What is the best frequency for massage treatments?
This will vary, but here are some guidelines. If you are seeking massage treatment for remediation from a recent injury, it is usually recommend that the first two or three treatments be spaced every three to four days or weekly depending on the severity of the pain or dysfunction. For a longterm dysfunction like arthritis, a monthly treatment is recommended until your condition is stabilized. For therapeutic treatments, most people find that once a month suits their needs, but some come more frequently.
Will massage therapy hurt?
If at any time the treatment you are receiving is causing you too much discomfort, ask the therapist to stop or ease off for a few minutes. Be open and let the therapist know how you are feeling and your treatment will be a lot more enjoyable and productive. The old adage “no pain no gain” is not relevant to massage therapy treatments you receive. Remember that it is your physical condition or dysfunction that is painful, not the treatment. You should feel better at the end of each treatment and the treatments will become more comfortable as your dysfunctions improve. After a session, you may feel some mild discomfort or muscle soreness for a few days until your body readjusts and heals itself.
Can massage help reduce stress levels?
According to medical studies anything that can help you relax will reduce your stress levels and massage is one of the most relaxing therapies you can receive. Many turn to massage to manage day to day stress. Massage therapy treats the problem holistically. Without using suppression chemicals to slow you down, massage therapists attempt to treat the whole person and try to help your body regain homeostasis, achieving a balance between the various systems of your body to allow natural healing to occur.
Is it safe to receive a massage during pregnancy?
Not only is it safe, it is also very beneficial and comforting. Massage therapy can be received throughout the entire nine month pregnancy term. If you are experiencing complications during pregnancy, discuss your condition with your doctor or midwife first. It is not recommended that you use or allow anyone to apply any pure essential oils (aromatherapy oils) on you in the first three months of your pregnancy. If oils are used, they should be mild ones like Lavender oil.
Do massage therapists have a Code of Ethics?
Yes, massage therapists adhere to the following code:
- We provide the best quality care to any one that seeks our professional help.
- We accept all clients without discrimination.
- We acknowledge the confidential nature of the professional relationship with a client and respect each client’s right to privacy.
- We practice only the modalities in which we have been professionally trained and certified.
- We in no way participate or engage in any type of sexual activities with our client.
- We maintain a safe, clean and professional environment.
Are there different kinds of massage techniques?
Yes, there are many different types of massage techniques. Swedish massage is the technique most widely known by massage therapists, but others are also trained in sports massage, aromatherapy massage, shiatsu, deep tissue massage, Thai massage or techniques named for their developer such as Upledger, Heller Work and Feldenkrais.
Do I need to take my clothes off for a massage?
For most types of massage therapy, the answer is usually yes, with Shiatsu being the exception to this rule. However, the amount of clothing you need to remove depends largely on the extent of the treatment you are receiving. For full body treatments, you should undress down to your pants at least, but most clients opt to remove all their clothes. Since no two therapists are alike, it is best to ask during the consultation what is preferred. You should be covered with towels or sheets, so the only parts showing are the parts being treated. This helps you to relax and helps to keep you warm.
How much of my body will be massaged?
When the client is seeking treatment for a specific injury or condition, the entire session may focus on a single area. There may also be a need to treat body areas that are adversely affected by injuries, such as when a sprained ankle causes the opposite leg to bear all the body’s weight and stress of walking. For relaxation massages, the client and therapist should discuss and agree upon the areas to be massaged. A “full body massage” usually includes the back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, face, chest (above breasts for women), abdomen and hips. If being massaged in certain areas causes you to feel uncomfortable, you should inform your therapist and they will adjust the massage accordingly. You should never accept a touch that feels wrong in any way or feel pressured to offer an explanation for such sensitivity.
Can I bring someone along?
Contact your therapist in advance to determine if it is fully acceptable to bring someone else with you. The person may be in the room during your treatment or may wait outside the room. In order to assure that you receive the full benefit and relaxation from your treatment, the person present must remain quiet and unobtrusive during your treatment. Children are usually not permitted as guests.
What studies have been done on massage therapy?
Massage has been studied for its use with premature infants, adults who have recently experienced a heart attack or stroke, athletes who desire to increase their athletic performance and shorten recuperation time, victims of sexual abuse, grieving patients and those who have lost limbs or experience unusual pains. Currently, the effects of massage are being studied for its use in family relations and in dealing with the separation felt when children become teenagers.
What is Therapeutic Massage?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissue. Other terms included in the definition are effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (percussion), compression, vibration, friction, nerve strokes, and Swedish gymnastics, either by hand or with mechanical or electrical apparatus for the purpose of body massage. Massage therapy can include the use of oils, lotions, salt glows, heat lamps, hot or cold packs and tub, shower or cabinet baths.
What is the Kinesio Taping® Method?
The Kinesio Taping® Method is a definitive rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion as well as providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy. Latex-free and wearable for days at a time, Kinesio® Tex Tape is safe for populations ranging from pediatric to geriatric, and successfully treats a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological and other medical conditions. The method alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. This lifting affect forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space and allowing for a decrease in inflammation of the affected areas. It has been proven to have positive physiological effects on the skin, lymphatic and circulatory system, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. It can be used in conjunction with a multitude of other treatments and modalities and is effective during the rehabilitative and chronic phases on an injury as well as being used for preventative measures.
Are there other organizations or resources you could refer me to for further information?
- American Message Therapy Association (AMTA)
The AMTA is the oldest and largest institution representing the massage therapy profession. Their website is a great reference for industry related information and current events.
- National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)
The NCBTMB aims to foster higher standards of ethical and professional practice through a credentialing program that assures the competency of practitioners of massage therapy and bodywork. This is a professional credential, but will not substitute for a license to practice massage therapy.
- WebMD Health
WebMD Health is the leading provider of online information, educational services and communities for physicians and consumers. Their website provides an archive to many medical journals and articles and in-depth descriptions of various conditions and illnesses.
- High Tech Health International
- BioPro Technology
- Kinesio Taping Association International