Frequently Asked Questions about Massage Procedure
What is the first appointment like?
Please refer to the First Massage Session page.
What if I do not like oils or lotions applied on my body?
Some forms of massage, such as shiatsu do not require the use of oil or lotion. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of finger pressure massage and it is available at some clinics and spas. In addition, chair massage is typically done through clothing, therefore it does not involve use of any lubricants.
How long is a session?
Massage session is available in different durations An hour is the common length of massage treatment among many clinical or spa settings. This gives time for a deeply relaxing full body massage, or more in-depth work on a particular area, for example back, neck and shoulders.
How often should I have a massage?
It is important to note that benefits of massage therapy are greatly enhanced when you receive the therapy on a regular basis so that you can attain cumulative effects. The recommended frequency of visits varies case by case, however in general, 1-2 session(s) per week are recommended if you are having some health conditions. Monthly sessions may be sufficient for wellness or maintenance care. Please follow your treatment plan discussed with your therapist in order to obtain best possible outcomes.
What health conditions is massage good for?
Please refer to the Health Benefits page.
Do I have to get undressed?
In the case of general, or relaxation, or what is often called Swedish massage, there is an almost universal procedure among massage therapists in the North America. You are asked to undress to whatever point you are comfortable. Most clients choose to undress entirely or choose to leave on their underclothing, and some leave on most of their clothing. Whatever you choose, the massage therapist will act in a professional manner, and will provide you with a relaxing experience, no matter what your level of undress. Some clothing may, however, interfere with the natural flow of the massage, and preclude the use of certain techniques.
The massage therapist leaves the room and gives you sufficient time to undress. You get onto the table under a sheet to cover yourself. During the massage, only the part of your body currently being worked on is uncovered. When necessary to change your lying position during the treatment, the therapist will first make sure that you remain properly covered and then tell you what to do (such as turning over). Qualified massage therapists are well-trained in draping techniques.
If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of the massage, you should inform the therapist immediately.
What if I don’t want to undress?
Many massage therapists will accommodate your needs and comfort by using massage techniques that do not require removing some clothing. In addition, other forms of massage such as shiatsu do not require to undress.
Should I tip?
Tipping for massage therapy varies depending on the type of facilities and locations (country/region). In Ontario, massage therapists are regulated under the Health Practitioners Act-the same law that governs physicians, dentists, etc. However, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (provincial governing body) does not prohibit its members from accepting tips. Thus, registered massage therapists (RMT) are the only licensed healthcare practitioners in Ontario that receive tips.
In general, tipping is the norm if you receive massage services at a spa, salon, or hotel, while tipping may not be customary at medical clinics and therapeutically oriented massage clinics. Some massage therapists who consider themselves professional healthcare providers do not accept tips by their own choice.
What else is necessary besides treatment?
You will be in the treatment room for approximately an hour. How you spend the other 23 hours of the day also influences your recovery and therefore, requires some attention. You might be advised to do or not to do certain exercises, apply heat or ice packs. In some cases, altering your occupational and recreational activities might be necessary. Your therapist will make recommendations for your condition to assist your improvement.
Will you instruct me in any stretching exercise that might be helpful for my condition?
Your therapist may feel you will benefit from doing certain stretching or strengthening exercises at your home or office. In this case, he or she may recommend a specific exercise for your condition. It is important to note that exercise will not provide any benefit unless you are committed to doing it regularly and following the instructions. In case you are not ready or already have someone (such as physiotherapist) looking after you in this area, please do not hesitate to inform the therapist.
Does my insurance cover the cost of massage?
Many insurance plans provide excellent coverage for massage therapy by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). Some clinics may be able to bill directly to your insurance company.
What will the room be like?
That is depending on the massage setting you will be receiving massage treatment.
In general, massage rooms should be cozy, clean, and comforting. Reputable massage facilities strive to create a relaxing atmosphere for clients by using freshly laundered sheets, soft lighting, and relaxing music.
Can I request female (or male) therapist when making my appointment?
If you have a preference for a male or female therapist, do not hesitate to ask for whichever you prefer while booking your appointment. It is a common request in many massage clinics and spas, and most places will be happy to accommodate your preference.
Can I ask the age of my therapist?
The question is not appropriate in professional massage places. However, you can inquire about the therapist’s number of years of hands-on experience in massage therapy. It is impossible to develop mastery and fluency in the art of massage from classroom training alone. Many essential elements of massage can only be learned through years of clinical practice. We end the FAQ with the quote from famous Canadian physician Sir William Osler:
‘He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.’