Before your massage:
- Review covid-19 specific guidelines & reconfirm precautions & exposure risk info.
- Arrive on-time (and allow a few minutes extra for your first time)
- Make sure you’ve had a chance to use the restroom
- Provide updates on any injuries, conditions, medications, allergies or preferences
- Remove watches, jewelry including earrings, bracelets & rings if possible
- Completely power down any digital devices – they need some rest too!
- Disrobe to your comfort level and get under the sheet (bottom undergarments optional, removing tops helpful for access to back.)
- Provide feedback as to your comfort level:
- How does the face cradle & angle of your neck feel?
- Would a bolster under your ankles, knees or chest be helpful?
- How is the temperature?
During your massage:
- Relax… You don’t have to do anything right now – I’ll take it from here, but you can:
- Provide feedback anytime on your comfort level at any time (pressure levels, temperature, bolstering, smells, sounds, draping, etc.)
- Feel free to request more pressure or let me know if a spot feels like it wants particular attention.
- For any moments involving deeper pressure, assisted stretches or traction (pulling) on limbs, let me know as you approach the edge of your comfort level. The goal might be to come within 80 or 90% of that edge of discomfort and take a few good deep breaths there, but we never want to hit or exceed that edge.
- Communicate any discomfort immediately – you can pause or stop the session at any time. You are the authority on your own experience and should never “endure” any pain or “tough it out” if something feels too intense or uncomfortable.
- Focus on slow deep breaths if you notice any thoughts arise or sensations come up.
- Move slowly and carefully when getting up and off the table: it is not uncommon to feel dizzy or clumsy for a moment after receiving a massage.
After your massage:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Share any questions or observations that you’d like.
- If you can take some time before turning devices back on, do so.
- Take it slow and easy, give your body time to integrate the session.
- Take note of how you feel immediately after, and in the following days.
- Feel free to provide feedback – reviews and referrals are always appreciated.
- Take anything that you’ve learned about your body (tight spots etc) and make plans to integrate wellness practices (stretches, exercises, self-massage) into your routines.
- Schedule your next session.
Q: What should I expect?
A: First and foremost, an experience where you feel safe and nurtured and that supports your whole self.
We’ll talk about what’s going on with your body and what your specific goals for the session are. Each session is different, as I combine the information that you share with me with what I observe and intuit in your body.
As we work together, I may bring in various techniques from my training to see how you respond to them. Questions & feedback (during the session and after) are always welcome as we learn to work together to care for your body.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Whatever feels comfortable. For most full body / table massages, you’ll disrobe and be covered by a sheet, with the body part exposed being the one that I am actively working on at that moment.
For Thai or chair massage sessions, or if you would be more comfortable remaining fully clothed, please wear loose clothing w/ as few seams / pockets / buckles as possible. (yoga pants or leggings, scrubs, etc)
Q: What if my body is or has [X, Y or Z]?
A: That’s great! This practice is all about your body, exactly as it is. We’ll work together to figure out what kind of techniques & experience suit you best.
Q: What if I find myself [crying/laughing/farting]?
A: That’s all absolutely normal and ok. Massage can sometimes help the body release whatever it is that it needs to let go of. Sometimes that’s pent up emotion, and sometimes it’s gas. There’s never any judgement.
Q: Can you fix my [X ailment]?
A: My job isn’t to “cure” any diseases, but rather to provide a nurturing environment that helps facilitate the body’s own healing processes. Anyone making claims of guaranteed magical “fixing” may be broaching some ethical guidelines in our field.
Massage also shouldn’t be seen as your only treatment for an ailment, but rather as a complementary practice that supports other health and wellness practices such as a health diet, regular exercise and stretching, etc. That said, I hope that my work will support your body in moving towards optimum health, whatever that means for you in this moment.
Q: Can you just work on [X body part]?
A: I can certainly focus on areas by request, but because pain that you feel in one part of your body may be related to tension elsewhere that you aren’t aware of, I generally always recommend working the whole body. That said, if there is a part of the body that you specifically do not want me to address, just let me know.
Q: When / how often should I schedule massage?
A: As regularly as you are able to, and in conjunction with known stressors. You may want to put a regular (monthly / weekly) session on your calendar. You might also consider scheduling a session to prepare you for or help you wind down from a specific event that you anticipate will be physically or emotionally demanding.
For example, towards the end of my wedding photography career, as I became more aware of how hard that practice was on my body, I began scheduling massages for the day after every time that I scheduled a wedding.
Q: Do you do gift certificates? Special packages?
A: Massage is a great gift to give to a loved one, particularly if you know someone who could benefit from some self care but might be reluctant to or unable to invest in my services. Note: until effective covid-19 vaccines are readily available, I may not be able to offer gift certificates or take on certain higher risk clients.
As to packages: If you anticipate being a regular client and would like to pre-pay for a set of sessions, I can factor in a discount and reserve time on my calendar further out for you.
Q: What’s the deal with the sliding scale?
A: Care and healing should be available to everyone. To that end, I offer a few pro-bono and discounted sessions for community members in need.
I also need to value my time and work in a way that recognizes its value, makes this practice sustainable for me and helps support my other artistic and community pursuits that are not revenue-generating. I offer a sliding scale between my ‘standard’ and ‘supporter’ rates, and encourage you to pay as high a rate as you are able while also allowing you to make massage a regular part of your budget and self care practices.
People who pay higher rates help me to provide care to others who require the discounted & pro-bono services.
Here is a real quick self-assessment that will help you decide how to interact with this sliding scale:
- How many people are you close to who have vacation homes?
- How many people are you close to who have been incarcerated or unsheltered?
If you know more of the former than the latter, consider a higher end of the sliding scale. If you know more of the latter, consider asking for the community or pro-bono sessions.
Q: What about the pandemic?
A: See this page for covid-19 specific precautions alongside requirements that I ask of you and commitments that I make to you to help us all minimize risk in this public health context.
If you’d like to work together after having reviewed the info above, get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or text message to 267-251-5464.