Q&A's - A Soothing Touch by DavidSmith, LMT

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Q. How much should I take off or leave on?
A. Most massage techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. Most clients will completely disrobe or just leave on their underpants. Either way,   you will be properly draped during the entire session and only the area that I'm working on will be uncovered.
Some areas (such as the Gluteal muscles) can be worked over clothing or through the drape if it makes you more comfortable. Some modalities such as Chair Massage, Acupressure, Energy Balancing, Sports, Thai, Positional Release and Reflexology can be done fully clothed or with minimal undressing.
I will leave the room while you undress, and get settled on the table. After a few minutes I will return and knock before entering the room to ensure that you are ready to begin the session.
Q.What will you work on?
 A.This depends on what your goals are for the session (i.e., what areas you're experiencing pain or if you want more of a relaxation massage) A typical full-body session includes work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head (including face/scalp), neck, and shoulders.  But you can choose where you want me to focus or not.
Do I need to do anything during the massage?
A.No, just make yourself comfortable. Close your eyes, relax and let me do all the work. You shouldn't need to assist me in any way unless the techniques require it. In that case, I will either gently move you or tell you what is needed (such as please lift your arm).  You also may need to change position (from lying face down to face up or lying on one side) as I work different areas.
How will I feel after the massage?
A.Most likely you will feel very relaxed pain free. Some techniques can leave you energized as well.  I find that just having that time to reflect and really get in touch with your body/mind/spirit usually results in heightened awareness, a sense of well-being and greater productivity which can last for days. As I mentioned before you may feel sore if I applied deeper techniques but that will subside within a day. Applying ice/heat for 10-15 minutes and doing mild stretches at home should help with this. Clients with more chronic pain will experience some relief but it may not be as long lasting and may require more time to really make progress.
How long of a session do I need?
A.This will depend on the goals you have for your initial massage session and what issues you have to work on. I suggest a 60 minute session if your goal is just to relax, de-stress or have only one problem area to address such as general neck or shoulder tension. This gives me enough time to do a full body massage and do some focused work on the single issue. However if you have older or chronic pain in one or more areas such as pain from an old neck injury, plus low back pain, plus your calves are always tight, plus you want to relax too, I suggest a 75 or 90 minute session. This lets me address the problem areas and touch briefly on everything else for a full body experience.
How often should I receive massage?
A. Again this depends on your issues as well as your overall health goals. Any kind of chronic or ongoing pain will require more time and work to correct. Massage can help improve and maintain your flexibility and range of motion and decrease muscular tension from postural distortions or habitual sitting, slumping, bending, lifting etc. Also if you exercise or workout regularly you can lock out already chronically tight muscles which will cause pain, distortions and lack of flexibility. Most people are tight in their chest muscles (pecs) and weak  or overstretched in their back and shoulder muscles, so building up your chest will just aggravate your back/shoulder pain. Massage as well as stretching the tight muscles and strengthening the weak muscles will help with this common imbalance. So if you have only mild pain or stress you can probably get away with a session every 4 to 6 weeks. If you have larger or more chronic issues, weekly, bi-weekly or every third week sessions may be warranted.
Should I Tip You?
While gratuities are not expected, they are always appreciated. That being said, I would rather you come see me as often as necessary or as you'd like rather than worrying about how you'll pay for a session plus a tip. Sending me referral (or two) or a nice review on your favorite social media site is also wonderful and even more valuable to me than cash. So, however you choose to show your gratitude for a job well done; whether it's a tip, rebook, referral, review or all of the above will be sincerely appreciated!
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