• Kate Newberry

Top 10 Questions My Clients Ask About Massage

1. How do you handle the physicality of massage? Being a massage therapist is steeped in physicality, that's true! Not only are we repetitively using our muscles to massage for hours each day, we are also concentrating on the bodies of our clients for extended periods of time. After a couple of years, a massage therapist generally gets used to a particular number of hours spent massaging per day. Just as anyone learning a trade, such as carpentry or plumbing. that uses the same muscle groups over and over, massage therapists become very strong and resilient in the upper back, shoulders, arms, and hands. We also learn to use body mechanics and leverage to bring about much more force and power than you might expect. 2. How much pressure during a massage is the correct amount? You should be able to fully relax your muscles during my massage. If you feel the need to tense, to contract an area in anticipation of my touch, then my pressure is too deep. If the sensation is overwhelming, or you have to hold your breath, I need to adjust my pressure. I advise my clients to monitor where their boundary between pain and pleasure is and never let me cross that boundary. 3. Do I have to be naked to get a massage? No. You can be fully clothed if you wish. Traditional Thai massage is done on a mat on the floor and the client is dressed in loose exercise clothing. While the classic massage on a massage table usually involves an unclothed client, it is not necessary to be naked to receive a good massage. We can work with whatever your needs, limitations, and instructions are. 4. What if I fall asleep during the massage? It is absolutely fine if you fall asleep. Sometime's a client's body responds more honestly when they are sleeping. Whereas, a client who is awake will try to help by moving an arm or flexing a foot. A sleeping client will be the perfect example of limp, cooked spaghetti. And that is what we therapists want. Of course, not being fully aware during the massage means you might not notice and appreciate each sensation and its significance to the whole. But the process still occurs even when you are asleep. 5. Would you rather I talk or not talk during a massage? It's best not to talk unless you are speaking about something relevant to your massage. If I am talking while massaging, I can only devote half of my concentration and attention to massaging and half to conversation. My side of the conversation will be limited as well as my massage skills. If you feel the need to talk, I will happily accept and work within your framework. Everyone has different paths to relaxation. 6. Do clients fart, get unintentional boners, smell oddly, have flaky skin, unshaven legs, dirty feet, oily hair, etc? Each client, each person in this beautiful world, is full of imperfections. To me, a person is more genuinely themselves because of their long list of imperfections. I am never disgusted, never judgmental, It is my business to accept and understand you no matter how you appear. I will gladly welcome you, whichever way you come. 7. Can I choose the music during my massage? Yes, you may. Each massage therapist usually comes with an assortment of music designed specifically for massage. You can alternate among that list until you find one that suits you or you can provide your own music. Mainly, music during massage is used to create a soothing atmosphere, an ambient background. In describing ambient music, Brian Eno explained massage music well. It must: "accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting". 8. Can a child get a massage? Should a child get a massage? I think that any human, no matter their age, can benefit from massage. A massage therapist can advise and demonstrate to a parent how to soothe growing pains or menstrual cramps or calm a younger child's tantrum or ease a child's nerves. During a child's massage, the parent is present in the massage room to learn techniques and advocate for the child's needs. Frederick Leboyer's book "Loving Hands" was written in the 70's and is the original text on baby massage. Tina Allen of the Little Kidz Foundation also writes about the benefits of massage for children with Autism. 9. Can a massage therapist do a chiropractic adjustment? Diagnose me? Prescribe anything for me like CBD oil, vitamins, supplements, more water or sleep? NO. The scope of a massage therapist's knowledge and practice is specific to manual manipulation of the skin, nervous system, and indirectly, the soft tissue. Take your health into your own hands and make sure to go to your local chiropractor, dietitian, internist, physical therapist, psychologist, etc., to get the best information about your specific issue. 10. What does massage really do? Huge question, huge!! And the answer is - we don't know yet and may never know the exact science behind massage. Not a lot of research has been done in the field of massage because there is not a lot of money backing the need for scientific findings. What we can say is that manual therapy mainly affects the nervous system. By stimulating the nerves we can desensitize and somewhat reactivate them to discover new pathways and work better. By stimulating the nerves in the skin and using multiple techniques to rub an area, we can moderate pain. We can facilitate a sense of calm and peace within our clients by listening to their needs and creating an atmosphere of safety and respect. That peaceful feeling of being taken care of and loved during a massage session translates into less anxiety and depression. And this particular effect has been proven. Choose your therapist by examining how they make you feel during the first session, both mentally and physically. Make sure your chosen therapist tailors each and every session to your needs. A great massage facilitates a deeper connection between your body and mind and helps you to maintain a higher level of wellness. Book a massage with me to see what I mean.

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