What Is “Massage Therapy?”
Massage therapy is the manual manipulation of muscles and soft tissue by applying pressure to the body with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the client.
Therapeutic massage has existed since the reign of the Chinese Yellow Emperor nearly 5000 years ago, and its soothing and healing qualities have been practiced and perfected by many massage therapist ever since. The two most popular and well known forms of therapeutic massage are Swedish and Deep Tissue massage.
Swedish massage is a general relaxation experience that increases the overall circulation to the body promoting stress reduction and overall relaxation. It is soothing and a “light pressure” type massage technique.
Deep Tissue massage is designed for specific areas of chronic pain. For example, if a client presents with lower back pain, Deep Tissue may be used to try to relieve any muscle spasms that may be present and to try to help the body to “repair” itself. Deep Tissue massage is a “firmer” type of therapy. The added pressure may cause some discomfort but should never cause pain. It is important to note that one session of Deep Tissue massage will not repair a lifetime of muscle pain; instead, a program you and your therapist agree on should be implemented which will slowly but surely help return the muscles to optimal health.
Some of the problem areas that Deep Tissue massage can target may come as a surprise; a pinched nerve can cause a tremendous amount of pain and also interfere with daily life, but Deep Tissue can help to release the nerve and restore its proper function, ending the pain returning the client to a state of wellness. Tension headaches have been described as a “tight band around the head”. These headaches can be anywhere from annoying to debilitating. Massage can “loosen” that band and help headaches to disappear. Poor circulation can also cause pain and impede healing. Massage therapy is able to stimulate more circulation in affected areas, which helps to end the pain cycle and gives the healing a “jump start”.
What Happens Once I Arrive at the Office?
When you first come to our office, you will be asked to fill out a brief client health history. Once this is done, the massage therapist will conduct a short interview with you, attempting to discover any concerns or contraindications you may present. Following the interview, you will be lead into the treatment room. The therapist will leave the room and close the door, allowing you privacy to undress to your comfort level. You may then lay down on the massage table between the sheets to prevent exposure. After a few minutes, the therapist will gently knock on the closed door and ask if you are ready to begin the massage.
What Will My Massage Be Like?
Soft music is played in the treatment room to create an ambiance of complete relaxation for you. Do not hesitate to make conversation with the therapist; conversely, if you wish to have a quiet massage do not be afraid to say so. However, feedback during the massage is an essential part of the massage experience; if you wish to have more or less pressure applied to a certain area of your body, please inform the therapist. Some people prefer a gentle technique while others prefer are more vigorous one. Talk with your therapist about your expectations and concerns so they will be better prepared to meet your specific needs.
The Massage is Over. Now What?
Once the session has ended, the therapist will leave the treatment room to allow you to dress in privacy. After you are dressed, you will step into the waiting area where the therapist will have a glass of water waiting for you. He or she will then ask for feedback on the massage, such as how you are feeling and if your expectations were met. At that point, you and your therapist will discuss a treatment plan, which may consist of up to three months of regular sessions aimed at meeting your specific needs. Please keep in mind that even though two people may have similar conditions, they may not progress in the same manner. A healthy lifestyle and time play an important part in the healing process.
To ensure getting an appointment most convenient for you, please schedule a repeat visit when you are in the office, preferably after your massage. Setting up multiple appointments is also an available option to ensure convenient appointments around your schedule.
What’s The Deal With Water, Anyway?
Massage therapy releases toxins into your body that, if not removed, can cause soreness the next day. It is important to drink as much water as possible after your appointment to flush these toxins out of your system. Additionally, hydrating before your massage can help you get even more out of the experience; hydrated muscles respond better to massage than dehydrated ones.
Although each massage is unique and tailored specifically to treat your needs, the above FAQ presents a general idea of what to expect on entering Therapeutic Touch Massage.