Frequenty Asked Questions

Q: What kind of massage do you practice?

A: I practice mostly deep tissue massage including neuromuscular and myofascial massage therapies. I also do some sports massage, and relaxation massage.

Q: What are the basic benefits of massage therapy?

A: Massage can have many positive effects on the body. Among other things, massage can:
  • Relieve chronic pain (back pain, neck pain, etc.)
  • Reduce pain from muscle tension, soreness, overuse, strain or poor posture
  • Help restore postural balance
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Help treat tension headaches and migraines
  • Alleviate insomnia
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Promotes better flexibility and joint range of motion
  • Promotes better digestion
  • Improve circulation and oxygen delivery to tissues
  • Ease post-operative pain and speed recovery from illness and injury
  • Reduce the need for medications like over-the-counter pain relievers
  • And even boost the immune system!

Q: Who can benefit from massage therapy?

A: EVERYONE can benefit from getting a massage! It doesn't matter if you are young or old, if you're physically active or not. If you have lots of stress and anxiety, low back pain, chronic tension, strain, pain, headaches, neck cramps, sore legs and feet, stiff and/or sore muscles, postural distortions or other muscular issues, you can benefit from massage therapy.

Q: Will you come to my house?

A: I usually don't visit my clients in their own homes. The reason is because it's difficult to transport my massage table everywhere (I don't have the room in my car). Plus, I would have to charge higher rates for those clients for travel expenses. I want to try to keep the cost competitive so that my clients can afford to receive quality therapeutic massage at a reasonable price.

That being said, if you are someone who has very limited mobility or are in a situation where getting to me is virtually impossible (eg. you are in a wheelchair, you've suffered a stroke with paralysis on the left side of the body, you are legally blind and do not/cannot drive, etc.), I will consider coming to you on a case-by-case basis. If this is the case, I do charge a slightly higher rate to cover my travel expenses.

The most common excuses for not getting massage therapy:

Massage is a frivolous indulgence. It's just for relaxation and stress reduction.

True, there are times when getting a massage is something women like to do to feel pampered, like princesses. It may be part of a day at the spa where you get your manicure, pedicure, fascial and mud bath. It may even be something you treat yourself to on special occasions.

But massage can also be therapeutic, as therapeutic as going to the doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist. Think about it. Haven't you ever woken up with a stiff neck? Gotten chronic tension headaches? Thrown out your back? Do you have poor posture? Or even just a lot of stress? Insomnia? And, of course, everyone has had a sore muscle at one time or another. These are only just some of the conditions that massage can help.

So yes, massage can be a frivolity. But it can also be a needed way of improving your health without the use of drugs.

It's too expensive.

A:Not necessarily. I charge very competitive rates for the Ann Arbor area. I don't travel to see clients, instead they come to me--this way, I can keep the cost down to a reasonable price.

Also, if your car had a flat tire, would you forego getting it fixed? No, because it's necessary to drive to get from point A to point B. In the same fashion, if you were having tension headaches every single day that were so painful, you couldn't concentrate on simple tasks, you would look for a way to get rid of them, wouldn't you? So even though my prices might seem high, if you got rid of your headaches, wouldn't that be worth it?

You could also consider a half hour instead of an hour. You won't get as much work done, but it would be more affordable.

You might also look into asking your health insurance company if it covers massage. Some insurances do cover massage for up to 48 minutes, then you would only have to pay for the remaining 12 minutes. I do not take insurance, but many chiropractors have massage therapists in their office and many of them take insurance. Some employers also offer Flex Spending Accounts (FSA) or Health Spending Accounts (HSA). You are given a debit card to spend your pre-tax income on health related expenses, such as massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, or prescriptions not covered by insurance. Check with your insurance provider to find out what services might be approved.

I'm too busy--I don't have time.

Let me ask you long would you wait to get an oil change in your car? Would you wait until your engine burned out and your transmission fails? No, of course you wouldn't. If you did that, you'd end up paying thousands of dollars to replace your transmission instead of just $25 or $30 for a simple oil change.

The same can be thought about massage. You've got this trigger point in your muscle that's been bugging you, but you ignore it because you just don't have the time. Well, ignore it long enough and the pain starts to get worse to the point where you lose range of motion or you can't even use the muscle anymore, which means your physical activity has been limited or compromised. By that time, the issue has created scar tissue, adhesions, pain that radiates from the problem area to other parts of your body which create trigger points in those areas. Later, you get scar tissue, adhesions and pain radiating from those trigger points. It soon turns into a vicious cycle of pain.

Even if the pain goes away, that just means your body has gotten used to not being able to use the muscle properly. That, in turn, causes your body to compensate without you even knowing it. Soon you have problems due to the compensations.

Long story short? Don't put it off! If you're having issues, please make an appointment now, because the longer you wait, the worse it will get!

Q: How much of my clothing do I have to remove? How do you drape your clients?

A: My clients will always be covered with a sheet except for the part of the body I'm working. I will never expose a client's private parts. Although I ask that my clients to undress to only their underpants (if female, no bra), I am not opposed to letting them wear more than their underpants if they're uncomfortable. However, if you do not wish to undress at all, we can also consider a table massage through clothing. If this is the case, I would only ask that you wear something that isn't too tight (like tight-fitting jeans), just to make things go a little easier for both of us.

Q: How long are your massage sessions?

A: My sessions typically run a standard 60 minutes. I also offer 30- or 90-minute sessions, based on your needs.

Q: How many massage sessions will it take to fix my problem?

A: It depends on what kind of muscular issues you're having and how quickly your muscles respond to the massage therapy, since everyone is different. Some problems may be fixed in one or two sessions, others may take several. Some people who have postural deviations like anterior pelvic tilt or scoliosis, for example, may have to see me regularly for maintenance on a long-term basis. I, myself, have been seeing my own massage therapist and orthopedist regularly for years because of my scoliosis.

Q: What is deep tissue massage therapy?

A: Deep tissue massage therapy is often mistaken for massage that is performed with hard pressure. This is not necessarily true. True deep tissue massage includes myofascial therapy and neuromuscular therapy.

Myofascial therapy loosens the bonds between the fascia and the muscles to increase range of motion, decrease tissue adhesions and loosen scar tissues that may have formed. Myofascial therapy also increases the oxygen and nutrient supply to muscular and fascial tissues to improve muscular health.

Neuromuscular therapy employs trigger point therapy. It works with deeper layers of muscle to deactivate points of pain and tight spots which refer pain around or away from the knots. It also seeks to increase range of motion by improving circulation and oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscle tissue to decrease pain and increase muscular health. The goals and therapeutic intent of neuromuscular therapy are to reduce pain and ischemia, and restore circulation to the area.

Q: Will it hurt to get deep tissue massage therapy? Can you change the amount of pressure you use?

A: Deep tissue can sometimes be somewhat uncomfortable. But it's not intended to cause pain. If it hurts too much that your body seizes up and you jump, then the massage therapist should back out. If it's uncomfortable, try taking slow, deep breaths--this will usually help you through it until the massage therapist moves on. If it's too uncomfortable to bear, please speak up! Communication between you and your massage therapist is extremely important. If you don't say anything, how can they know they're hurting you?

It should also be mentioned that with deep tissue massage therapy, you may sometimes see bruises appear on your skin. This is usually normal! Because it's deep tissue work, some of the blood vessels and capillaries in the skin may be ruptured. It's ok to have a few bruises, especially if you really need the work done. Also, some people bruise more easily than others, especially if they are taking blood thinners. But again, if you experience too much pain that you can't breathe through it, you should tell your therapist to use less pressure.

Q: What is a trigger point?

A: Trigger points can cause pain because they're areas in the tissue that are tight and lack proper blood supply. They can even refer pain to other areas of the body--they may be compressing nerves and cause pain, numbness, tingling and/or other sensations other regions of the body along the path of the nerves. Deep tissue massage therapy is intended to work out these knots and increase circulation, giving more oxygen and nutrients via more blood to the area, thereby decreasing pain and possibly compression of the nerves.

Q: Should I also see a chiropractor or physical therapist on top of getting massage?

A: It can never hurt to talk to a chiropractor or physical therapist. I am a strong proponent for getting both massage and some other form of bodywork, such as chiropractic, since I get both myself and have seen great results. If you have a postural distortion or you're having problems with a particular joint, like a shoulder or knee, then also seeing a chiropractor or physical therapist might be a good idea.

But even if you're not having those kinds of problems, having chiropractic or physical therapy on top of massage might be very helpful just to restore movement you didn't know you lost. Sometimes, people who are less physically active don't even realize the restrictions in movement they've developed because they've developed over long periods of time.

Q: I have a heart condition. Can I still get a massage?

A: It depends on what kind of heart condition you have. If you have congestive heart failure, I would recommend against massage. The reason is because massage increases the amount of blood volume that runs through the circulatory system. The heart is already compromised and massage asks the heart to do yet more work. Also, because massage helps the body drain metabolic wastes from tissues into the lymphatic system, it may be too hard on someone who has congestive heart failure.

However, if you don't have congestive heart failure and your heart condition is stable and being monitored by a doctor, then yes, you can still have massage. But please let your massage therapist know, in case of emergency. In any case, you should always consult your doctor.

Q: I'm pregnant. Can I still get a massage?

A: It depends on how far along your pregnancy is. If you're in the first trimester, I wouldn't recommend having a massage. The reason is because the fetus is in such a delicate state at that point where many things can influence it. Having massage may possibly increase the risk of miscarriage. And since 90 percent of all miscarriages occur within the first trimester, I would be hesitant to recommend having any kind of bodywork that might put the baby at risk.

If your pregnancy is past the first trimester, then it's safe to have massage, as long as the therapist doesn't perform any deep tissue therapy. Please let your massage therapist know if you have concerns and/or it's difficult for you to lie on your belly. Some massage therapists actually have specially-made pads for pregnant clients that allow no pressure on the belly. You can also ask the therapist to let you lie on your side or back, supported by pillows.

In any case, you should always consult your doctor.

Q: I have high blood pressure (hypertension). Can I still get a massage?

A: If your blood pressure is high, but you are under a doctor's care (eg. your doctor has prescribed medication and says your condition is under control), then massage can be a great augmentation to your health. Because massage has a relaxing effect, it may help lower your blood pressure. But please let your massage therapist know, in case of emergency.

If you have high blood pressure that's uncontrolled (you aren't seeing a doctor or taking medication), then it may be dangerous since massage may lower your blood pressure too much, too quickly, which can cause you to faint or become very dizzy. With high blood pressure, the walls of the blood vessels are damaged. Massage may also damage those blood vessels further since it can increase circulation and blood volume traveling through those damaged vessels.

If you have low blood pressure, then it's probably safe to have massage. But again, please let your massage therapist know since massage may your lower blood pressure even further.

In either case, you should be careful getting up from the massage--it's possible to feel dizzy afterwards. Some clients have been known to faint. Get up from the table very slowly and if you think you may need help, please tell your massage therapist. They can assist you so that you are not at risk to fall or injure yourself.

In any case, you should always consult your doctor.

Q: Is there anything you can do to help relieve my Carpel Tunnel Syndrome?

A: It depends. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome--TRUE Carpel Tunnel Syndrome--is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. This compression is caused by inflammation of the retinacular tissue in the wrist. This leads to pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand and wrist. If you have true Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, then you should see a doctor.

However, many people who are diagnosed with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome don't actually have the condition. What's happening is the brachial plexus--a series of nerves that pass from the neck into the arms--is being compressed by muscle tension. This is known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The symptoms of pain and numbness can mimic that of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. But because the cause is due to muscle tension, not inflammation, massage therapy can actually provide relief. Talk to your doctor and call me for an appointment so we can discuss your case further.

Q: I have Sciatica or sciatic pain. Can massage help me with that?

A: Again, it depends. Sciatic pain can be caused by a couple of different things. Sciatica is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve leading to pain that is felt from the lower back down into the leg. The compression or irritation can be caused by vertebral disks that are damaged and bulge out, pressing on the nerve. If you experience this pain, you should talk to your doctor.

Some sciatic pain can be caused by what's known as Piriformis Syndrome. Piriformis Syndrome can mimic sciatica because the sciatic nerve is being compressed, but not because of damage of the vertebral disks. In some people, the sciatic nerve passes next to the piriformis. In some, the nerve actually passes through the muscle. Either way, tightness of the piriformis muscle can cause compression on the sciatic nerve. So it's possible your sciatic pain may be helped by massage therapy. Call me and we can work together to find out if you have Piriformis Syndrome or true Sciatica.

In any case, you should always consult your doctor.

Q: Can you help me get rid of my hip pain?

A: Possibly. Hip pain can be caused by many things such as trauma or damage to the hip joint, arthritis and other structural damage. However, the hip is comprised of several muscles. And sometimes, hip pain can be caused by muscle tightness or weakness due to overuse, strain, trauma, or postural distortions. People who experience this sort of hip pain may be those who play lots of sports, those who sit at a desk all day, those who have to do lots of walking (door-to-door salespeople, for example), those who have been in a car accident, those who have limited mobility--basically, there are all sorts of people who experience hip pain and who can be helped by massage therapy.

Talk to your doctor and make an appointment with me and we'll find out if massage therapy can help you.

Q: I have deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Can I still get a massage?

A: It depends. If you have a current deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in your leg), then massage is not recommended because massage may loosen the clot from your vein which may travel to your heart or brain, putting you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

However, if you've had a deep vein thrombosis, but it was several years ago, then it's probably safe to have massage, so long as you aren't getting massaged on the area of the leg where the DVT occurred. Be sure to tell your massage therapist so that they don't touch that area.

In any case, you should always consult your doctor.

Q: I have diabetes. Can I still get a massage?

A: Massage has many effects on the body. If you're diabetic, massage can lower your blood sugar too far (hypoglycemia) which may put some diabetics at risk for bottoming out and fainting, especially after insulin shots. Massage can also affect the hands and feet of diabetics who have neuropathy--the person might not feel the pressure of massage properly. If this happens, the massage therapist may be using too much pressure and cause possible injury without either the therapist or client knowing it. If you have a neuropathy, you should not get any deep tissue work done.

If you have diabetes, please let your massage therapist know, in case you have a potential hypoglycemic reaction to massage. The therapist should keep some orange juice on hand for such an instance.

In any case, you should always consult your doctor.

Q: I have cancer. Can I still get a massage?

A: If you have cancer, it's safe to get massage. If your tumor is visible, then the massage therapist should not massage on or around the immediate site of the tumor. But otherwise, it is safe. Massage may prove to be an effective therapy for pain due to cancer and can help ease the emotional stress of having cancer. Be sure to tell your therapist if there are any areas of your body that are too sensitive or painful to be massaged.

In any case, you should always consult your doctor.

Q: Do you practice sensual massage?

A: This establishment adheres to all state and local laws governing massage. We do NOT provide "sensual" massage of any kind. If you ask me to perform any kind of sensual massage during your session, your massage will immediately be terminated. You will be required to pay the full amount and you will be asked to leave. Future massage services will not be provided.

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Ann Arbor Massage


Massage Ann Arbor

Manual therapy, Trigger point therapy, Bodywork, Relaxation massage, Massage therapy, Deep tissue massage, Myofascial therapy, Neuromuscular therapy, Chronic pain relief, Chronic muscle tension, Chiropractor, Alternative health, Alternative medicine, Sports medicine, Sports massage, Chair massage, Swedish massage, Effleurage, Petrissage

Deep tissue massage

Compression, Tapotement, Sciatica, Sciatic pain, Piriformis Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Hip pain, Shoulder pain, Neck pain, Headaches, Tension headaches, Postural imbalance, Postural distortions, Stress, Anxiety, Relaxation, Muscle strain, Muscle soreness, Scoliosis, High hip