Frequently Asked Questions
Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?
Your session will take place in our studio located within Houndslake Wellness Associates. Music will be played to help you relax. You will undress to your comfort level after the therapist leaves the room and lie on a gently heated table especially designed for your comfort. Linens are provided to maintain your modesty.
Must I be completely undressed?
Most massage and bodywork 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. In accordance to South Carolina state law, you will be modestly draped during the entire session. Only the area being worked on at that time will be uncovered and will be recovered to move on to a different area of the body. If you are not comfortable being undressed, different techniques may be used. If you choose to remain dressed, we ask that you bring or wear comfortable loose fitting clothing or athletic wear so we may adequately perform stretching and range of motion based techniques.
What parts of my body will be massaged?
A traditional full-body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head/face, neck, and shoulders. Depending on your selected style of massage and areas of pain we may suggest bodywork on your abdomen, anterior neck (throat) region, inside of your mouth (jaw), or glute (buttocks) region. It is your choice whether to receive this type of work or not. For targeted sessions, only the areas of pain will be addressed to place attention where it is needed most.
What will the massage or bodywork feel like?
A relaxing massage is often a baseline for clients. It uses gentle, flowing movements to sedate the nervous system. In a therapeutic or restorative massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes to relax superficial muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Bodywork is most effective when your body is not resisting.
Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork. Various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, orthopedic massage, cupping therapy, and more. We can discuss which methods may be most appropriate for you.
How should I prepare for my massage?
For the best experience, before your massage, you should enjoy a warm shower or bath and eat a light meal if you are hungry. Allow adequate time to get to your session so you do not feel rushed. Arrive free of make up, lotions, and perfumes. If you are a new client, you should arrive to your session about 10-15 minutes early to use the restroom, complete your health intake and consult, and to wind down. Existing clients, with no health changes, may arrive about 5 minutes early. Feel free to ask any questions about the upcoming session. Remember to disclose any health information so your session may be adjusted to fit your needs. If you are sick, you will need to reschedule your massage. We will not risk your health, our health, the health of other clients, or other patrons of the wellness center.
What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
During the massage, make yourself comfortable. The therapist will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Some people like to chat while others just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, or anything else relevant to the session. If you have any questions during your session, feel free to ask.
How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. When deeper techniques or cupping therapy is used, you may experience soreness or tenderness for a few days.
Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?
Yes. That’s why it’s imperative that, before we begin your session, we go over your health intake form and complete an in-depth consultation. It is very important that you inform us of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required. If you have any questions regarding your medical condition and the safety of massage, please reach out prior to booking your appointment.
How can I be sure my therapist is a professional?
Licensing varies from state to state, but here’s some things to look for:
1. The South Carolina Department of Labor & Licensing requires massage therapists to complete minimum educational requirements to both obtain and keep their license. The SC LLR also requires this license to be posted in the therapist’s office where it is easily seen. In SC, these are renewed every 2 years.
2. Most cities require a business license. This license is also required to be posted in an easily seen location. These are usually renewed yearly.
3. While it is not a requirement, check to see if your therapist is insured. The top 3 providers in the country for liability insurance for massage therapists are: ABMP (Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals), AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association), and MMIP (Massage Magazine Insurance Plus – provided by Massage Liability Insurance Group). Each organization provides updated certificates each year as proof of coverage.
4. Look for business listings on sites like: Google, Yelp, or Facebook.
Benefits of Massage
Experts estimate that upwards of 90% of disease is stress-related, and perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
- Decreased anxiety.
- Enhanced sleep quality.
- Greater energy.
- Improved concentration.
- Increased circulation.
- Reduced fatigue.
Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow – the body’s natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ – the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain.