What to Expect from Your Massage Therapy Session
At RuppMassage, your session is tailored to meet your specific health needs.
Getting started: Based on the information you provide (your health history and current state are important to me), I will talk you through the different approaches to massage therapy that I have learned in order to provide the best regenerative and healing process for each of my clients. I will demonstrate the different techniques and it will be up to you to decide if you want to incorporate a technique into your session, or not.
During the Session: What to wear? This is a question I get from a lot of people that are experiencing massage therapy for the first time. You can wear anything you want to the office, but when you get onto the table, ideally, you will not be wearing anything. Here’s why:
Direct access to all of your muscles makes it easier for me to do the work you are paying me to do. Equally beneficial to your healing are the essential oils I incorporate into therapeutic massage. However, I recognize that we all have different comfort levels. I am a professional and like a doctor or a nurse, I work with people of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes.
Good hygiene is essential for you as my client and for me as your service provider. Soap, washcloths and hand towels are available in our restroom for your use before and/or after your session.
Lighting is kept low to enhance your relaxation levels and music/sound can be adjusted to your specific tastes. Just let me know what would like before we start the session so that I can remain focused on you and your healing or recovery process.
Communication and feedback are essential in helping me provide you with the best massage experience. The overall quality of your massage experience is important to me, and this includes everything from the temperature of the blankets, to the sounds and music, to the amount of pressure I apply or a technique I use. The more you share how something feels, the better I can adjust and improve your session.
After the Session: Most people feel very relaxed after their massage. Take a few minutes to breath. Once you are dressed, we will reconnect and talk about how you feel, what worked best, and what might like to do differently in subsequent sessions. Many of my clients experience freedom from pain, tension, and have greater range of motion. It is not uncommon to feel sore after deep tissue work. It is extremely important for you to hydrate after a massage! Drink plenty of water so that the toxins released from your muscles during the massage are flushed from your system rather than reabsorbed.
I have done my best to anticipate your questions or concerns, but I’m sure that you may still have some. I am including a list of frequently asked questions and responses below. These are meant as guidelines, but please remember that each person’s healing process is unique. As you and I communicate about your treatment and overall care, your input helps me better understand our progress. Always feel like you can ask a question and I will do my best to answer it.
I want to say again how much I appreciate the trust that you put in me by allowing me to work with you to regenerate muscle growth and alleviate stress or muscle pain.
I have also put together a few of the most frequently asked questions about massage, and my responses to them. I hope these provide you with some insight into working with me, or at a minimum, what you should expect from any licensed massage therapist you are considering as a partner in your healing and overall health care.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. More on What to Wear? As mentioned above, your comfort level is my top priority. The more relaxed you are during our time, the more beneficial your massage will be to your goals. I have clients who wear nothing, clients who prefer to keep on their underwear, clients who stay fully-clothed on the bottom-half if I am only focusing on their upper neck/shoulders/head/arms. The massage session is about you. Managing your stress and any discomfort that you are experiencing is our objective. So, I need you to be as comfortable as possible before we get started. You are covered the entire time with a blanket and only the part of your body being worked on is exposed.
2. What if I have to go to the bathroom during my massage? It happens! In fact, it is important that you are hydrating before and after your massage session, so this is probably more common than you think. I will have a robe for you so that you won’t need to completely redress. I will step out of the room so that you are able to dress with the provided robe (just as you would in a large hotel spa) and use the facilities. I will give you plenty of time to return to the room and once you are back under the covers, we will resume your session.
3. Will the massage hurt? I wish I could say NO! But the truth is, it could. Sore muscles hurt when they are massaged, and everyone is different when it comes to pain tolerance. What is most important is that you are communicating with me about your level of pain – what you are ok with, and what is “too much.” There is benefit from all different pressures of massage. We can work to find what works best for you.
4. Will I be sore after my massage? You could be sore, here’s why:
Therapeutic sports massage works deep in the muscles, how deep depends on your comfort level. If you experience tenderness after the session, this is likely due to the breakup of adhesions in the muscles. We are working to realign your muscle fibers and connective tissue. As massage relaxes and lengthens your muscles, toxins are being flushed away. There’s a lot going on here! Hydrating is key –, in flushing toxins more effectively from your system and in keeping blood flow moving through your muscles to promote healing.
5. Where do I go with my hands and arms? I get this question from all my clients….in every location I have been employed and even where I receive massage, NO ONE provides any where for the client to put their hands. However, I have a hand/arm cradle that my clients love. I tell my clients this is their place for hands until I need them to work on them. As an aside, the hand cradle has been used to place one’s smart phone to look through the headrest and watch the IU playoffs!
6. What can you do to relieve pain and strain in my fingers and hands from typing and texting or weight lifting? For people who spend a lot of time using their hands and fingers (typing and texting, needlework, weight lifting), and even for those of you who don’t, therapeutic hand massage can help ease pain and address those joints that may be stiff and sore.
7. How does massage work as a recovery tool for intense trainers/athletes? Regular massage therapy can help recovery from intense workouts and exercise like a change in your routine, a competition, or CrossFit. Changes in intensity, volume or the type of exercise can cause muscle soreness, which, if too excessive, can inhibit muscles and introduce the potential for not only poor performance, but a greater likelihood of injury. Regular massage can help intense athletes like those in CrossFit keep swelling and inflammation down and maintain range of motion.
Through massage and other therapeutic techniques, blood flow can be increased to muscles and connective tissues in your hands to help alleviate pain and soreness. Regular massage supports healthier circulation, which can actually improve strength and flexibility, supporting improved endurance for the activities in which your fingers, hands, and wrists are engaged.
8. Can I request a male or female therapist? While most people seeking therapeutic massage services today aren’t concerned about the gender of their therapist (they focus on certification, techniques, and quality), I still experience some “gender discrimination” as a male massage therapist. First, let me say that it’s ok to have a preference and you need to make decisions based on what will make your massage experience the most beneficial and comfortable for you. I have run into both men and women with different preferences, and even though I am used to serving clients who are athletes and prefer a male therapist for sports massage, I think it’s important to offer information about myself to help anyone feel open to a massage with me, a male sports massage therapist.
Sports massage therapy is focused on muscle and joint recovery and healing for injury rehabilitation, and better performance. Sports in general is dominated with men (no offense to women). My personal belief is that athletes (both men and women) are first and foremost concerned with receiving the highest quality therapy to maximize their recovery, regardless of whom it’s from, a male or female therapist. Massage therapy for sports injury rehabilitation and recovery also can come from physician referrals. This often causes much less anxiety about the gender of a therapist.
Male massage therapists make up only 15 – 20 percent of all Western massage therapist. They are oftentimes stereotyped as being a sexual threat to both men and women. As one therapist summarized, (and I think this is more applicable for spa massage settings), “Your potential male clients are afraid you might be gay and your potential female clients are afraid that you are not.”
Ultimately your path to recovery and rehabilitation must be accompanied by your trust and comfort just as I’m sure you have with your primary care physician. We can talk, communicate, you can get to know me and my approach to supporting your recovery, which includes making you as relaxed and comfortable as possible. If you are on the fence, we can speak before you book a session. Again, do what will get you healed and healthy.
9. How Often Should I Get a Massage?
The frequency of your massage therapy sessions depends on your purpose for receiving massage. Massage is an accumulative therapy. Monthly massage is good starting point for relieving the tensions of general, everyday stresses. If you are looking to relieve or rehabilitate chronic pain or an injury, more frequent sessions may be required. Your situation will dictate the ideal frequency, and I, as your massage therapist will work with you to determine the optimum length of a session as well as the time between treatments.
10. How Long is a Massage Session?
A therapeutic massage session at RuppMassage is a minimum of one hour. With at least one hour, we can focus more on a particular issue if you need, or the hour session will provide you with a conventional full-body massage. Longer sessions are more thorough and can be discussed based on your needs and your goals. I have clients who book 3- to 4-hour massage sessions to maximize work on circulation, injury recover, and muscle performance. Please feel free to call ahead to discuss your objective.
11. Who Should Get Massages?
Everyone! From young children to the elderly, couch potatoes to top-performing athletes, everyone can benefit from massage. Massage not only makes you feel good, but it can improve your overall health. For my clients in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, it reduces stress, helps improve performance, aids (and even speeds) recovery, helps prevent injuries, improves circulation, and a whole list of other benefits.
Therapeutic massage can make a world of difference in your health. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “Therapeutic massage incorporates a variety of advanced modalities that enhance the body’s natural restorative functioning. Light to firm touch is used to release tension, relax muscles, increase blood and lymph circulation, and impart a sense of calm… Also, regular massage can enhance health, providing relaxation, release of muscle tightness, relief from anxiety and tensions, and balancing aspects of body/mind/spirit.” (Retrieved from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org)
If you have a question, please feel free to submit it on the contact page and I’ll get back to you with a response. It may even be posted here!