rod in my leg because that bone was shattered” are perfectly acceptable. If I see this, I’ll ask more questions. One, I’m nosy, and two, it’s my job to make sure that something I am doing isn’t incompatible with what you’ve got going on where I can’t see it.
No. I don’t shave for you. Well, only my eyebrows on the third Thursday of odd-numbered months. You do not have to worry about leg hair, arm pit hair, or any other hair impacting your session. If you have a lot of hair, it may change the type of lubricant I use to avoid tying it up into all sorts of fun little knots, or the approach I take to treating the hirsute area. There are several lovely ladies in the building that might provide an untangling service, but I don’t imagine that will be much fun.
HOWEVER, if you have requested that cupping be a part of your session, and your back makes Smokey the Bear look like one of those Sphinx cats, I will ask that you have someone help you with that before you arrive. I am not able to shave you myself, as that is outside my scope of practice. Cups don’t stick to hair. It’s just the way it goes.
Depends. If I have to forgo a body part due to time constraints, the feet are usually the ones on the chopping block. I completely understand that a foot massage feels good, unless you’re the ticklish sort. If you don’t want your feet messed with or have some kind of issue going on with them, let me know.
By issue, I mean fungus, rash, recent surgery, painful bruising, ailments of unknown origin, breaks, sprains, or swelling. Not everything has to be avoided, but it means that my approach has to be adjusted.
If you leave your socks on, I take that as a sign that you don’t want them touched.
If your feet are dirty, I’ll leave them alone. Do you really want me touching the rest of you if you have feet the color of soot and smelling like something died a week ago? Didn’t think so.
Ladies (and guys), if you have long hair and come in with it pulled up or back, DO NOT TAKE IT DOWN TO START THE MASSAGE. That means that I’ll be moving, avoiding, probably tangling myself in it for the next hour. A top knot is best, as it keeps it out of your way and mine. If I have to detangle my fingers after the session, there might be surcharge.
This policy has changed a bit over the course of the last year, and may change at any given moment, depending on what the world is bringing us on today’s episode of WTF. At the moment, you are not required to wear a mask. However, if I say that policy has changed, and today you get to wear one, then you wear one. I have extras. If you tell me that you are more comfortable if we both wear a mask in our session, I respect that, and will do so.
A couple of points to keep in mind if you are asked to wear one:
· Our health care professionals wear one all day long. They haven't died of lack of oxygen yet.
· I’ve had many 90 minute massages with a mask on the whole time, even when face down. I’m not dead yet.
· My father, who has COPD, wears a mask for his sessions, and hasn’t died of asphyxiation.
· If you are asked to wear a mask and refuse, our session is over.
In case I bring snacks? Honestly, allergies are a big deal, and I’m a big fan of natural ingredients in what I use. That means nuts (jojoba, shea, almond); seeds (apricot, avocado); oils (eucalyptus, peppermint, orange, lavender); and other ingredients used in lubricants and scents may cause a skin irritation, or worse, an anaphylactic reaction. Don’t skimp on the info when I ask if you’re allergic to anything. It could mean the difference between the best massage EVER and a really painful and expensive road trip to Weusthoff Hospital.
The glutes (otherwise known as the gluteal muscles, hiney, or butt) play an integral role in support, balance, and tension. If you tell me that your back hurts, there’s a chance that there’s tension going through the glutes that’s pulling on your back muscles. I work on these areas so that you can get relief. I can work through the sheet, underwear, or directly on skin, but your gluteal crevice won’t be exposed. I’m not a plumber.
Not at all. Look, it’s your time, and this may be the only time you get to focus on yourself
that doesn’t require locking yourself in the bathroom with Ben & Jerry and hiding from family. Chat. Vent. Cry if you need to (although crying while facedown can cause some serious sinus cloggage. I have peppermint oil for that). Be silent.
I will follow your lead. I love to chat with my clients, and if you’re in that kind of mood, I’ll keep it going. If you taper off, then consider conversation suspended until you resume it again.
I will ask you questions that are nonnegotiable despite how you feel about talking. If we’re having a conversation, I’ll interrupt to ask these. If you’re silent, I’ll interrupt to ask these. They are important. How’s the pressure? Does this hurt? Pain on a scale of 1-10. When did this start to bother you? Where are you feeling this? Are you feeling a stretch or pain?
Window washing? Car detailing? Ghost writing your autobiography? No? Ohhhhh…those services. No, I don’t. Know why? Because prostitution and solicitation are illegal in the state of Florida. Your search for sexual gratification is not in my scope of practice and won’t be tolerated. If you ask, there’s a $50 fee just for the question. It’ll be donated to Rolling Readers Space Coast. I promise to send a story book to your cot in Sharpes for entertainment until arraignment.
Absolutely not! I tend to keep a soundtrack going that doesn’t interfere with the session. I have a broad playlist (thank you, Pandora), and fairly eclectic taste in music. So if you’d like to hear something different than what’s currently playing, just let me know. If it’s rap, you may be SOL.
Definitely. Massage is supposed to feel good, and if it is too much (and painful), or too light (and ticklish), it’s not going to be enjoyable. However…. Deep tissue is a whole different story, and one that we might have to agree to disagree on. I do deep tissue. Do I jump right in with elbows and jackhammers and start working on those knots? No. You’ll hate me if I do. You cannot attack unprepared muscles with intense pressure, or your body will reject everything that comes after – and your hour will have been wasted. Also give me a chance to apply the lubricant. If you tell me more pressure and I’m barely through the first stroke, it’s going to be a long hour.
There is the definite possibility of soreness following a massage, and there is a huge difference between discomfort and pain. The degree to which you are sore and how long it lasts is due to a lot of factors, and every body is different. Stay hydrated, use heat and ice on any areas where the discomfort is most pronounced, and rest. It usually resolves itself within 24 hours.
**If it’s been more than 6 months since your last massage, expect the discomfort to last up to 48 hours.
PAIN AND SORENESS ARE NOT THE SAME! I cannot stress this enough. Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.
Don’t leave my place and go to your favorite cantina for 2 for 1 margaritas. Pretend you’re in college – start with water, end with water.
· There is no magic formula for how much water you should drink. Google it, and you’ll get at least eight different “optimal” formulas.
· Keep in mind that by the time you recognize that you’re thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated. Try to stay ahead of that curve, and sip on the beverage of your choice consistently throughout the day. I know, easier said than done, but your body will thank you for it.
· If you want to drink tea, or soda, or some other beverage of the non-alcoholic variety throughout the day, go for it. I am not the beverage police. Our bodies pull hydration from what we ingest, be it liquid or solid form. The key is moderation and consistency.
NO! I’m not a doctor (despite my lofty Google University credentials), but there’s nothing about a massage that says you should stop taking them prior to treatment. We will cover what medications you’re taking while we do intake, because there can be contraindications to specific ones, or to the conditions that they treat. But an ER visit is not my idea of a a field trip. Take your meds as normal.
Technically, yes. However, I won’t take the booking, and would recommend that you have the conversation with the recipient before doing so. Not every one likes massage, not everyone believes in massage, and it could end up in a bad session, lots of disappointment, and some animosity on your end. Let’s avoid that at all costs.
Minimum of two weeks for my comfort for being sick. Having surgery is a different kettle of fish, and most likely, you’ll want a doctor’s release when the session is booked, because some things should really wait until you are further along in the healing process. Surgery, and we know there are all kinds, can have lingering complications, strange contraindications, and some random consequences that I will not be liable for if you fail to disclose the surgery. To protect you and your health, be upfront with me, and I’ll get you in as soon as I can. Covid…you had to ask the difficult one, didn’t you? Please wait two weeks after being symptom free. I’d prefer a negative test with results in hand, and may in fact require one prior to the appointment. I have family to worry about, and while I take every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID in my practice, I do not want to fire a client due to disrespect and apathy.
Absolutely! My payment processing system is set up to accept cards using funds from either type of account. Keep in mind that I am not responsible for providing the receipt to the Third Party Administrator (TPA) for your plan, but you get one at the time of payment you can forward on. If it’s not sufficient (Sometimes they can be really, really picky), just let me know. I can work with you to provide a more detailed receipt that will hopefully satisfying their cold, administrative hearts.
Nope. Now, I can provide more pressure. But keep in mind that if the lubricant is barely on, and we’re two minutes into the session, you are not going to like me if I throw down a WWE elbow. Give me a chance to warm the tissue up, figure out where the spots are that I need to work on, before you start rolling your eyes and telling me that it has to hurt to work. I can drag out the guns. You will not enjoy it.
I’m hoping by now you recognize that I have a different approach to things. I don’t list different modalities separately, nor do I charge for them separately. Check out the services tab to check out the explanation.
Probably, at least the first session. If you’ve never had cupping done before, it will likely leave a darker, longer lasting mark than if you have it done every week. They aren’t permanent, typically don’t hurt, and there are certain measures you can take to help them go away faster.
· They are, essentially, bruises. Capillaries break under the skin, causing a mark to be left.
· With cups, they are circular. I don’t use ones that have odd shapes.
· Cups use negative pressure to help relieve tension in the connective tissue and muscle.
· Massage uses compression.
· My goal in using cups is not to see how many I can put on you, how long I can leave them on, or how dark the marks they leave will be. We will not be playing connect the dots when your session is over.
This is the million dollar question. There are just as many variable. Time, education, skill, overhead, location… everything factors in.
I put a lot of time into honing my craft. I have not been licensed as long as some, but work towards building my skillset. Education is not cheap, and continuing education, the kind that counts to me, isn’t free. There are always things that the state says we have to take, ethics and HIV and human trafficking awareness courses. But the ones that have the most impact are the ones that teach me a new, different, better way to help someone alleviate their pain.