Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What kind of massage do you do?
I've been trained in Swedish Massage which incorporates five different types of massage techniques ~ effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, vibration, friction, as well as joint movements.
My training also includes deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, pre-natal, sports massage & most recently cupping.
Q: How much training have you had?
My initial massage therapy training was 300 hours. This is what the state of Texas required, at the time I was enrolled in school back in 2003.
This was comprised of 250 class hours. These class hours were divided as such:
swedish massage technique [125 hours]
anatomy & physiology [75 hours]
health & hygiene [20 hours]
business practices & professional ethics [15 hours]
hydrotherapy [15 hours]
And finally the remaining 50 hours were my clinical internship ~ my hands-on work.
In addition to those 300 hours I also completed 24 hours of continuing education courses to become spa certified. I learned how to work with paraffin [hands, feet, elbows and as a facial], salt glows, herbal body wraps, mud body masques, the vichy shower, and spa facials.
I had a scholarship, which was more like a work-study program. I "paid" for my school by completing an additional 150 hours of hands-on body work. These included massages and spa services. So in my case I actually graduated with over 200 hours of REAL bodywork* under my belt before starting my own practice.
These extra hours made me a much better massage therapist than most others right out of school. In my opinion.
*a total of 474 hours (includes both class and massage/spa services)
Q: How much, if any, continuing education is required?
I am required to take 6 hours of approved continuing education units per year.
Q: Do I have to get naked for a massage?
No, not at all. You don't HAVE to do anything you're not comfortable with. Please always remember that. Whether you're being massaged by me or someone else.
You have the choice to stay completely clothed or to be in some degree of undress, up to and including being completely nude. I always use a top sheet as a drape during my massages. The only body parts that are uncovered are the ones I am actually treating. So I never ever see anything I shouldn't.
It also depends on where and how long your massage will be. If I'm on-site at your workplace or at the end of a bike ride (i've massaged Valero's Bike to the Beach) most likely you will keep most of your clothes on.
Q: What happens during a massage?
Well, a typical full body massage (minimum of one hour) begins with you lying face down under a sheet with your face in the face rest of my massage table.
I'll drape the sheet around your hips leaving your back and arms completely exposed for me to work on. I'll start with an overall massage of your entire back ~ from shoulders down to your hip bones. Next, I'll work on your lower back then back up to your upper back and shoulders and neck. I'll proceed to each arm and hand. At this point we're now halfway through the hour massage.
I will pull the sheet up to your shoulders, covering your back, before I move on to your lower body. I'll drape the sheet to expose one leg at a time. I'll massage the back of your leg and then your foot before covering this leg back up and moving on to your other leg. I'll then ask you to turn over onto your back so that I can massage the front of each leg.
Don't worry... I hold the sheet so that you can turn over easily and not have to worry about anything being exposed or getting wrapped up in the sheet.
I'll massage the fronts of each thigh and lower leg before moving up towards your head. Once I'm back to the top of the table I'll massage the top portion of your chest, your neck and the tops of your shoulders. At this point, I'm almost done with your full body massage. I'll just do a bit of a face and scalp massage. The very last thing i massage will be your ears. I know... sounds odd, but my clients LOVE it.
And there you have your "typical" full body massage.
Keep in mind that it's YOUR time. You should feel free to ask me to omit parts or lengthen the time on others. I have spent many many hours massaging only backs, necks and shoulders. I'm YOUR massage therapist and will be happy to massage whichever body parts are giving you problems.
Q: How long have you been massaging?
It's been 9 1/2 years now. (as of April 2013) I graduated massage school in September 2003 and received my temporary massage license October 2003. I'd been a solo practioner/self-employed ever since. I did take a job as a massage therapist at Spa d' Sante January 2011.
Q: Do your hands ever get tired?
They rarely do. I had some fantastic training that taught me how to work properly with the right kind of body mechanics that prevent, or at the very least, lessen the stress on my body. I use a minimal amount of upper body strength because I work with my massage table at a lower height than most other therapists. In this way I use my body weight and gravity to assist me in varying the degree of pressure in my massage strokes.
Q: Is tipping a "Do" or a "Don't"?
Tipping is completely at the client's discretion.
I have some clients who always tip and others that have never tipped. I appreciate it very much when it happens, of course, but I always give the same great service to all my clients regardless of tipping history.
I suppose the next question might be "What should I tip?" Again, I leave that up to my client. I have received a wide range of tips from a couple of dollars up to $40.
Tips are never expected but always appreciated. Thanks!
Q: How much do you charge for a massage?
$25 for 30 minutes
$50 for an hour
$75 for an hour and a half
$100 for 2 hours
$115 for a 4-handed massage [2 massage therapists work on you at the same time]
$115 for a couples massage