Frequently Asked Questions
Where will my bodywork session take place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
Must I be completely undressed?
Most massage is traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped during the entire session to protect your privacy.
Unlike massage, Myofascial release therapy is typically performed with the client wearing either a bathing suit or athletic shorts and a sports bra. The session often begins with viewing the client in a standing position from different angles, to assess any postural imbalances and areas of tissue restriction.
Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe?
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet or towel.
Will I be covered during the session?
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.
What parts of my body will be massaged?
A typical full-body massage session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders.
What will the massage or bodywork feel like?
A relaxing Swedish massage is often a baseline for clients. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. For massage, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin.
During Myofascial Release Therapy, no oil or lotion will be used because the practitioner must be able to apply gentle traction without sliding on the skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that the practitioner can adjust the pressure or take another approach to the sensitive area. Massage and Myofascial Release are most effective when your body is not resisting. You might think of it as “taking the breaks off.” Your job is simply to let go.
Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic gliding, rubbing, and kneading strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more. Massage has different benefits and treatment goals than Myofascial Release Therapy, which utilizes more stretching, gentle compression, and traction. We can discuss which methods may be most appropriate for you.
What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
Prior to the massage, feel free to ask the practitioner any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, or anything else relevant to the session. If you have any questions regarding the session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask.
How will I feel after the bodywork session?
After a massage, most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days.
After myofascial release therapy, many people experience a profound sense of peacefulness and calm, while others may feel more agitated or “stirred up.” Because fascial work releases trauma that has been stored in the tissue, powerful emotions may surface during or after a session. There may be a temporary increase in symptoms as the body revisits, processes, and releases past injuries. This is a normal and desirable result. There is a common saying in MFR work that you have to “feel it to heal it.” It’s important to allow yourself to face whatever comes up so that you can let it go and move forward.
What are the benefits of massage versus the benefits of Myofascial Release?
Massage can relieve muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, and reduce blood pressure. Massage is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being.
Myofascial Release (MFR) can release physical and/or emotional trauma that has been stored in the fascial tissue, causing prolonged pain and dysfunction. The benefits of MFR can be more long term than the benefits of massage because massage effects only the elastic component of fascia (connective tissue) which “bounces back” into dysfunction after a short time. MFR softens and releases all the components of the fascial system, which are elastin, collagen, and ECM (extracellular matrix or ground substance) and promotes long-term structural improvement of the body’s soft tissues. MFR is a safe and effective therapy for fibromyalgia, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ syndrome, nerve impingement, neck and back pain and other persistent conditions.
Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?
Yes. That’s why it’s imperative that, before you begin your session, the practitioner asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required.