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What is a "full body" massage?
Full body typically means you get massaged everywhere that a bikini would not cover. Because the gluteus muscles in the butt are connected to both the upper and lower body, it is fairly essential to massage them, but I let my client make that decision. Abdominal massage is great for the digestion, but not usually included unless requested.
I got a massage one time that hurt really bad. Does it always hurt?
Working tight muscles may hurt a little, but it should always "hurt good" rather than "hurt bad." Trigger points contain a build-up of the toxins that muscles produce every time they contract, and those toxins irritate the nerve endings and often feel like pushing on a bruise. I ask my client for feedback so that the pain is not too much.
Do I have to get naked?
Some massage, such as sports massage, can actually be done over the clothes with compression strokes. Most other types of massage work better if the therapist's hands are touching the skin, which has an abundance of receptors that stimulate the brain to produce endorphins. In most states (including Florida) therapists are required to keep the client's private areas discretely covered with a sheet or towel. If the client is uncomfortable naked under the sheet, she will not be able to fully relax. That would defeat the whole purpose of the massage. I always give my clients the choice as to their level of undress.
What kind of massage do I need?
That depends on what kind of problems you are currently experiencing. If all you want to do is to relax, "Swedish Massage" is what you should ask for. If you have pain or problems with range of motion, Deep Tissue Massage is usually required. Trigger Point Therapy, my specialty, is a unique type of DTM. I use a variety of strokes and techniques in my typical massage, whether for relaxation or for pain relief.
How often should I get a massage?
Again, that depends on what kind of problems you are currently experiencing. If you have a lot of pain, and the first massage seemed to work well, you may want to schedule several massages in close succession to achieve complete recovery. A typical maintenance program, once your pain in under control, is usually once every 3 to 4 weeks. Some clients enjoy getting massage more often. Your body will usually tell you when you need another one. Because I do physical labor for a living, I try to get a massage every 2 to 3 weeks.
Does massage work well with other treatments?
Yes, massage is a great complement to physical therapy and chiropractic adjustment. When you get a massage before your therapy or adjustment, the relaxed muscles don't "fight" it as much. Tight muscles can almost immediately "undo" an adjustment because of the pressure they put on the joints. Massage also works well with other natural breathing exercises and stretching activities such as yoga and Tai chi.