What is a Massage?

Massage is the manipulation of soft tissue effecting a change in the surrounding tissue and structures.

If one or more of your muscles becomes too tight,  your posture will be altered and your body will deliberately put other muscles out of there normal state of tone to compensate.

If this is not corrected, over a period of time, your body will assume the new posture, and you will have a permanent imbalance. You will become accustomed to this over time and quite probably will not notice that you have a dysfunction until you try to do something which requires a normal full range of movement.

What is Massage therapy?

Massage therapy has been used throughout the ages as a form of relaxation, muscle release, and to facilitate natural healing and promote health.

By releasing chronic tension and pain in muscles, massage therapy is one of the most effective means available to combat stress.

Massage is the power of touch that enables the body to obtain a higher level of natural healing.

What is a Massage Therapist?

A massage therapist is a professional who uses specific manual techniques to normalize soft tissues (such as muscle) that have been affected by stress, injury, and illness.

These manual techniques are designed to improve circulation, enhance muscular relaxation, relieve pain, reduce stress, enhance immune function, as well as promote health and well-being.

What does a Massage Therapist do that a Physical Therapist doesn’t do?

While the goals of massage therapy and physical therapy are often the same (normalizing soft tissues such as muscle), the methods and techniques of each differ significantly.

Massage therapists specialize in the use and application of therapeutic massage techniques such as Rolfing, stroking, kneading, Swedish massage, rocking, vibration and deep tissue.

Physical therapists are not trained heavily in the use of massage therapy techniques and instead concentrate on rehabilitation using techniques such as exercise. Manual techniques utilized by physical therapists are very different than those employed by massage therapists.

What conditions may be helped by Massage Therapy?

An increasing number of research studies show massage therapy reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles and improves range of motion. It also leads to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury.

People with the following conditions have reported that therapeutic massage has lessened or relieved many of their symptoms:

  • Myofascial pain
  • Chronic and acute pain
  • Sports injuries (including pulled or strained muscles and ligaments)
  • Stress Headache
  • Arthritis
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Circulatory problems
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction

Though the effects of a single session may be temporary, a well-spaced series of massage therapy sessions can actually reverse chronic muscle spasm, thereby breaking the pain cycle.

Is Massage Therapy painful?

The pain from sore, aching muscles is more painful than massage therapy. The amount of pressure I use is determined by my client’s tolerance. If at any time the pressure is too much, please let me know, and I’ll adjust the pressure to your comfort level.

The pressure can vary from light to very deep. When someone does not voice a preference, my pressure can be best described as “firm.” The more specific you are with feedback, the better I am able to assist you.

Can massage help old injuries?

People suffering for years from old injuries (i.e., auto accident, workplace injuries, sports injuries, etc.) as well as new traumas, have found massage helps to eliminate their chronic nagging pain. The severe pain caused by new traumas, as well as chronic pain, responds well to the gentle kneading and stretching of massage.

Can massage help sports performance?

Professional and amateur athletes alike find massage stretches tight muscles and improves motion. Restoring full range of motion and relieving tightness helps athletes stay limber and balanced for optimal sports performance. Also, new and recurring injuries are prevented when muscles stay flexible and motion is balanced.

What if I need to cancel?

Just like most of my clients I am very busy and work by appointment. I recognize that in life things come up and ask you to cancel or change your appointment at least 12 hrs in advance for massages scheduled more than 1 day in advance. If you cancel a scheduled massage, you will be liable for up to 50% of the massage price. Please understand that I reserve time to provide services to you.

Is tipping required?

Tipping is appreciated but not expected. Most of our clients tip anywhere from 15% to 35% of the services.

Is my massage session and health information confidential?

Absolutely.  As your massage therapist, we do not talk about who our clients are, nor do we discuss the contents of client sessions even with the client’s husband, wife or best friend.  In addition, you are protected by the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

What part of my body will be massaged?

Before your session begins, we will discuss what options are best suited for your needs. A typical full-body massage will include the neck, back, legs, feet, arms, hands, and shoulders. However, some clients request localized work in a few areas, such as the back and neck.

Must I completely undress?

For any massage involving lotion or oil, you do need to be undressed. A massage therapist must have access to your body. Most techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, you may decide what amount of clothing you prefer to wear for your comfort. Depending on the amount of clothing you wear, certain techniques may not be able to be applied.

However, if you are uncomfortable being completely disrobed, you should leave your underwear on – the therapist will work around them or move the fabric away from the glutes (butt muscles) to work those specific muscles.

You should never be on the table without being covered by a sheet or towel. The only part of the body that should be exposed is the part the therapist is working on. When you turn over you should still be covered.

When the massage is over, the therapist will leave the room and allow you time to get up and get dressed before they come back into the room.

Will the Massage Therapist be present when I disrobe?

After a brief orientation, you will be given an opportunity to undress, relax on the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet / towel, away from the presence of the Therapist.

I have never had a professional Massage – What should I expect?

On your first visit, your massage therapist should do an intake – asking questions about your general health, specific injuries and whether you are under a doctor’s care. They may also ask you to stand or walk around and let them watch you to identify any imbalances. This is the time for you to ask any questions you have for the therapist. The entire process should only take a few minutes. It should not substantially cut into your massage time.

The therapist will then give you instructions on how they want you on the table (face up/down etc.) They should be out of the room while you are changing.

The massage room should be clean, private and quiet.  Music, candles, aroma therapy, or soothing sounds may be provided by the client.  If you have a special lotion or cream you like to use on your skin, bring it and I will incorporate it into the massage it.

During the massage

If you are getting a massage for feel-good relaxation, there should be little or no talking. For deep tissue work the therapist will probably be checking in with you to make sure you are tolerating the work and to remind you to breathe and relax. I will sometimes use light conversation to distract my clients when I am doing very deep work.

As the client, you control the massage – talk / no talk – music / no music / different music – scents / no scents – deeper / lighter. If you are in any way uncomfortable – speak up. Don’t ever suffer in silence. Make your wishes known.

What should I do during the massage session?

Relax and enjoy! I encourage you to provide feedback if there is anything that would make your experience more enjoyable. If, at any time, you feel uncomfortable, please let me know so we can alter the session to your liking. Many people are silent throughout the session, while others find it helpful to talk about how their lives are going. It’s up to you.

As the client, you control the massage:

  • talk / no talk
  • music / no music / different music
  • scents / no scents
  • deeper / lighter

If you are in any way uncomfortable – speak up. Don’t ever suffer in silence. Make your wishes known.

How do I take care of myself after a massage?

You should drink plenty of water to flush the toxins out of your system. If you have access to a steam room or whirlpool, they are ideal ways to continue cleansing the system. If not, an Epsom salt bath followed by a hot is greatly beneficial.

For the 24 hours after a deep tissue massage you may feel a little sore or achy. This is a normal response – a lot of stuff gets stirred up and that feeling is a healing response. It should go away within 24 – 36 hours. Rest, healthy eating and fluids will help minimize the response.

What are the benefits of a massage?

The benefits of massage are numerous and, unfortunately somewhat difficult to interpret without an understanding of the human body.

Massage therapy has many rewards (for example, muscle relaxation) in addition to its more significant effects (such as, increased blood flow to the internal organs.)

Massage therapy assists the body in the following ways:

  • Increases the oxygen capacity of blood by 10-15% which means that your cells receive more oxygen.
  • Improves posture by balancing muscle activity.
  • Accelerates post-workout recovery, allowing you to workout longer and more often.
  • Increases your body’s rate of metabolism by nourishing your cells more effectively.
  • Enhances your skin’s health by opening your glands leading to softer, suppler skin.
  • Helps detoxify your body by activating your lymph system.
  • Increases organ activity by engaging the nerves connected to your internal organs.
  • Increases flexibility by encouraging joint and muscle mobility.
  • Prevents injuries by removing inflammatory residue that may ultimately cause injury.
  • Induces a sense of relaxation and well-being.

Does Massage affect the body as a whole?

Massage benefits the whole body. These are some examples of the benefits of massage on the systems of the body.

  • Integumentary System (skin, hair, nails, etc.)
    Stimulates sensory receptors in the skin; increases superficial circulation; removes dead skin; adds moisture while applying oil or lotion and increases sebaceous gland excretions.
  • Connective Tissue (fascia)
    Improves the pliability of the fascia (the layers of connective tissue that infuse and surround cells, nerves, muscles, bones and organs throughout the body) and separates tissues.
  • Circulatory System
    Increases local circulation; enhances venous return and reduces blood pressure and heart rate with regular relaxation massage.
  • Muscular System
    “Milks” metabolic waste into the venous and lymph flow; relaxes the muscles (general and specific) and relieves myofascial trigger points.
  • Nervous System
    Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (ie: relaxation); reduces pain (neural-gating mechanism) and increases body awareness.
  • Endocrine System
    Stimulates the release of endorphins, thereby reducing the sensation of pain.
  • Immune System
    Increases the lymphatic flow and improves the immune function via stress reduction.
  • Digestive System
    Increases the movement of the contents of the Large Intestines and promotes better digestion with relaxation.
  • Mental Effects
    Increases mental clarity.
  • Emotional Effects
    Reduces anxiety and promotes general feelings of well-being and the release of unexpressed emotions

Where will you set up the massage table?

We will need an area that is large enough to set up the massage table and also work around it. Generally, an area approximately 10 feet x 10 feet is used. The room should be warm, quiet, and comfortable.

Do you offer gift certificates?

Yes, gift certificates can easily be arranged by emailing, calling me at 305.992.6685 or through my website at simomassage.com