Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about getting a Massage at River Massage?

The most important thing is that I want  you to be able relax and experience the full benefit of your massage.  This is YOUR time and I encourage you to feel free letting me know how you are doing and if you want any adjustments made during your session. 

Please know you can communicate if you want anything changed: pressure, areas worked, position or if you are too hot or too cold.  This is YOUR massage! 😊 I will gladly adjust my work so this can be the experience you are looking for your health and wellness.

Q: Don’t your hands get tired?

A: This may very well be the #1 question I get!  😊  I love that my clients have my well-being in mind!  My answer to this is no, my hands do not get tired.  I always tell people that I received amazing training.  One of the biggest issues we learn in Massage Therapy School is body mechanics and how to use our body effectively while giving a massage.   I am constantly checking in with my body and avoiding any indicators of overuse or misuse.  Most of the pressure and work I do involve highly skilled body mechanics, leverage and positioning so that I can stay strong and healthy and meet my clients’ needs without harm or fatigue to my own body.  So, rest assured, I’m as good to go on my last appointment of the day as I am on my first appointment!  Don’t you worry about me – your massage is about you so just know I’m taking good care of myself!

Q: What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

A: Given this time of increased infection control & prevention measures, I will contact you by email or phone a day or so prior to your scheduled appointment.  The purpose of this call is to check in with your regarding your overall health.  We will discuss any existing risks that may contraindicate massage.

When you arrive to your first session, I will ask you to fill out a health intake form.   It is important to list all health concerns and medications so I can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm.  I’ll also need to know about any allergies so I know if I need to avoid any particular oils or lotions I may plan to use.

We will discuss infection prevention and control protocols including sanitization, handwashing, gloves, masks, etc.  We will then take a few minutes to discuss your health history and your goals of treatment.  This is where you get to tell me what you are hoping the massage session will provide for you!

Q: Do I have to be completely undressed?

A: I will instruct you to undress to your level of comfort.  My massage table is equipped with a table warmer so most people find it very cozy and comfortable on the table.  Although, some people do find the table warmer a bit warm and I’m happy to adjust it for you! 

Most of my clients undress completely for a full body massage session.  If you are at all uncomfortable removing particular clothing items, that’s fine.  I will keep you completely draped throughout the session, only uncovering areas I’m working on and I can work around any clothing items you choose to keep on.  The most important thing is that you are comfortable and relaxed on the table so you can get the full benefit of your massage.   I will leave the room and give you privacy while removing any clothes and getting onto the table and covered up.  

Q: Do I need to stay covered with a sheet or towel?

A: Keeping my clients covered with a sheet or towel is standard protocol in my Studio.   Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape (sheet), I will use professional draping skills for the entire session.  This means, I will only uncover the part of your body being worked on as the session progresses.  The genitals (women and men) and breasts (women) will not be uncovered. If I am going to work on a woman’s abdomen, a second towel or sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet or towel can be moved to expose the abdomen.

Q: What do I do during the massage?

A: You will get the most benefit from your massage if you are able to relax!  Make yourself comfortable. If I need you to adjust your position at any time (for instance, turning over) I will communicate this and will assist you as needed for any adjustments.  You can also request to change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable.  Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk.  It’s up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.  And, don’t worry if you fall asleep for part, or all, of your session – honestly, many clients do and that’s great!  Can’t get much more relaxed than that!  

Q: How long is a massage therapy session?

A: The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60 to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation.  Some people even schedule two hours for their massage!  It’s always a good idea to allow relaxation time prior to and after the session

Q: Will my massage be painful?

A: Sometimes I get a new client who  shares that they have had a less-than-favorable experience with massage being painful in their past.  I encourage my clients that I provide massage with my client’s comfort a priority.  A light, relaxing massage that doesn’t probe very deep into the muscles typically doesn’t elicit pain, rather relaxation.  I do provide deep tissue massage but I’m extremely focused on working with the muscles as I work deep, not against the muscles.   An intentionally-given deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range.

If you experience any form of discomfort, communication is important!  Pain can be an indication that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed, and my pressure should be adjusted.  Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. Please communicate any discomfort.  The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body’s natural response, not against it.

Q: Do we talk during the session?

A: This is a personal choice on YOUR part!  If you’d like to talk, go right ahead.  Sometimes, people feel a bit more comfortable starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, they enter into a more n quiet state of relaxation.  Sometimes a client chooses not to talk at all once on the table.  Do remember though, I will occasionally check in with you on comfort level or if anything needs something adjusted.  The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and your body and mind benefitting from the experience. The goal is that you are able to completely relax, let your mind float free and enter a state of massage bliss.  😊  As I said above, many clients even drift off to sleep during a session.  No problem!

Q: Not sure I’m into the “spa-music-thing”.  Are there options for music choices?

A: You can choose to have different music or no music at all.   I’ve even had people bring a book-on-tape to listen to during their massage!  Studies have shown that music at under 60 beats-per-minute has a calming, relaxing effect on the body and therefore can enhance your experience.  I use Pandora internet radio and there are many genres to choose from.  If there is some specific music that relaxes you and you enjoy it at home, why wouldn’t it do the same during your treatment?   You can bring something from home or we can try and find something you prefer on my Pandora internet radio. 

Q: How will I feel after my Massage Therapy session? 

A: Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience a significant decrease or freedom from long-term aches and pains. Many feel a little slowed down for a short period and then notice an increase of energy, heightened awareness and increased productivity which can last for days.  If you received a deep massage, you may be slightly sore the next day – much like a good workout at the gym. Sometimes a hot shower, or a soak in the tub can ease this soreness.  After your session you should increase your water intake a bit, jJust a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body’s tissues hydrated and healthy.

Q: How often should I get Massage Therapy?

A: There is not one answer for this question.  In some cases, my clients were referred by another Medical Professional and sometimes the frequency of sessions is recommended by the referring person.  However, in general, it varies person-to-person.  Every person is unique and presents with unique conditions.  And, each of us varies from day to day as far as our body’s soft tissue condition and needs.  Many of my clients like to come on a regular basis, such as bi-weekly, monthly, etc.  Others like to come in when their body is telling them they might benefit from some muscle work for whatever reason.  You and I will be able to talk more specifically about this after your first session and I’ve had a chance to evaluate your body’s tissues.

Q: Are there any times or situations where I should not get a massage? 

A: The most important consideration of this during this time of COVID-19 and all of the precautions we are all taking to stay well as a community, if you have been are are experiences any symptoms of being sick, please reschedule for a time you are feeling well!  This is to keep us all safe, you, me and all of my other clients.  You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection.

Aside from being sick or having a skin condition, there are few conditions which would prevent you from enjoying massage.

There are many other conditions where I may need to adapt my  techniques (i.e. arthritis or osteoporosis) or avoid an area completely (i.e. cuts or burns). With some conditions it is a good idea to get an approval from your physician before you receive massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy).  Check with your physician if you have specific medical concerns regarding massage.  I am always happy to also discuss and regarding any specific needs or concerns.