Whether you’re new to massage or an old pro, the curiosity from my clients about massage and their bodies never stops. Here are some of the most common questions I get asked.
Is it ok to fall asleep?
Although falling asleep in front of the company can be considered rude, Massage therapists take it as a compliment of true relaxation and comfort. Snooze away.
What is cupping therapy and how does it work?
Cupping is an ancient alternative medicine whose practice dates back to around 1550 BC with first documented uses in China and Egypt. Cups are traditionally made from glass but now can be found made from plastic or silicone. Using cups on the body can be very effective for lowering inflammation and creating circulation by ‘washing out’ stagnant blood and waste from muscle tissue. When applied to the body, the cups create a vacuum pressure. Blood vessels will expand as tissue is suctioned into the cup increasing blood flow to that area. Cups can be left stationary (you risk receiving a ‘cup kiss’ – the red mark sometimes left behind) or they can be moved around larger areas of the body creating the circulatory or massage-like effect. Cupping is great for relieving pain associated with joints, arthritis, sprains/strains, and areas with chronic inflammation.
Is it normal to feel pain during a massage?
The ‘no pain, no gain’ slogan as long been disproven in the massage world. Applying pressure in the correct area of the body is much more effective than the amount of pressure a therapist can give. In fact, too much pressure on an area can make muscles seize up making it more difficult for the therapist. Correcting some soft tissue problems can cause some slight discomfort. These include adhesions caused by surgery or scar tissue, trigger points, and tight muscle attachments. Open communication about your level of discomfort is always beneficial and a key to a successful massage session.
How much clothing should I take off?
I always tell the client to undress to their comfort level. About half of my clients leave their underwear on and about half go fully nude. It is preferred for women to remove their bra to allow the therapist full access to their back and shoulders. Some styles such as thai and sports massage allow the client to stay clothed. If your problem area is in the hips, buttocks, or glutes, having underwear on may get in the way of the massage work and you may want to opt to go nude. No matter what you decide, New York State has strict draping laws that ensure the client is properly covered and never unnecessarily exposed.
Should I talk or make conversation with my therapist?
A good therapist should take cues from the client on whether or not they want to engage in conversation. We wouldn’t consider it rude if you don’t want to talk at all but we are also happy to chat. Times to absolutely speak up would be about pressure level, any pain or discomfort, or need of a temperature change.