Massage 101 ~ Questions and Answers about Receiving a Massage

Since moving to rural Newfoundland and my new home of Trepassey, I have had many first time clients who have never received massage before. First off ~ what courage to try something new! I am humbled in the most grateful of ways. Since there are so many folks who have never experienced massage before I thought I would do up some frequently asked questions with some answers so that you know what to expect from your treatments at Still Waters Massage. If you have any questions that are not on this list feel free to drop me a line at stillwatersmassagenl at gmail dot com or give me a call at 709 438 6323.

Why should I get a massage?

  People see me for many reasons with the most obvious being that they are stiff and sore from aching muscles or they don't want to get that way so are proactive about their health. For some its to treat stress, depression, anxiety, even loneliness. For others they just want to treat themselves with some self care ~ if we don't care for ourselves how can we care for the people we love?

Who should get a massage?

Simple. Every BODY! I have worked on my own children from birth right up to clients who are in their nineties. From big burly men, to petite little women. This is not just a frilly thing for women either folks. I often tell  my male clients that if they want to keep working their construction jobs, or on the rigs, or even just keeping up with the chores at home, they have to take care of their bodies. For the women it is just the same ~ if you take care of you first all those that you care for will benefit.

What do I do when I get to your office?

  When you first come in we sit down together and spend some time getting to know each other. I will ask you all about your medical history ~ do you have high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis? Where do you feel you carry tension in your body ~ in your neck, back, shoulders, legs? I will then let you know step by step where to put your things, how to get on the table, what to expect when your muscles release in your body, what my style of treatment is like. We don't start until you are completely comfortable and all your questions are answered. This is also how I customize your treatment just for you. Every BODY and every session is unique at Still Waters Massage.

Do I have to take all my clothes off?

  You can get undressed to your comfort level. If you want to keep your pants on that's ok. If you want to keep your bra on that's ok too. Underwear on or off? Up to you as well. Take it all off? That is your choice. Through out the entire treatment, no matter what you choose to leave on or off, your privacy is respected and proper draping techniques are used to cover all parts of the body other than what is getting treated. I am a professional and treat each client with this courtesy.

What should I expect during the treatment?

  My first goal is to make sure you are comfortable on the massage table and are positioned correctly, that you have a pillow supporting your knee's, that you are warm enough. Then we both take a few deep breath's and we begin. We start with some aromatherapy, again customized for you. I use an all natural massage oil in my treatments for people with sensitive skin concerns. I treat you based on the intake at the beginning of each appointment and customize your treatment accordingly.

Will it hurt?

  My philosophy is that massage doesn't have to hurt to work. In saying that of course if there is an area that is sensitive or acute you will feel it when I am working that muscle. Yet I describe that it should be a good kind of pain, not the bad kind. If the muscle is worked too hard, in my experience, it just will not let go. I use as much pressure as your body tells me to get the release that is needed. Don't ask me how I do this but in 7 years of doing this for a living, I just know. In saying this though you are always in control of the pressure in the treatment. If at any point it is too much for you then please don't be a martyr on my table ~ speak up as it is your body. I have had people tell me that they have received massage elsewhere and that they where bruised and felt horrible for a week after a treatment. In my opinion, that is not healing that is hurting. Trust me ~ I have left no bruises on my clients!

How will my body react?

  When your muscles release you will feel a twitching occur. Kind of like just before you fall asleep and your body will all of a sudden jolt awake. That's what it is like. Some people also describe a shooting sensation as the muscle releases. When these things happen it can be a bit startling but this is what we are looking for. This is what will make your body feel better in the end.
  You might also snore! I'm serious :). A lot of my clients will drift away to a very relaxing place, not entirely sleep, but definitely not awake. So if you snore I take it as a compliment! Your tummy might also gurgle as well. When you are relaxed your digestive system finally gets a chance to work at its best. So don't be embarrassed. A gurgle or two from your tummy is another compliment.

How will my body react after the treatment?

  In the days following your treatment you will find that your body will be readjusting to feeling like it should. You should continue to reap the benefits over a couple of days following the treatment. I describe it like this. When you work out hard doing yard work or any kind of manual labour it sometimes takes a couple of days for your body to say "Ouch, you worked me too hard". Well its the same on the reverse. It often will take up to two days for the full benefits of the massage to be felt, so be patient with your body. Remember healing takes time.
  This is mostly applied to people who are acute ~ meaning they can't barely take their socks off when they come in. For those that are not acute and just looking for some relaxation the adjustment won't be quite the same. You may feel some shifting in your body but mostly you should just feel like a puddle on the ground ;-)!

PLEASE NOTE: you know your body better than anyone. If at anytime after your treatment you have questions about how you are feeling give me a call. I have a lot of experience in knowing when to refer my patients to other treatment options. As good as I am at what I do, my hands are not x-rays. Sometimes things need to be looked at by a medical professional.

How often should I get a massage?

  As much as you think I would say "EVERYDAY," that is not the case. First and foremost, listen to your body. If  you are acute and have something specific to treat, my advice would be once a week. It would then be bumped to every two weeks, and then once a month for maintenance.
  For those that aren't acute. I describe it like this. When you have a car you take it in for regular tune-ups don't you? Your body should be treated in the same way. Years of ignoring those little pains can develop over time into bigger ones. Like the car with a rattle in it that you ignore until you are stuck on the side of the road in the barrens. If we treat our bodies right they will serve us well for a good long while. Once a month would be my recomendation for maintenance.
  For self care ~ as much as you want!

Do you offer direct billing? 

I wish I could offer direct billing but alas I can not as I was trained in another province (see next question). This is also why my rates are lower as most therapists charge an average of $40 for 30 minutes, and $65 to $95 for an hour. By the time a trip to town is made and the therapist is paid, even with direct billing it works out to be less to receive a massage at home for $40. I am also trying to make it affordable, accessible, and available to all while starting up my small business here in Trepassey. I do provide receipts but don't guarantee that your insurance will cover it.

What kind of training did you receive?

In 2007 I had the good fortune of being trained at one of the best schools of it's kind in Vancouver, BC. The Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage teaches its spa therapists a strong anatomical foundation while also viewing the client as a whole being. Within the 700 hour programing students are trained in a number of healing modalities including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Ayurvedic, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Sports, and Hot Stone massage techniques. Combined these offer the receiver a unique massage experience that is not only effective at easing your body aches but also allows room for healing on the deepest of levels. This is called Deep Flow ~ the dance of the body worker. Since leaving VSBM I have advanced my skills by becoming certified in Lomi Lomi as well as Pregnancy Massage. Lomi Lomi is a form of Hawaiian bodywork that uses the ancient teachings of the island's located in the South Pacific. My treatments for expecting mothers are gentle and nurturing with the intention to give the mama's the best of care before they embark on welcoming a new life into the world. Teaching new parents how to care for themselves is an extension of my Doula practice. Doula's support parents through birth and beyond to give new families the best of support as they embark on parenthood.

More questions?

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any further questions ~ no question is too big or too small. I am so pleased to have moved to Trepassey and to be able to offer my services to this community and beyond. So if you've never had a massage ~ give it a try, you only live once! If you have received one before ~ awesome, and I'll see you soon!

Many Blessings,

Genevieve McCorquodale
Certified Massage Professional
709 438 6323
email stillwatersmassagenl at gmail dot com

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