WHAT IS MASSAGE: Massage is defined as the “rubbing or kneading of parts of the body to aid circulation or to relax the muscles”. It is an ancient healing art which is mentioned in Chinese literature as early as 3000 B.C.. Greek and Roman physicians used it to treat their rulers and it has been an integral part of the health systems of most cultures.
WHAT TO EXPECT: the practice of massage is generally safe for nearly everyone from babies to the elderly, however there are certain conditions for which massage may be contraindicated. If you have any of the following, please advise your therapist:
- History of blood clots or diabetes
- Recent fracture, sprain or high fever
After briefly discussing any of these problems or other items that might be of concern to you, your therapist will leave the room allowing you to disrobe to your level of comfort. Keep in mind that special care will be taken to make sure that you are properly draped with a sheet or a towel at all times and only the parts of your body being worked on will be exposed at any time (never any private parts). Once you have laid down on the table and covered yourself with the sheet provided, your massage therapist will return and begin your massage with relaxing music and low lighting to enhance your massage experience.
No two massages are alike. Each is as unique as the person who gives it and the person who receives it.
Most massages begin with effleurage (the long gliding movements used for applying oils or lotions which are meant to relax the body and prepare it for later work). This may be followed by petrissage or kneading of the muscles, tapotement or percussion which can be performed in many ways, and friction or vibration. These are the five basic movements of the most common type of massage known as Swedish massage.
I may also incorporate acupressure or Shiatsu (meaning finger pressure) to certain areas to improve the flow of energy in the body, stretching to increase range of motion and flexibility, aromatherapy to enhance both physical and mental well-being as well as other techniques as I am qualified and as I feel the need for them.
As with any human interaction, good communication is essential. Please let me know if you feel pain as this will cause you to tense your muscles and be counter-productive. You may experience some discomfort when areas of tight muscles are being worked on, but it should never be to the level of causing you to flinch, squirm to get away or to hold your breath.
Always let me know if you are uncomfortable in any way. If the room is too hot or too cold, the face cradle or bolsters need to be adjusted in any way or the pressure of the massage is too light or too deep for you, please advise me so I can make adjustments to achieve your comfort and total relaxation.
Please be sure to follow each therapy session by drinking plenty of water (at least 2 full glasses as soon as possible, and more throughout the day as you are able) to assist your body in flushing any released toxins. In addition, if you feel sore (like you have been working out), the bromelain enzymes in any type of pineapple will help break down the lactic acid that has been released and make you feel much more comfortable.
I hope this short introduction to massage has been helpful and will enhance your massage experience. If you should happen to have any questions before your first visit, you might find the answers on our Frequently Asked Questions page or if not, feel free to call me at my office in Sturgeon Bay, WI at 920-743-4003.
I look forward to seeing you in my office shortly where you will have the opportunity to experience first hand all of the wonderful benefits of massage!
Sandra Stetler-Peot, Licensed Massage Therapist