The physical benefits of massage therapy go well beyond relaxation and tension relief. An educated and experienced massage therapist can effectively treat injuries (new and old), postural deviations, muscular imbalances, and chronic pain conditions. Long-term regular clients of such therapists can experience increased range of motion, improved function and decreased pain in activities of daily living. Athletes can expect improved performance, faster recovery times, and a decreased risk of injury. The professional sports industry has begun to recognize the benefits of massage therapy and many professional teams now employ full-time massage therapists.
As though that were not enough, the physical benefits of massage therapy are only the beginning. We store memories and emotion, both good and bad, in the muscles and soft tissue of our bodies. Touch deprivation can magnify the adverse effects of abuse and anxiety. Counseling and psychotherapy is beneficial and important, but study after study has shown that skin touch is still necessary for balanced emotional and mental health. As a massage therapist, I bear witness to the powerful effect physical touch can have on a person’s wellbeing.
I completely understand and sympathize with people who describe themselves as “not touchy-feely,” or who have an aversion to skin touch by others. But I now see these reservations as symptoms of a tactile-deprived culture that has forgotten how to give and receive touch in healthy ways.
What to expect
If you have never had a professional massage before, or if you have and it wasn’t a great experience, you may want to know exactly what can be expected during your first visit to New Albany Massage Therapeutics.
If you are a first-time client, I will schedule enough time with you to allow for your desired length of massage plus a twenty- or thirty-minute intake interview, to be held before your massage session. During the interview portion, you will be asked to fill out a medical background form to determine if massage is safe for you. Common contraindications include first trimester pregnancy, uncontrolled hypertension, and recent surgery.
Also during the intake interview, we’ll get to know each other better. I’ll want to know if there is a specific reason you are wanting a massage (pain, injury, sports, etc.), or if you’re just checking it out and getting some much needed relaxation. I may ask what you are looking for in a massage therapist, or what you hope will improve as a result of your treatment.
After the intake interview I’ll let you tell me exactly what you want me to do for you. When you hire me to work on you, you are my boss. I will never work on an area you do not ask me to treat, and I will tailor the experience to fit your specified needs. Be as bossy as you like. It is your body and absolutely your right. Massage can be a vulnerable experience for many people and it’s important that you feel comfortable and in control.
During the session, you remain the boss. Communicate as much or as little as you like. Feel free to fall asleep. I may occasionally ask you about the pressure. If you need more or less pressure at any time, I ask that you say so. I want you to be as comfortable as possible, and I can’t feel what you’re feeling.
An ideal first session is comfortable, relaxing, and effective. But the client and therapist are still getting to know each other, and sometimes things don’t get really good until two or three sessions later.
I trust my clients to manage their treatment by setting their own schedules. I’ll never schedule you for an appointment without your consent, or pressure you to reschedule. Come as frequently or infrequently as your health and goals require. I often run promotions and offer discounts or incentives, but it’s not to get your money. It’s to keep money from being something that prevents you from getting the help you want.