Do I have to remove all my clothes for the session?
This is the question I get the most often. While you don't have to remove all of your clothes for a session, doing so allows the massage therapist to be more effective in her strokes and work on the body. It is recommended, but there are some people who are more comfortable leaving on their underwear or boxers. If you leave underwear on, I will not be able to connect and work the glutes/upper thighs/low back. For clients with chronic pain in those areas, I often suggest we try a session fully unclothed to see if we get different results.
Some people are more modest than others, and request clothed sessions - I offer those as well, and sometimes people elect to have their first session as a clothed session. It's your session, so chose whatever you're comfortable with.
What session length should I choose?
If you're coming to a massage for relaxation, a 60 or 90-minute length is best. Those times allow me to work multiple areas of the body, and I can work on a particular area during the overall work. The choice between a 60-minute and a 90-minute session can sometimes be more difficult. While 60 minute sessions do give us enough time to address the whole body to a large extent, most people feel more relaxed and more centered after a 90-minute session. A 90-minute session allows me to integrate several different modalities into a full-body session, and gives me time to focus on your problem areas while also treating your whole body to a relaxing session. When I go to a therapist, I usually choose a 90-minute session because the additional 30 minutes makes a huge difference in the way I feel after the session. I would suggest trying a 90-minute session at least once to see how your body responds to the treatment session length.
I offer 45-minute session as a shorter session to do work targeted to a particular area. For people that need concentrated work on one part of the body more frequently, the 45-minute sessions are a shorter and less expensive alternative.
Why do I need to give medical information?
Massage affects the entire body as a system. While I am focused on manipulating the soft tissues and muscles of the body, I am moving fluid and energy throughout the entire body, and massage can interact with conditions and medications in specific ways. Sometimes the interactions are positive (indications) and sometimes the interactions are negative (contraindications). Medications also affect the entire system - so I need to know what medications, vitamins or supplements you are taking. The questions I ask are focused toward getting me information that will show me if there are areas in which massage would be a great benefit, or areas where massage should be avoided. It is not often that massage is completely contraindicated for a condition. It is more likely that the massage approach would need to be modified or altered due to information I get from you.
Is my session confidential?
Yes - everything about your session, from your medical information, what happened in the session, to the fact that you came to see me is confidential. I'm often working on friends or acquaintances - and I'm often asked, "So-and-so told me she was coming to see you last week. How did the session go?" In those cases, I tell the person who asked that she should check in with so-and-so to see how the session went, and that I don't like to comment on what happened in session with anyone outside the session room. This is all to say that if you ask me how my session went with someone you know, I'm definitely trying to be elusive by not answering the question specifically. Just remember that this means I keep your session confidential as well.
How often should I get massage therapy?
How often you get massage therapy depends on your goals and your physical status when you start working with a new therapist. For those who come in seeking to work on a particular area or problem, we will talk at the end of the first session, and at the end of subsequent sessions about a treatment plan. For people wanting to come in for relaxation, it depends on how stressful your life is and how often you feel massage will help. In general, if there is something particular we are working on, we will setup a series of weekly sessions. Once the area seems to be improved on a regular basis, we will cut back on sessions - having them bi-weekly and then perhaps monthly. Regular massage is a kind of maintenance for those issues you've worked through and it keeps your body from going back into the same patterns that caused the discomfort in the first place. It also depends on your financial situation and your calendar. For some people, coming every week is a hardship either on their pocketbook or on their time. Massage can be a treat or special occasion, something you give yourself on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. It can be a therapy used to heal from injury or chronic pain - and might be something needed each week.
The bottom line is that you and I will work together to talk about what treatment plan would be optimal, and then fit it to your life situation so that you are comfortable with the plan as well.
Do I need to talk to my physician/chiropractor/internist first?
Perhaps. For chronic disease or conditions, it is often suggested that you talk to your physician before starting treatment. For things like cancer, diabetes, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, lupus, MS, etc. it is helpful to discuss your intention to see a massage therapist with your physician beforehand. I have a release form that I send to your MD in this situation that gets her/his approval on starting a massage therapy treatment plan. The physician overseeing your treatment for serious conditions needs to know about changes you are making to your body's system - whether massage, nutrition, supplements or exercise. All of these changes can affect your reaction to treatment or medication, and can affect your condition directly. As the main medical health professional, the MD is in a position to be able to assess massage's effects on a person in light of all the other medical issues going on with him/her.
However, if you have no serious conditions for which you have been seeking regular medical treatment, odds are you won't need to. If you have questions, please let me know and we can discuss this before you come to your first treatment.
When should I tell you if something makes me feel uncomfortable?
Right away. The massage is for you - the client. Everything about the room should assist in helping you to relax and heal yourself. As we start the session, I will check in with you about music volume, room temperature and light levels, and the position of the face cradle or pillows. If at any point in the massage something causes you discomfort, whether physical or emotional, please let me know what I can do to correct the situation immediately. And, sometimes what seemed comfortable at the beginning of the session may cause discomfort later in the session - I need to know as soon as I can so that we can make the session more comfortable and allow you to relax.
Some examples of things that clients bring to my attention
Sometimes I feel "out of it" or lightheaded after a session. Is that normal? Should I be worried?
Massage lowers blood pressure and can induce a very deep sense of relaxation. Feeling euphoric or dizzy is common, and is not a cause for concern. There are times people feel a slight headache or discomfort in an area that was focused on - that too is normal and usually passes quickly. If clients feel lightheaded or seem a little disconnected, I encourage them to drink some water and wait a few minutes before heading out.
Sometimes people also become emotional during a session. Touch is a basic sense for humans, and our bodies store in their memories everything that happens to us. Massage can cause emotions to come to the surface that we don't expect, and that is completely normal. I feel a tremendous sense of awe that clients trust me and my touch enough to be who they really are and who they need to be. I am honored that my clients are able to find a safe place on my table.
There are some cases when I need to cancel. What is your policy? When is it suggested to cancel a session?
I ask that my clients give me 24 hours notice if they need to cancel. That gives me time to re-fill the appointment, and allows me to contact my waiting list when available. If you cancel later than that, you will be responsible for paying for the appointment.
If you have the flu or a cold, and you have a fever, it's best to cancel. Since massage stirs up so much in the body, having a massage while you're sick can sometimes make you feel worse.
If you're pregnant in the first trimester, it's also best to cancel. After the first trimester, massage can be done regularly up until the birth, but given the risks associated with the first 3 months; most massage therapists suggest you wait to see a massage therapist.
What if there are areas I'd prefer you not to work?
Everyone has areas that they are uncomfortable with. Sometimes it's an area of our body that we're not comfortable with. Other times, it's an area of the body that has suffered a lot of pain or abuse. Please let me know if there are areas you do not want worked. In addition, if I'm working on an area and it becomes uncomfortable, I would like to know as well.
There are cases where the places that you prefer not be worked are related to some problem area that's causing pain or discomfort elsewhere in the body. For example, sometimes people prefer not to have their glutes worked. However, for people with chronic low back pain or hip problems, the glutes are a major muscular player in that area. We can discuss the pros and cons of having that area worked and of avoiding it. You can then make an informed decision.
Connect with Heather
(615) 294-6672 & (502) 265-6710
90 min session - $100
60 min session (general/Swedish) - $75
60 min session Deep Tissue, Muscle Release Technique, Advanced Therapies - $80
45 min session - $65
**Accepting checks and cash only. Sorry, credit cards only available through Pay In Advance online, please.**
Massage Office Hours
Tues - Fri: 10 AM to 7 PM
Saturday: 9 AM to 3 PM
Louisville Massage Office
The Louisville massage therapy office is located in St. Matthews at 120 Sears Ave Suite 204 (Same building as Equus and Jack's Lounge).