Half the time I don't even dignify that with a response. The answer always has been, always will be, a resounding no.
To expand on that, I worked very hard to attend night school while running an office, a home, and raising a child. Not only is this illegal, but there's not enough money in the world to make that worth it.
Did you have to go to school just to learn how to rub people's back?
Essentially what they meant was to move the skin around. Yes, I did go to school. I attended Miller Motte Technical College in Chattanooga, TN for a year and became licensed in the state of Georgia. The US requires 500 hours to become licensed, I completed nearly a thousand. I learned what makes up the skeletal and muscular system, as well as all the others.
Do You keep learning?
Yes! I am constantly taking classes! Not only is this required to keep your Massage Therapy license in every state, but I like to bring you new things to help you better!
What are the benefits of massage?
Just to name a few: PHYSICALLY it relaxes the body, calms the nervous system, calms the heart rate, slows respiration, stretches connective tissue, reduces chronic pain, improves red blood cell count, relieves tire and aching muscles, improves muscle tone, relieves cramped muscles, speeds recovery from injury, reduces tension headaches, increases tissue metabolism, decreases muscle deterioration, increases range of motion, stimulates release of endorphins, strengthens the immune system, reduces swelling, improves posture and skin tone.
EMOTIONALLY: Reduces anxiety, can enhance self image, provides a feeling of well being.
What should I expect from my first massage therapy session? Do I have to do anything?
Other than show up? Avoid any alcohol or drugs, they can make it hard to tell what's going on during the session with how much pressure or your pain levels.
Before the session starts, you and I will sit down and go over your health history together. We will talk about any medical conditions you have. I want you to take advantage of this time and ask any questions. Questions are allowed during and after the session too! During the session, I want you to make yourself comfortable. I will adjust you (like lifting your arm, etc) and you don't have to do anything but relax! I have a face mask for you while you are face up on the table to block out the light and to help you relax. This is my gift to you! If you need anything during the session just tell me and I will try to help you get more comfortable.
IS MY SESSION PRIVATE?
Completely! I close the door and hang an “In Session” Sign on the door so that no one will bother you during your session!
What IF i CAN'T RELAX?
Tell me. We will change the music, change the session pace or flow and we will do some breathing. There are a ton of things we can do to help you relax but you've got to tell me!
What if i need more/less pressure?
Again, tell me! I will ask periodically during your session but I don't know if you don't tell me!
What if I get cold or hot?
I have an extra blanket on the table that can be added or removed and a table warmer that feels amazing! We can add hot packs or ice to your massage to help you get more comfortable with the temperature.
what if i have to go to the bathroom?
All you have to do is tell me! I will step out and you can put on the robe I have handy for you and you can go to the bathroom which is close to the massage room.
what types of massage do you offer?
Right now I offer Myofascial Release (VERY light work that focuses on stretching the connective tissue), Swedish (relaxation), Sports, Pregnancy and Therapeutic (deeper, more focused work)
will my therapist be present while I undress?
No. I conduct our consultation and then I step out to wash my hands and knock before I come back into the room once you are on the table.
Do I have to get naked on the table? And if I do will my therapist see my naked?
The simple version, no and no. I want you to be comfortable. If you are uncomfortable it will essentially undo any work we do accomplish on your body. I have clients stay fully clothed, some fully un-clothed. I myself get them fully undressed because I like body work. I have clients who take their shirts off and leave everything else on. And if you do fully undress, you are completely covered at all times except the areas I am working on. I never undrape you in a way that would expose you.
If I stay fully or partially dressed does that mean that you can't work that area?
Again, this is a no. I can work around whatever is in my way. Watch on the blog for me to post more about this! Pictures and maybe even a video coming your way! :)
do i have to be covered on the table?
Yes. You are covered on the table, except where I am working at the time. If you run hot, I will get a fan for you. I can also undrape your whole leg or arm, etc. I follow state laws when it comes to draping.
why do you give me water after my session?
Not only is it good for you, who couldn't use more water? Refer to http://www.madhattermassage.com/blog/30-frequently-asked-questions1 to get the picture under the question for a more detailed answer.
is massage supposed to hurt?
No. (Are you guys seeing a trend here?) Even if you get deep tissue massage, it is not supposed to leave you sore or hurting afterward. There are things in our body called Trigger Points that can be uncomfortable when touched. If you want, I am trained to work them out. If not, I come off them and work lightly over them or around them together.
do I have to rush off the table?
No. I want you to take your time. The worst part of a massage is getting up off the warm table! I block out a little extra time for each of my clients so that they don't have to be rushed out of the room for the next client.
what if i didn't shave my legs?
So what if you didn't?
Do you see male clients as well as female clients?
Can I talk during my session?
Yes. This is your session, you can talk or not talk. I will not spur conversation on but I will listen and comment if needed. I am not being rude, I just want you to relax!
Do I have to listen to whale calls or ocean sounds or flutes or, even worse, Enya during my massage?
No! I don't like regular spa music. For this reason, I provide a bluetooth speaker that you can hook up to play any kind of music you want. I also run Pandora so we can choose a station based off what you want.
what if i get an erection during the massage?
This has happened before and this will happen again. I have been married for years, this is a natural body response. I will not address it, most of the time, I am so focused on my work I probably won't even notice.
what if i need to blow my nose?
I have Kleenexes and a trashcan handy! This is another natural response when you are on your stomach on the table. The pressure of the face cradle can open up your sinuses.
how often should i get a massage?
Lots of things play into this- how stressful your job & home life are, if you're an athlete, if you are pregnant, if you are on a very tight budget, etc. I suggest you come in as you feel you need, but certainly once a month to keep lasting benefits, especially if you do your homework at home!
how often do you get a massage?
I ALWAYS go at least once a month for a professional massage at minimum but like to go two times a week to stay in top shape. Normally, I on a massage table once a week.
What do you do for pain management?
See if this sounds familiar- I stretch at least once every day, and always in between sessions. I use aromatherapy every other if not daily. I get a massage AT LEAST once a month. I also see a chiropractor at least once a month and get adjusted from head to toe, literally.
do your hands get tired?
Yes and no. I always keep up my self care and that helps! Also, fun fact, massage therapists use more body weight and less arm strength to work on you!
do i have to tip my massage therapist?
Yes and no. Tips are not mandatory, and I certainly don't note your file and I won't ask for one. But, just like your hair stylist, nail technician or a server at a restaurant, tipping someone 20% is customary in the massage therapy industry. I would assume I did something wrong if I never received a tip. Having said that, I don't sit there and calculate if you tipped 20% or not. Even if it's only $2, it tells me that you are happy with your massage. I have been guilty of not tipping, not because I didn't love my service, but because I just didn't think about it, but when I go out to eat I always tip my server. We in the service industry work very hard and we appreciate your recognition in this way!
DO I HAVE TO BE IN PAIN TO GET A MASSAGE?
It’s a common misconception that you need to be in physical pain in order to schedule a massage. Massage therapists will always ask you about any physical pain or injuries you may have had as a way to better assess the client’s body as a whole. However, one of the greatest benefits of massage therapy is the feeling of well-being and relaxation it promotes. Frequent massages greatly reduce chronic stress. So if you tell your massage therapist you just want to relax, that’s all they need to hear!