Out of all the individual therapists, spas, massage franchises in the Rochester area, why choose a massage with me?

At least that's what I would ask when looking for a massage therapist.  When you book a massage with me, know that you're getting one of the best massages in Rochester.  Each massage is customized to your needs, whether thats for relaxation, pain relief, or a bit of both.  Before the appointment, we'll go through your medical history (needed for any massage contraindications), discuss your goals for the massage, and talk about your treatment plan.  Whether you book a 30, 60, or 90 minute appointment, know that you will receive the full time (ie. 60 minute massage is a 60 minute massage).  The massage time starts as soon as my hands start working.  After the massage, we'll talk about stretches & exercises that'll help if there's any pain condition you came to see me for.  I pride myself in giving great & friendly service to each client.

An intake form?  Why do you need my medical history and medications?

A health intake form is required since massage therapy in this state falls under health care.  All massage therapists are subject to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) which means that any information that you give is kept confidential.  This information is used in order to best serve you when your on the massage table.  Under certain circumstances, massage is contraindicated and may require a doctors note before getting the massage.  It is very important to let me know of any health ailments before the massage.

Speaking of medical stuff, do you take insurance?

I wish that I could!  But for now, the answer is no.  In New York, the basic architecture of insurance laws is based off of workers compensation laws.  Workers compensation laws only recognizes doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists to provide massage therapy treatment in NY.  In order for massage therapists to accept insurance, they need to be employed by a doctor who can bill for the insurance.  Although I work in a chiropractor office, I own my own practice, and cannot have the doctor bill insurance for me.  No fault insurance will pay out directly to massage therapists, but payout is not guaranteed, so most therapists will not accept that as well.  Until the law is changed, most independent therapists will not accept insurance.

This is my very first massage ever!  What should I expect?

Very awesome question!  I love working on people new to massage because they'll discover how great it is (especially for pain relief).  For a detailed account, read my blog Massage for First Timers.  Basically, I'll have you complete an intake form (try to show up around 10 minutes early for the first appointment).  I'll lead you to the massage room where I'll give you instructions on how to get on the massage table.  I'll tell you to undress to your comfort level.  What does that mean?  You can keep on all of your clothing if you'd like if you're really nervous.  I can work through clothing, but it doesn't feel as good as massage on skin.  You can keep underwear on, or just take everything off, your decision.  I'll tell you to get on the massage table under the sheet and blanket before the massage (I'll leave the room while you disrobe).  I always appreciate communication during the massage session, so if there is something that I'm doing such as too much pressure, etc. let me know.  If you have any questions before or during the massage, ask away!

Do I need to be covered during the massage?  

New York law dictates that draping is required on the massage table.  Whether that be towels, sheets, or blankets, you have to be covered.  Your privacy is very important to me.  The only part of your body that will be uncovered at any time is the area that I am working on.  At no time will breasts or genitals be uncovered.

What parts of my body will be massaged?

For a typical full body massage, I'll massage the head, face, neck, shoulders, arms, back, glutes, legs, and feet.  If there are any areas besides the obvious you don't want me to massage, just let me know. 

So ummm, do you provide a "happy ending"?

Any remarks in sexual nature, advances, innuendo, will not be tolerated and will lead to the termination of our session with full payment due.  I don't even joke about it. 

Not a fan of relaxation music, can we listen to something else?

As a preset, I always play relaxation music for clients because it does help them to relax.  I stream music from the internet through pandora.  If you would like to listen to something else, just give me a name of an artist and I'll make a station that plays the kind of music you would like to listen to.  Unfortunately, I can't play CD's, so I can only take requests to change radio stations.

What kind of lubricant do you use for massage?

I have a variety of creams and lotions.  I mainly use soothing touch jojoba massage lotion which is unscented and absorbs well into the skin.  I also like using soothing touch herbal lavender as well.  As for creams, I'll use a few different ones.  I have an aches and pains cream and a controlled glide cream for the deep tissue work I normally do.  I refrain from using oils as they easily stain sheets and doesn't work well with the types of massage I perform.  I am open to using lubricant you bring in as well, as long as I can have an ingredient list of whats in it.

Do you accept tips?

Tips are always appreciated, but never expected.  I always tell my massage clients that the best tip they can give me are letting their friends & family know about the work that I do.  Even better, write a review online letting the world know that you liked the massage, those reviews are a great help for me.  There are links on my Testimonials page to give me a review if you would like.

I prefer not to talk during my massage, is that ok?

Of course!  It is your massage session.  Some people prefer to talk the entire session while others prefer silence.  For those who prefer silence, I will have to check in occasionally to make sure pressure, etc. is ok, but otherwise I will make sure the session will be quiet.

Did you go to school for this?  How long have you been doing this?

Every massage therapist in New York goes to school for massage!  Massage Therapy is regulated by the state of New York, and everyone who is a legit massage therapist is licensed by the state.  My license # is  024554-1 and can be verified by the New York State Office of Professions.  In NY, massage therapists have to take classes in anatomy & physiology, kinesiology, myology, neuromuscular science, pathologies, Swedish massage techniques, Shiatsu massage techniques, and other course requirements.  NYS therapists have to acquire 1000 hours of massage practice before taking the board exam for licensure.  Massage therapists in NY also have to complete 36 hours of continuing education every three years in order to re-register for their license.  So we do know what we're talking about when it comes to the body.  I've been practicing massage since 2010.  You can read more of my experience in my Your Therapist page.

During the massage:  (Me working over contracted muscle) "Do you feel that?"

Sure do.  I pretty much know where every muscle is in your body.  If I'm pressing on the tight spots, I know you can feel them.  As a massage therapist, I find those tight muscles and trigger points to help release the pain and tightness you may be seeing me for.  The better question to ask is:  what muscle is that?  Why is that so tight?  I will happily explain what is going on with a particular area.

The massage helped me out!  How often should I come in for a massage?

That depends on you.  Did you come see me for chronic pain or achy pain that just doesn't go away?  Then I generally suggest to see me 1-2 times a week to get the problem worked out.  (I do have pricing that makes that slightly more affordable).  Do you just get slight aches and pains?  Just came in for relaxation?  Then I generally recommend seeing me once a month for maintenance or whenever you would like to come back in for an appointment.  I wrote a more detailed explanation in my blog Here.

I'm going to need to change my massage appointment.  What is your cancellation/reschedule policy?

Please notify me at least 24 hours in advance if you plan to reschedule or cancel our appointment.  I understand that life happens and you may not be able to keep your appointment, just notify me as soon as possible.  If you plan to no call/no show me, just be aware that I set that time up for you.  Where if you gave me adequate notice, I may have filled your time with someone else who may have needed my help.  As much as I love performing massage (and would do it for free if money wasn't an object) I still need to put food on the table and pay bills like everyone else.  So if that person was you, you will be charged for the full appointment and will not be able to receive another massage from me until that massage is paid for.  Just consideration for my time is all I ask.

My rotator cup is out of whack, do you think you could fix this?

I've heard far too many people call this area the "rotator cup" which they are referring to their shoulder region.  The actual correct term is rotator cuff.  The rotator cuff consists of four muscles that hold your gleno-humeral joint of the shoulder in place.  These muscles are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis.  These muscles also assist with adducting, abducting, and rotation of the shoulder.  The answer to the question whether massage will be able to help will be that it depends on the situation.  Massage works great for limited range of movement due to muscle tightness and referred pain from trigger points.  If there is tears in the muscle, or the joint is out of place, massage will not be of much help.  If its real serious, I would have your primary care physician take a look at it before trying to see me.

When is getting a massage a no-no?

Are you feeling sick?  Coming down with a cough?  Fever?  If your coming down with something, please don't come to my office and share whatever you have.  Especially if you have a fever, massage can be dangerous for those suffering from fever and fever like symptoms.  Also, I will not do any massage to anyone that had recent major surgery.  I'll need a doctors note and some time to recover before massage will be performed.  Please do not take any pain killer or muscle relaxers before your massage appointment which would inhibit your ability to feel if pressure is too great.  And for obvious reasons, if you are intoxicated, you will not be getting a massage (yes, this has happened).  Also, if you have any contagious skin bacterias such as ringworm, don't come in for massage until thats cleared up.

After the massage:  "Is there something I can take for this?  What would you suggest?"

As a massage therapist, there is nothing I want to do more than to help you out.  But I cannot suggest, tell you what to take or do that would imply prescribing something.  Telling you to take tylenol, even telling you to use heat or cold therapies can imply prescribing something to you, so that is out of my scope of practice.  I also can't diagnose.  I may say you present symptoms of a particular disorder, but I will suggest you get it checked out by a primary care physician that can diagnose you properly.

Have any questions to add to this?  Contact me and let me know.  I'll add more questions that come up.