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Frequently Asked Questions About Massage

If you are new to massage therapy, we understand you might have some questions.

What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

You will be required to fill out a Client Intake Form and sign a HIPAA Acknowledgment form. Afterward the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and determine if massage is appropriate for you.

Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition.

It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.

What is included in the session time?

A session consists of massage, time for you to dress and undress and time to communicate with the therapist to make your massage truly customized. This is done to ensure each and every massage session you receive from Serenity Massage meets or exceeds your expectations.

How early should I arrive for my massage?

New clients should arrive 10 minutes prior to their massage to fill out paperwork and meet with their therapist prior to their treatment.  Returning clients should arrive 5 minutes prior to their session.

Which massage is right for me?

Swedish, cupping therapy, deep tissue and medical massage are all included in the price of your visit. Before your session begins, you and your therapist will discuss which modalities are right for you to get the most benefit from your massage.

Do I have to be completely undressed?

You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, most get completely undressed. However, if you will be more comfortable during the session leaving your underwear on, that is fine. The therapist will work around the clothes you left on as best as he/she can. If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session. Your massage therapist will step out of the room to give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table.

Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?

In Washington state draping is mandatory – it’s the law. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body being worked on. The genitals and breasts (women and men) will not be uncovered. If the therapist is going to work on a woman’s abdomen, a second sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet can be moved to expose the abdomen.

What do I do during a massage treatment?

Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she/he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, 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.

Can I talk during my session?

Sure, if you’d like to talk go right ahead. The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and enjoying the experience. Many therapists discourage talking in hopes that you will relax, let your mind float free and enter a state of massage bliss.

In many instances, people may feel more relaxed starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, enter quiet states of relaxation.

Most important, there are times when you need to speak up. If the therapist is doing anything to make you uncomfortable, you should let her/him know immediately. Also, let him/her know if you get too warm or too cold, if the room is too bright, or if the pressure needs to be changed (lighter or deeper). If something is not working for you, speak up! It’s OK!

How long will a massage treatment last?

All massage treatments begin and end on time.  You are more than welcome to arrive 10 minutes early for your session to allow time to get on the table without interfering with your scheduled time.

30-Minute Massage:  Half-hour appointments only allow time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet.

60-Minute, 90-Minute & 120-Minute Massages:  The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour or longer if you choose.

Many people prefer a 60 to 120-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.

Will the massage hurt?

This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light, relaxing massage that does not probe very deep into the muscles, should not hurt. With that being said, there is a ‘feels good’ hurt and an ‘ouch, stop it’ hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range.

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

How often should I get a massage?

“Something is better than nothing.” What does that mean? Well, it varies from person to person. If you are just looking for some occasional relaxation, then a session every 3-6 weeks may be fine for you. However, if you are looking to address a specific condition, then it is recommended to go more frequently at first and then slowly taper down to a maintenance schedule. Sometimes more frequent 60-minute sessions can be effective until your goals are met and a maintenance schedule is in place.

Frequency of sessions should be discussed with your massage therapist after your treatment when he/she has a better hands-on understanding of your particular muscular issues.

When should I not get a massage?

There are few conditions which would prevent you from enjoying massage. You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection. That’s it.

There are many other conditions in which your therapist may need to adapt his/her 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). This does not mean you cannot get massage. But it’s always better to be cautious.

Your therapist can advise you about your specific needs.

How many sessions will I need?

Honestly, it’s hard to say. Every person is unique and every condition is unique to each person. It may take one session or it may take several. You and your therapist will be able to talk more specifically about this after your first session and he/she has had a chance to evaluate your body’s tissues.

Do I have to listen to meditation or new age music during my massage?

No. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) While many therapists play slower, quieter, ‘new age’ type music, you can choose to have different music or no music at all. Studies have shown that music at under 60 beats-per-minute have a calming, relaxing effect on the body and therefore can enhance your experience.

However, while this may be true, any music you like to listen to while you relax can be played while you get a massage. If it relaxes you and you enjoy it at home, why would it not do the same during your treatment? It is perfectly okay to bring your own music with you to your session from home (I-Pod only).

How will I feel after my massage treatment?

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. Just a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body’s tissues hydrated and healthy.

Am I expected to tip my massage therapist?

Tips are never expected, but always appreciated. If you have received exceptional service and would like to show your appreciation to the therapist, the average tip ranges between 10-25%.  However, from the therapist’s perspective, it is always nice to receive the compliment of a “thank you for good service” gratuity. If paying with a credit card or check, the tip can be added to the total.

Are there any cancellation fees?

Missed appointments, or those cancelled with less than 24-hours notice will be charged $25.00 ($50 fee for couples massage). Please give 24-hours notice if you need to reschedule your appointment so that hour may be made available to others.

Massage FAQs

If you are new to massage therapy, we understand you might have some questions.

Photo representing Massage FAQs

What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

You will be required to fill out a Client Intake Form and sign a HIPAA Acknowledgment form. Afterward the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and determine if massage is appropriate for you.

Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition.

It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.

What is included in the session time?

A session consists of massage, time for you to dress and undress and time to communicate with the therapist to make your massage truly customized. This is done to ensure each and every massage session you receive from Serenity Massage meets or exceeds your expectations.

How early should I arrive for my massage?

New clients should arrive 10 minutes prior to their massage to fill out paperwork and meet with their therapist prior to their treatment.  Returning clients should arrive 5 minutes prior to their session.

Which massage is right for me?

Swedish, cupping therapy, deep tissue and medical massage are all included in the price of your visit. Before your session begins, you and your therapist will discuss which modalities are right for you to get the most benefit from your massage.

Do I have to be completely undressed?

You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, most get completely undressed. However, if you will be more comfortable during the session leaving your underwear on, that is fine. The therapist will work around the clothes you left on as best as he/she can. If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session. Your massage therapist will step out of the room to give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table.

Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?

In Washington state draping is mandatory – it’s the law. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body being worked on. The genitals and breasts (women and men) will not be uncovered. If the therapist is going to work on a woman’s abdomen, a second sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet can be moved to expose the abdomen.

What do I do during a massage treatment?

Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she/he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, 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.

Can I talk during my session?

Sure, if you’d like to talk go right ahead. The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and enjoying the experience. Many therapists discourage talking in hopes that you will relax, let your mind float free and enter a state of massage bliss.

In many instances, people may feel more relaxed starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, enter quiet states of relaxation.

Most important, there are times when you need to speak up. If the therapist is doing anything to make you uncomfortable, you should let her/him know immediately. Also, let him/her know if you get too warm or too cold, if the room is too bright, or if the pressure needs to be changed (lighter or deeper). If something is not working for you, speak up! It’s OK!

How long will a massage treatment last?

All massage treatments begin and end on time.  You are more than welcome to arrive 10 minutes early for your session to allow time to get on the table without interfering with your scheduled time.

30-Minute Massage:  Half-hour appointments only allow time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet.

60-Minute, 90-Minute & 120-Minute Massages:  The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour or longer if you choose.

Many people prefer a 60 to 120-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.

Will the massage hurt?

This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light, relaxing massage that does not probe very deep into the muscles, should not hurt. With that being said, there is a ‘feels good’ hurt and an ‘ouch, stop it’ hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range.

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

How often should I get a massage?

“Something is better than nothing.” What does that mean? Well, it varies from person to person. If you are just looking for some occasional relaxation, then a session every 3-6 weeks may be fine for you. However, if you are looking to address a specific condition, then it is recommended to go more frequently at first and then slowly taper down to a maintenance schedule. Sometimes more frequent 60-minute sessions can be effective until your goals are met and a maintenance schedule is in place.

Frequency of sessions should be discussed with your massage therapist after your treatment when he/she has a better hands-on understanding of your particular muscular issues.

When should I not get a massage?

There are few conditions which would prevent you from enjoying massage. You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection. That’s it.

There are many other conditions in which your therapist may need to adapt his/her 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). This does not mean you cannot get massage. But it’s always better to be cautious.

Your therapist can advise you about your specific needs.

How many sessions will I need?

Honestly, it’s hard to say. Every person is unique and every condition is unique to each person. It may take one session or it may take several. You and your therapist will be able to talk more specifically about this after your first session and he/she has had a chance to evaluate your body’s tissues.

Do I have to listen to meditation or new age music during my massage?

No. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) While many therapists play slower, quieter, ‘new age’ type music, you can choose to have different music or no music at all. Studies have shown that music at under 60 beats-per-minute have a calming, relaxing effect on the body and therefore can enhance your experience.

However, while this may be true, any music you like to listen to while you relax can be played while you get a massage. If it relaxes you and you enjoy it at home, why would it not do the same during your treatment? It is perfectly okay to bring your own music with you to your session from home (I-Pod only).

How will I feel after my massage treatment?

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. Just a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body’s tissues hydrated and healthy.

Am I expected to tip my massage therapist?

Tips are never expected, but always appreciated. If you have received exceptional service and would like to show your appreciation to the therapist, the average tip ranges between 10-25%.  However, from the therapist’s perspective, it is always nice to receive the compliment of a “thank you for good service” gratuity. If paying with a credit card or check, the tip can be added to the total.

Are there any cancellation fees?

Missed appointments, or those cancelled with less than 24-hours notice will be charged $25.00 ($50 fee for couples massage). Please give 24-hours notice if you need to reschedule your appointment so that hour may be made available to others.

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Answers to some of the most common questions asked about massage therapy.

 
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