Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Swedish and Deep Tissue massage? Which one should I get?
Both types of massage use a variety of pressures: Swedish uses gentle to firm, and Deep Tissue uses medium to firm. The difference is not the pressure used - the difference is in the area(s) worked on, and the goal/intent of the massage. If you want to relax, work out the kinks, and usually enjoy the whole body being massaged, a Swedish massage is for you - even if you prefer a firm pressure. If you have chronic pain in a particular area of your body, and you'd like permanent relief, Deep Tissue massage is best. This type of massage concentrates on one area of the body, systematically working through each layer of muscle and fascia, from superficial to deep. The goal is to find any adhesions (knots), bound fascia, trigger points (hypersensitive areas), and tightness, and work on each until the issue is resolved. This typically takes several sessions.
What happens before/during/after the appointment?
If it is your first appointment, please arrive at least 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment to fill out an intake form (if you print and bring a completed form in, you can arrive 5 minutes before). If you've been to Bloomington/Normal Massage Therapy before, then please arrive at the time of your appointment. We will take you back to our treatment room, which is appointed with a high-end massage table covered in a thick fleece warmer pad and luxurious table coverings. There is a wardrobe area for your clothing and other personal possessions. We will conduct a thorough consultation and assessment that includes any issues you're experiencing, including which movements hurt, as well as motion and other possible (painless) tests. If necessary, photos will be taken to show the effectiveness of treatment (these are password protected and accessible to no one but us). Once we've worked with you to decide on our goals for the session, we will leave the room and allow you to undress to your level of comfort (this may also be based on the goals for the session and can be discussed during the consultation). We will give you plenty of time to undress and get on the table (typically face-down), and will knock before entering.
The session time starts once the actual massage starts, and the massage will last the whole scheduled time. If stretching, or other clothed modality is going to be used, that will count towards your massage time (the time you take getting dressed will NOT take away time). Simple home exercise demonstration will NOT count towards your massage time.
During the massage, the therapist will use the pressure that feels appropriate, and will check in with you to see if you'd like more or less pressure. If AT ANY TIME you'd like more or less pressure, please tell us as this is an easy adjustment most of the time. If it hurts and feels good at the same time, that is okay if it just hurts, and your body is telling you to stop, then we need to stop. Otherwise, all the muscles in the area will go into guard mode to protect you, and the massage will do NO good. For deeper modalities, 'hurts so good' is the pain level you want to aim for. A variety of techniques will be used - if a particular technique is uncomfortable, please say something and another one can usually achieve the same results.
We will only uncover the body part we're working on. If you'd like your arms or feet to be uncovered the whole time, that is fine. The body parts typically covered during a full body massage are: back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, scalp/face, glutes (through the blanket unless discussed beforehand), legs, knees, and feet. If there are any areas that you would not like massaged, this can be communicated during the consultation. There are certain conditions that abdominal massage may be appropriate for. If you think you may be helped by abdominal massage, please let us know - this is not traditionally included in a standard massage. Other parts of the body will not be touched.
After the massage is completed, we will give you some time to relax and get dressed. Once you're dressed, open up the door. The therapist will bring you a cup/bottle of water to drink while we go over what they observed during the massage, and any home care exercises you can do between massages (typically heat/ice and stretches).
After the session is completed, payment is expected. Members can use their credit in lieu of other payment. We can also schedule your next appointment(s) at this time. Tips are always appreciated, but never necessary or expected. If you have any questions about how we tailor a massage session, feel free to contact us!
I'm sick - can I still get a massage?
If you're highly contagious, please reschedule your massage - we don't want to risk getting our therapist or other clients ill. If you're running a fever, massage will NOT be performed on you. If you have a minor cold, and it's on the down-swing, go ahead and get the massage if you feel up to it. It's ok to receive massage if you're suffering from allergies, have a minor sinus infection (with no fever), migraine, or other non-contagious illness, as long as you feel ok to do so. The reason behind all this is that massage can spread a bacterial or viral infection, and make you feel worse than before the massage.