What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy spans a wide variety of therapeutic approaches, working to improve an individual’s health and well-being through the hands-on manipulation of muscles and other soft tissues of the body.
What is the technical definition of a massage?
Massage is defined as the systematic mobilization of the soft tissues of the body through the application of hands or devices for the purpose of therapy, relaxation, or education through means which include:
* Pressure, friction, stroking, rocking, kneading, percussion, compression, or stretching
* External application of water, heat, cold, lubricants, or other topical agents
* The use of devices that mimic or enhance actions done by hand
What does Panacea mean? Why this name?
Panacea means a remedy for all disease or ills (a cure-all). It is our mission to provide a massage remedy for all our customers’ needs. Panacea Massage offers a quality experience (relief, rejuvenation, strength and mental poise) for helping ALL our customers – whether they are chronic pain sufferers, stressed out executives, an athlete who’s pushing his body to the limit, an over-worked business owner, a yoga enthusiast, a busy home-maker, a child that has over-exerted in the pool or a senior looking for some relaxation.
Basics & First Visit
What should I expect from my first session?
You should plan to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow time for paperwork. If you arrive late, your treatment will still end on time in consideration of the next client. Water and other beverages are available as you wait.
One of the things you will fill out is a health history form. It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.
Your therapist will greet you and show you to the treatment room, where you will discuss your health history, bodywork experience, preferences, and goals. Your therapist may also analyze your posture to identify structural imbalances contributing to your pain or tension. This information helps us design your session to best address your needs. If there are any areas of your body that you would rather we avoid, please let your therapist know at this time.
Your therapist will leave the room and return once you are laying comfortably between the sheets on the table. Please undress to your level of comfort. During your massage, you will be draped to protect your privacy, so completely undressing is appropriate. If you feel more comfortable wearing undergarments, please feel free to do so.
You will relax on a padded table designed for stability and comfort and be normally covered except for the area being worked on. When you are ready, the therapist will return and position cushions under your knees, ankles, or neck and place you in a more natural position. The room will be warm and quiet, with soft music to set a relaxing mood.
Throughout your session please simply relax, breathe and allow us to move your limbs without assistance. Your therapist will check in with you periodically for feedback on pressure and your general comfort. Please speak up if you become uncomfortable for any reason. If you feel pain, if you need more pressure, if the room is too warm or too chilled, if the music too loud, if your sinuses become uncomfortably congested, we need you to let us know! Our work will be most effective if you are comfortable and completely relaxed.
A massage or bodywork session usually begins with relatively gentle pressure to calm your nervous system and begin relaxing superficial tension. Gradually, the therapist will work more deeply to address specific areas. During the massage, the therapist may move your arm or leg to facilitate the massage. The therapist may use a lubricant or scented oil, which is good for your skin and absorbs well. For some kinds of bodywork, no lotion is used. You should try to relax, let go, and allow the therapist to do all the work. Only the part that is being worked on is uncovered, and your modesty is always maintained. Always let us know if anything is uncomfortable or irritating.
When your session is over, your therapist will leave you to rest for a few minutes. Take your time getting up, note any changes in your body, and let everything sink in. When you're ready, you may get dressed and come back to the reception area to check out.
How many sessions will I need?
This is tough to predict. Every person is unique and every condition is unique to each person. It may take one session or it may take several. You and your therapist will be able to talk more specifically about this after your first session and he/she has had a chance to evaluate your body's tissues.
What if I’m ticklish?
We’ve worked with many people who were ticklish. We can vary the pressure, depth, and pace of the massage strokes so that you won’t feel tickled.
What does a massage therapist’s license or certification mean?
A therapist’s credentials mean different things in different jurisdictions. A Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) usually means that the person has completed a state mandated massage therapy curriculum including both scientific and practical (hands-on) instruction and passed an exam required by the state. The purpose of such licensing requirements is to prevent practitioners with insufficient basic education from doing harm to the public and to discourage the use of massage businesses as fronts for prostitution.
What if I am overweight or embarrassed about my body?
This is a tricky question in only this one respect: your massage therapist doesn’t judge your body type. So while being embarrassed about one’s body is commonplace in our society, your massage therapist can respond to this only by treating you with the respect and kindness to which you are entitled.
Are there any preparations I need to make before my appointment?
None that you need to make, but here are some suggestions that might make your appointment a little better. Allow a little extra time to travel to your appointment just in case you get delayed on the way. For your first appointment, there is additional paper-work to be done - please factor that in. Allow a little more time after your appointment so you don’t have to go right back to the craziness of daily life – leave time to go get a refreshing beverage and watch everyone else be in a hurry for a few minutes.
Why does a massage therapist ask about my medical history?
There are certain medical conditions for which massage is contra-indicated (untreated high blood pressure would be one example). The medical information you provide helps the massage therapist refrain from doing the rare thing that might cause you harm. It also provides some lifestyle and daily activity information that can help the therapist chose the most effective technique to relieve whatever complaints you may have.
How long will my session last?
Each one hour session includes 50 minute hands on session, with time for consultation and preparation of scheduled hour to allow you and your therapist to discuss your treatment and futures treatment plans.
Where will my therapy take place?
Massage Retreat & Spa therapies are serviced in a private, warm and quiet room. All Retreat rooms are equipped with a sitting chair, wood clothes hangers, a safe place for your personal artifacts and relaxing music to encourage the most peaceful experience.
Do you perform background checks on each therapist?
Each Panacea Massage Therapist is required to have 500+ hours of school before working on our clients. The Therapist has been licensed by the state, which performs a background check. In addition, each therapist carries their own professional liability insurance.
What should I expect from my first massage? How do I prepare for a massage and what do I do afterward?
To prepare yourself for your massage, taking a nice warm shower or a short soak in the hot tub is a great way to start to unwind and prepare yourself for the massage. Don't worry about your body type or appearance, massage therapists have seen hundreds of bodies of all types, we are here to work on YOUR body, and to do what we can to make this a positive experience for YOU.
A glass or two of wine is fine, but any more can seriously affect your body’s ability to cope with the toxins that will be released with your massage. Most importantly, just relax, and look forward to this time for your health and mind.
On your first meeting, your massage therapist will do an "intake" - asking questions about your general health, specific injuries and whether you are under a doctor's care. They may also ask you to stand or walk around for them to do a "postural analysis". Ask any questions you have for your therapist at this time. The entire process only takes a few minutes and should not substantially cut into your massage time.
The therapist will then give you instructions on how they want you on the table (face up/down etc.). They should be out of the room while you are changing. The massage room should be clean, private and quiet. Some therapists use music, candles, aromatherapy or soothing sounds to assist your relaxation and enhance your message. If you don't want any of those things you are free to ask the therapist to stop using them. Also, each therapist likes to use a special oil or lotion. If you have something you like to use on your skin, bring it and they will be happy to use it.
If you are getting a massage for relaxation, there should be little or no talking. For deep tissue work the therapist will be checking in with you to make sure you are tolerating the work and to remind you to breathe and relax. Sometimes light conversation is used to distract clients during the deep work.
The client is always in control of the massage! Whether to talk or not, if there should be music or no music or different music, whether to use scent or not during your massage, whether your massage should be deeper or lighter. If you are uncomfortable at all, always speak up and be honest with your therapist about your expectations and comfort. However, at any time the massage professional feels threatened or uncomfortable with a situation, they can end the session immediately, and you will be required to pay the entire fee.
Massage is strictly professional and conscientious body work for relaxation of mind, body and soul.
Afterward, if you are able and not restricted due to medication, drink plenty of water to help your body's organs flush the toxins which will have been released and cleanse your tissues and cells replenishing them with new fresh blood and nutrients. Allow the effects of the massage to linger, and just let go, relax and enjoy the release of stress, soreness and pressure your body has been holding for too long.
What does massage do - other than feel good?
Scientific study has now proven many of the healing aspects of massage, which some cultures have known for thousands of years. Just a few of the benefits of Massage are listed here:
* Helps rid the body of toxins
* Stretches superficial tissue
* Assists lymphatic and venous flow
* Helps to break up and loosen subcutaneous scar tissue
* Increases nutrition to the cells and skin
* Increases the red and white blood cell count
* Can help reduce certain types of edema
* Increases respiration to the skin
* Stimulates the sensory receptors (nerves) of the skin and deeper tissue
* Relieves joint ache and pain
* Promotes good posture and self-esteem
* Improves tone and texture of the skin
* Assists digestion
* Causes release of natural endorphins and promotes relaxation
Can I bring someone with me to my massage session?
While this does impact the quality of the massage therapy, we do permit having a companion during your massage. If you have someone with you during your massage, they should be quiet and non-interfering with the therapist’s performance of the massage. Excessive talking, laughter, and being in the way of the therapist at the massage table are to be avoided.
The relationship between the client and therapist is very important. Your partner will get much more from the massage experience if the atmosphere is quiet. However, feel free to be near your loved one, as this is a wonderful shared experience.
Are there reasons that massage might not be recommended?
Yes. There are several conditions and situations when massage may not be recommended. Contra-indications may be temporary or permanent and may require physician recommendation/approval. Of course, exercise caution if you:
* Are pregnant
* Wear contact lenses
* Have inflammation of any kind
* Have any cysts
* Are anemic
* Have any tumors
* Have a hernia condition
* Have arthritis/bursitis
* Have been diagnosed with varicose veins
* Have a skin condition or rash
* Have a hematoma
* Have diverticulitis
* Have had embolisms
* Have ever had aneurysms
* Have phlebitis
* Have edema
* Have fever
* Have an open wound
* Have ringworm
* Have paralysis of any kind
* Have any undiagnosed medical problems
* Have numbness or tingling in any part of body
* Are under physician care for hypertension
* Have suffered a mental breakdown
* Have had seizures of any type
* Are under cardiologist care
* Are being treated for cancer
* Are a hemophiliac
* Have arteriosclerosis
* Have multiple sclerosis
* Suffer from tuberculosis
* Have uncontrollable diabetes
* Have a gout condition
Where will my massage session take place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
How will a massage feel?
It usually depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline for practitioners. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes (effleurage) that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and 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. Do not hesitate to ask questions or mention if you feel any discomfort so that the massage therapist can use another approach or technique.
When should I get a massage?
Any day is a great time to get a massage. To prevent injury or pain caused by stress, get a massage before these conditions occur. It is a lot easier to keep yourself pain-free with preventative massage, than it is to treat the pain after an injury has occurred. Keep in mind that you are much more likely to injure yourself when you are under stress, and that stress is a major factor in an incredible number of disorders of the human body. Regular massage is a great way to cope with the mental and physical stresses of life, and to help keep your body running the way it should.
If you have sore muscles or a nagging injury or pain condition, or if you are under a lot of stress, please contact us to see how we can help.
What is not included in a therapeutic massage?
Sex in any size, shape or form is not included. Do not ask, and do not make an appointment if that is what you are looking for. If it becomes clear that this is what you are looking for, the massage will be terminated and you will pay the cost of the entire massage even though it was cut short; the police may be called as well. We are licensed massage therapists, which means that we are professionals who provide therapy for non-sexual disorders of the human body. We are not authorized to provide medical, career or any other advice of a personal nature.
I want deep tissue massage - are you strong enough?
A study found that one of the primary complaints that people make after receiving a massage was that the therapist did not use enough pressure. At Panacea Massage, we use our body weight and positioning to increase the pressure used, and we have always been able to provide enough pressure for our clients. However, if you are an extremely bulky/muscular person, please give us a call first to ensure that we are the best therapists for you.
As an aside, most people who ask for deep tissue massage believe that it means to receive firm pressure during a massage. Deep tissue massage can be painful and is typically used during treatment/therapeutic massage; what most people are looking for is firm pressure. According to one website, the definition of deep tissue massage is the following:
Used to release chronic muscle tension through slower strokes and more direct pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles. This invigorating (read - with some pain) experience is a process of detection of stiff or painful areas by determining the quality and texture of the deeper layers of musculature, and slowly working into the deep layers of muscle tissue.
That being said, please do not hesitate to let your therapist know if you would like more or less pressure. Any therapist, whether at our office or elsewhere, will sincerely appreciate the feedback and will not be offended at all. Rather, they will be grateful that you have let them know what you prefer, because that increases the possibility that you will return for another massage. This goes for letting them know what feels good, too - they will make sure to repeat it in future massages.
What if I have cellulite/scars/am overweight/am embarrassed about my body?
Sometimes we have a customer that would love to have a massage, but doesn't want anyone to see their fat or the cellulite on their thighs. Please note that massage therapists have seen bodies in every imaginable shape and size, from young to old, and we aren't there to judge your body. We are professionals who have found massage to be a wonderful gift to give - to men and women alike, regardless of age and weight, and are proud of what we can offer to people in need of help or just wanting to enjoy the delight found in massage.
What parts of my body will be massaged?
A typical full body massage will include the head, face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, hips/glutes, and back. The abdominal area may also be massaged if you wish.
The parts of your body that will be massaged may change from one massage to the next, due to the type of massage you are receiving and the area of your body that is being focused on; the sexually charged areas are the only areas that will never be massaged. The abdomen may be massaged if you are having issues such as constipation, or if you request it. The glutes may be massaged as they are often a culprit in lower back pain, and the armpit/upper breast area may be rubbed to help relieve upper back/neck pain. Also, while work may be done on the muscles of the chest, a Licensed Massage Therapist will never work directly on the female breasts. However, if you are uncomfortable being touched in any area, please let the therapist know ahead of time, if possible. Sometimes a client may not realize they are sensitive about being touched in a particular area until the therapist touches them there - just let your therapist know how you feel; they will be sensitive to your feelings and will avoid the area.
This is your massage and you should feel comfortable with the plan before you proceed. Please feel free to ask questions or indicate if there are any body areas that you prefer not to have massaged. Be assured, however, it is against the law and a Licensed Massage Therapist will never massage the genital area (male or female).
Will the massage therapist be in the room while I change?
After initial discussions, the therapist will give you instructions about how to position yourself on the massage table and then then step out of the room for a few minutes while you undress to your comfort level and get comfortable under the covers on the massage table. After a few minutes, the therapist will knock on the door before entering to make sure you have had enough time to prepare for the massage. At the end of the massage, the therapist will again step out of the room so you can change in privacy.
Will the massage be painful?
When you are receiving massage to address a soft tissue injury, muscle spasm, trigger point, or some other type of ache or pain, massage can be uncomfortable. However, most clients describe this as "good pain" since it is ultimately helping the tissue heal. During any massage, all techniques should be performed within your pain tolerance. Your pain level should never be more than a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest level of pain. Anything beyond that is counter-productive, as your muscles tighten and you hold your breath to guard against the pain. We will make every effort to provide you with the most comfortable and least painful therapeutic massage to address your needs.
Logistics & Prep
Where should I park?
Free parking is available in the complex where we are located (The Shops at Woodway). If needed, parking may also be done on Bering, near the Tanglewood Park.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for my session?
It helps to be well hydrated - be sure to drink plenty of fluids the day before and day of your massage. If you are coming in for a facial massage, please have any make-up removed prior.
How much water should I drink?
The best way to tell if you are drinking enough is to check your urine. If it is clear and odor free, you are drinking enough. If it has a strong odor and color, then you probably will want to increase the amount you drink, unless you are on water restriction for medical reasons.
Draping & Clothes
Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?
This is known as draping and depends on the therapist and in some cases, the law. The vast majority of therapists will insist on draping. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body being worked on.
The genitals (women and men) and breasts (women) will not be uncovered. If the therapist is going to work on a woman's abdomen, a second towel or sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet or towel can be moved to expose the abdomen.
Do I have to be completely undressed?
You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, most get completely undressed. However, if you will be more comfortable during the session if you leave your underwear on, that's fine. The therapist will work around the clothes you left on as best as he/she can. If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session.
Your massage therapist should give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table.
If you prefer to stay fully clothed, then we recommend that you explore the therapies (such as Thai Massage) that are performed clothed.
What do I wear for my massage session?
You can wear whatever you feel most comfortable in. The most important thing is that you feel completely comfortable and relaxed.
During the massage, a clean sheet will cover you. I only uncover the area that is being worked on. Some clients prefer to keep their underpants on or will wear a swimsuit or shorts. All private parts are always covered, and never touched. I will always maintain and respect the client's boundaries.
What do I need to bring for my session?
There could be instances, where you are instructed by a therapist to bring scrubs, shorts and/or sports bra, with the specific intention of including muscle activation, stretching, and/or joint mobilization. This is typically done in sessions that involve therapies such as Thai Massage.
What should I do during a massage?
Make yourself comfortable. Many people just close their eyes and relax completely during the session; others prefer to talk. It's your massage, and whatever feels natural for you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she/he will either move you or will ask you to move what’s needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable.
What if I fall asleep?
It is not uncommon for many clients to fall asleep on the table during a massage. The warmth and release of tension relaxes them right to sleep - especially after a long day at work.
How long will a massage treatment last?
The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 90 or 120 minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.
Will the massage hurt?
This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light, relaxing massage that doesn't probe very deep into the muscles, shouldn't hurt. With that being said, there is a 'feels good' hurt and an 'ouch, stop it' hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the 'feels good' hurt range.
Pain can be an indication that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed and pressure should be adjusted. Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body's natural response, not against it.
Can I talk during my session?
That is totally up to you.
While we’ll occasionally ask a few questions, pertaining to your comfort level, and how you are feeling, whether or not to talk is up to you. The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and enjoying the experience. Many therapists discourage talking in hopes that you will relax, let your mind float free and enter a state of massage bliss.
In many instances, people may feel more relaxed starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, enter quiet states of relaxation.
The important issue here is that there are times when you need to speak up. If the therapist is doing anything to make you uncomfortable, you should let her/him know immediately. Also, let him/her know if you get too warm or too cold, if the room is too bright, or if the pressure needs to be changed (lighter or deeper). If something is not working for you, please speak up.
Do I have to listen to whale calls or flutes during my massage?
No (not that there's anything wrong with that). While many therapists play slower, quieter, 'new age' type music, you can choose to play your own music or no music at all. Studies have shown that music under 60 beats-per-minute has a calming, relaxing effect on the body and therefore can enhance your experience. Ask your therapist what music he/she has to offer or if it is ok to bring your own from home. Music you like to listen to while you relax can be listened to while you get a massage.
If I want a really deep massage shouldn't I see a male therapist?
The answer is NO. There is a perception that men give deeper massages than women. This is a myth. While some men do give a deeper massage, there are men who prefer to not work so deep. The same holds true for women.
It is a matter of style, training, and therapist preference. Some therapists prefer not to give really deep sessions while others specialize in this area. If you are looking for a deep massage, it is best to simply ask the therapist if she/he does this type of work. And of course, during your session it is perfectly ok to give the therapist feedback if you would like a lighter/deeper pressure. It's your session!
Please remember that massage does not have to hurt to be effective.
How will I feel after my massage treatment?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience a significant decrease or freedom from long-term aches and pains. Many feel a little slowed down for a short period and then notice an increase of energy, heightened awareness and increased productivity which can last for days.
If you received a deep massage, you may be slightly sore the next day - much like a good workout at the gym. Sometimes a hot shower or a soak in the tub can ease this soreness.
After your session, you should increase your water intake a bit. Just a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body's tissues hydrated and healthy.
What if I get an erection during my massage?
Sometimes it happens. Yet, most men avoid massage for fear this will happen to them. Or, they get a massage but are unable to relax because of this fear. But there is no reason to be embarrassed. Sometimes men get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic, full body massage. Touch administered to any part of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can result in a partial or complete erection. An educated, professional massage therapist understands this and it will not be an issue for him/her. If you are still concerned, we recommend wearing more fitted underwear (briefs or boxer briefs) which provide more support than traditional boxers.
Note: If the therapist feels that the session has turned sexual for the client, male or female, he/she may stop the session to clarify the client's intent, and may decide to end the session immediately.
What If I’m uncomfortable during my massage?
Often people are embarrassed to speak up if there is something they don’t like about the massage. We always appreciate your requests and feedback. While we may be the experts on massage, you are the expert on you, and it is your massage. Everything from the volume of the music to the angle of your face rest is adjustable. All of our tables are equipped with heating pads. Your therapist will never be offended if you make a request to turn up the heat, add a blanket, or adjust the table, pressure or music during your session.
What massage treatment style would be best for me?
Our therapists have several years of rich experience and thousands of hours of training, in a variety of massage styles. To learn more about what the many names you hear really mean, explore our website. If you have a particular type of massage that you are interested in, or a special need (like being pregnant), please be sure to let us know and we will try to match you with the person best suited to meet your needs. Our preference is to customize each session, using whatever techniques work best for you.
What can I expect from a massage?
You can expect to have your massage in a safe, nurturing environment. You can expect to feel peaceful, totally relaxed and calm afterwards. You can expect to be listened to – you are the one who knows your body. We cannot “fix” you, since you are not broken. We can assist your body in finding its way to optimal health through stress-relief and relaxation.
I’ve never had a massage before – how long of a session should I book?
Many people start with an hour massage. That’s enough time to cover the entire body. A half hour is only enough time for a specific area or two – such as back and neck. A lot of people prefer to come in for the 1.5 or 2 hour sessions, as that way they can get the full body massage, with extra time on any problem areas.
What should I wear to a session?
Wear whatever you are comfortable in. Some people that come straight from work like to bring a change of clothes for after the massage. If you prefer to receive massage through your clothing, then you might want to wear something that isn’t too tight, for example sweat pants/t-shirts.
Do I need to disrobe?
You only have to undress to your level of comfort. You will be on the massage table, with sheets and blankets covering you at all times. Only the part of your body being worked on will be exposed, for example arm, leg, back. If you are not comfortable getting undressed at all, we have techniques that we can use through your clothing. It is always your choice on how much clothing to take off or leave on. You will always be properly draped for your privacy and comfort level. However, to derive the highest benefits of a massage, the client should be disrobed to allow the therapist to employ techniques without the disruption that clothing causes.
Many techniques are most effective when performed directly to the body. The therapist will leave the room while you undress, get comfortable on the massage table and cover yourself with the sheet he/she will use to "drape" you during the massage.
It does not matter to the professional therapist what you wear during YOUR massage. They will work to give you the best massage no matter what you are wearing. You disrobe to the degree YOU decide for YOUR massage.
If is your first massage, you may be a little nervous and may want to wear some kind of swim wear or underwear. Your therapist will understand, so be comfortable and enjoy your massage wearing what you choose, if anything at all. Remember that you can wear a suit of armor if you choose to although your massage will not feel as good and the price is generally the same.
Is a massage always appropriate?
There are rare circumstances where massage should be avoided selectively (e.g., a joint or a limb problem) or completely. See contraindications below. Apart from that, it is the right decision to get a massage.
When should I not get a massage?
There are certain conditions that are contraindications for massage. Following are some of the major ones:
* Any type of infectious disease
* Systemic infections
* Severe cold
* Fracture, bleeding, burns or other acute injury
* Liver and kidney diseases
* Blood clot
* Pregnancy-induced diabetes, toxemia, preeclampsia/eclampsia
* High blood pressure (unless under control with medication)
* Heart disease
* Open skin lesions or sores (therapist may work around them if localized)
There are many other conditions in which your therapist may need to adapt his/her techniques (i.e. arthritis or osteoporosis) or avoid an area completely (i.e. cuts or burns). With some conditions it is a good idea to get an approval from your physician before you receive massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy). This doesn't mean you can't get massage. But its always better to err on the side of caution.
Your therapist can advise you about your specific needs. Always alert your massage therapist about any changes in your medical condition. They can work with you to address many conditions and will err on the side of caution when treating you.
How often should I get a massage?
Many of the effects of massage are cumulative, adding up over time. Most people who want to make massage a regular part of their health maintenance will get massages every 1 – 6 weeks. Others just come in when they have the time. We never pressure people to come more often than they want – we believe that it is your responsibility to determine your own needs, and we would never want you to feel guilty for coming less often than we recommend.
While a single massage as a treat to yourself is wonderful, regular massage (regardless of the frequency) can lead to profound and long-lasting changes.
For acute problems, like overwork or muscle spasms, you may want to come weekly or even more often for a series. If you are in pain, you should always feel more relaxed after the massage, although the pain may linger a while. The massage itself, especially if deep, can cause some inflammation. It may be a day or two for this to subside and you to feel better.
For chronic problems, general massage may relax you and release the muscular tensions that make it worse. Obviously, massage won’t prevent pain from structural or neurological causes like herniated disks or diabetic neuropathy from returning. But when pain causes us to tense muscles, we begin a pain-spasm cycle gets worse and worse. Massage can help break that cycle.
For people with active lifestyles, a massage before or after physical activity (e.g., a workout or a hike) removes toxins from fatigued muscles and re-energizes the body.
Some of us are trained to work with postural assessment to help you learn more efficient ways of using your body so as to minimize additional stresses.
Most of the studies showing the benefits of massage are done with a regular course of massage over a period of eight weeks or more. While you will get results from a single session, to maximize benefits you may want to make massage a part of your on-going health maintenance. Anywhere from a weekly to even a monthly or every six to eight week treatment can be effective in turning massage into a regular part of your life.
If you do decide to become a regular client please ask about our discounted series packages. They are a great way to make your sessions more affordable per treatment.
Will a single massage help me feel better?
For relaxation and to work out the day to day aches and pains, massage can have an immediate impact. Everyone coming in stressed or sore should leave feeling better than when they came in. But it is not uncommon to get a massage and still feel the pain or soreness after, or even to feel a bit worse immediately.
The effects of the massage may take time to manifest. You may walk out feeling that you still have the issue you came in with but the next day it's resolved.
If you come in with acute pain from something like a back spasm or extreme soreness from your first ski session of the year, you may actually get a bit sorer as massage itself can trigger some inflammation. It is like taking Vitamin C once you have a cold – it may help you recover faster, but the cold still needs to run its course.
Sometimes you won't notice a significant difference even after a day or more. It could be that you are doing something to re-create, or maintain the problem. Some of the effects of massage are cumulative, and you may find that coming in regularly results in enhanced benefits. Sometimes you will be benefited with a different type of massage, or with someone who can check your body mechanics to see if you may be using your body less efficiently than possible.
While we strive to give the best massage every time, sometimes it may take a session or two to really understand what works best for you. We learn more as we get to know you better.
Scheduling & Changes
What is your cancellation policy?
We require a 24 hour cancellation notice. If you would like to change your appointment, please call us at (713) 659-9966 at least 24 hours prior to your appointment in order to avoid being charged for your appointment. We try, in every circumstance to be understanding of how life can throw a curve ball. However, our revenue is directly tied to billable hours. A large part of our success is the committed, exceptional therapists we employ. What sets us apart from other practices and what give us the ability to attract and retain great therapists are a great working environment and the way we compensate. If you do not show up for your appointment, our costs still remain.
We like to use the analogy of food. When you book a massage appointment with us, it is like booking a catering event (without the deposit.) The room is reserved, the food is ordered and prepared, the staff is hired. When you "don't show up", the room was still reserved, - but is not being used. The linen was ordered and paid for, but not being used. The therapist was scheduled but not working.
It is customary in the healthcare industry to enforce a 24 hour cancellation notice to avoid being charged for any service. All "No Shows" and "Last Minute Cancellations" are charged at full value. We believe we give you every opportunity to cancel your appointment in advance of 24 hours, including a reminder phone call the day before your appointment. In the event you are working from a massage package, a single session can be deducted from your account. With enough notice, we are able to release your room and the therapist and rebook the time slot. If you miss an appointment without prior notification due to exceptional, emergency circumstances, feel free to discuss the matter with us. Likewise, we make a similar promise to you. If Panacea Massage isn't able to give you at least 24 hours’ notice of our cancelling your appointment, you will not pay for the missed session and we will give you an additional free session.
What if I'm late for my appointment?
If you are late to your session you are welcome to receive whatever time is left in your appointment. Due to our schedule, we may be unable to extend your session beyond your original appointment time. While we try not to be late, if we are, we give you the full time or charge you less.
Do I need to make an appointment?
Generally speaking, yes. However, there are times that we are able to accommodate clients that walk-in without an appointment. Most often, because of our full staff of therapists, you can make your appointment for the same day you call.
Can I reschedule my appointment?
Only when you have an unforeseen event, you can reschedule your appointment for an additional one-time rescheduling fee of $25, IF you notify us at least 90 minutes before your appointment. Any request of this nature should be rare/infrequent and for a reason beyond the client's control. An appointment cannot be rescheduled more than once - the second time, the client will be charged.
Can I just set up an appointment or do I need any sort of referral?
You do not need a referral to get a massage. Call to schedule an appointment at your convenience.
Can I choose my own therapist?
Yes, you can choose your therapist but you may have to wait for an appointment depending on the therapist’s schedule, availability and popularity. But if you need an appointment today, we have a large number of equally competent therapists to choose from and you can find an opening on someone else's schedule. You can also request your preference in male or female therapist. Our philosophy at Panacea Massage is to help you find your fit with the therapist and treatment style that best serves you.
Do you accept group bookings?
Yes, absolutely. It might require some additional coordination - if so, our friendly staff will advise you.
Can I schedule a 30 minute session?
30-minute sessions are available. A 30-minute session is typically used to concentrate on a particular area of difficulty such as neck, shoulder, and upper back tightness.
Can I schedule a 90 minute session?
90 minute sessions provide an opportunity for your therapist to concentrate on an area of concern or needed relief. 90 minute sessions are also often used for specific modalities such as Sports Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, of other specialty massages.
At what age can I start receiving massage at Panacea Massage?
We can work with any age-group. Massage can benefits toddlers as well as senior citizens just as much as other age groups. We will often work on very young children who are experiencing stress and tension in their lives. We welcome young athletes as well as people in elder care facilities. With young clients, under 18 years old, we will often require a parent to attend the session as well.
Should I Tip?
While tips are accepted and appreciated, we would always prefer that you be able to come as often as you need and not feel pressured to tip. We believe that it is rude to leave signs and envelopes everywhere asking for tips, some places even going so far as to tell you how much to tip.
You will get the same level of excellent service whether you tip or not. Another way to show your appreciation is to refer us to your friends and family.
When you receive massage in a medical or chiropractic office, generally you don’t tip, as tipping is not customary in such settings. In our industry, which is part of the personal service industry, tips are common.
You may leave a tip in cash or add it to your credit card at check out. If you have received exceptional service and would like to show your appreciation to the therapist, the average tip ranges between 15-30%. The therapist will receive 100% of their tip, less required taxes.
At Panacea Massage, we always treat you with respect and appreciate your decision to come here for your massages, no matter whether you tip or not.
How much does a massage cost?
Prices vary and are based on the type and length of a massage received. Please see our pricing page for a list of current charges for therapeutic massage and bodywork services.
Do you accept credit cards?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and Debit cards, as well as cash. We also accept personal checks from repeat clients.
Is massage therapy expensive?
Not really. Massage costs typically start out around $60 and in return you get about an hour of the therapist's undivided attention on whatever you think is most important. Your health is a precious gift and hence massages are a worthy investment.
What should I expect afterward?
When the massage is over, the therapist will leave the room so that you can get dressed in privacy. Massage and bodywork can be extremely relaxing, affecting all your body's systems so be sure to give yourself a several minutes to re-orient yourself before slowly getting up.
After a session, most people feel extremely relaxed. Many experience freedom from aches and pains that have built up over weeks and months of tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, clients often experience an increase in energy that can last for several days.
Will I be sore after my massage?
Possibly, but not necessarily. It is very important for you to let us know if the therapist is using too much pressure at any time. Sometimes working with an injured area might be painful, but even that should be within a good tolerance level. If you are not used to receiving massage, it is similar to not being used to working out. Just as you can feel sore after a good workout, you might feel a little sore after a massage, but that feeling should not last more than a day or two. Again, communication is the key to getting your best massage.
Can you treat medical conditions or injuries?
Massage therapists cannot legally diagnose or treat any condition. However, many of our therapists have extensive experience dealing with certain injuries and medical conditions, and, with your doctor's permission, we can work with you to speed your full recovery. We encourage you to consult with us to explore the appropriate treatment options for your condition.
Will the massage oils used during the massage make me break out?
Allergic reactions to massage oils and lotions are rare, but not completely unheard of. If you have allergies that you already know about, by all means tell your therapist so they can prevent a problem.
I suffer from allergies or chemical sensitivities. Is your space safe?
We have done our best to make our facilities a safe environment for those with sensitivities (we do not use any rugs and have minimized the use of fabrics - the ones we use get cleaned frequently). Since the build-out and our furnishings are relatively new, however, it is impossible to guarantee that they have completely aired, and we cannot control the scents other clients bring to our space. Certain of our products do contain essential oils. Please feel free to come visit our space before making an appointment.
How is massage beneficial?
Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain & muscle tension as well as aiding a positive outlook in life and increasing immunity and productivity.
What is the short-term value of therapeutic massage?
The short-term value of therapeutic massage is relief of pain and increased freedom of movement. Not all bodily aches and limitations are appropriate for treatment with massage therapy, but when therapeutic massage is appropriate it works to help correct imbalances in the skeletal muscles that result in pain and limitation. There are competing theories on how this happens; here are two of them. Muscle tissue that is starved for oxygen supply from blood circulation (referred to as ischemic) releases a constant supply of irritating chemicals that the sensory nervous system interprets as pain. The mechanical pressure of massage therapy opens up these muscle fibers to a proper level of blood supply, ‘washes away’ the noxious chemicals and restores normal function of the affected muscle tissue. A second theory suggests that massage corrects sensory nerve information that distorts the resting state of our muscles. Our overall posture is determined by a set of ‘instructions’ from the sensory nervous system that tell the muscles what their resting position is supposed to be. After injury, this set of instructions is altered to account for the protection and healing of injured soft tissue. This reaction is called muscle splinting and is common in joint sprains and whiplash incidents. It is facilitates a good recovery from a soft tissue injury. Sometimes, though, the protective pattern outlasts the original injury and what’s left is a group of muscles that are protecting a now-healed injury site. These unnecessarily contracted muscles are now themselves a source of pain and restricted movement. Therapeutic massage ‘resets’ these sensory nerves to re-establish a normal postural pattern.
What is the long-term value of therapeutic massage?
If there is some physical performance objective that you just can’t quite reach because your body just doesn’t quite get you there, then therapeutic massage could make the difference. We're not talking about turning a jockey into a linebacker, here. We're talking about dropping a distance runner’s mile splits by a few seconds or increasing the amount of time you can spend at your favorite hobby before some physical discomfort makes you quit. It may not be an everyday aggravation, but it’s something that stands between you and the quality of life you really want. Therapeutic massage can support you in changing your posture and movement over time. That change will allow you to do more of the physical activities you love or just help you do them better. There are several other benefits for which massage is most-often cited: lower stress, enhanced sense of well-being, better circulation and lower blood pressure. Since every individual takes to a given therapy differently, you can only know if massage therapy will help you by trying it out.
What are the medically accepted health benefits of massage?
The Touch Research Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine has been performing research on the effects of massage for several years, and they have had some wonderful results, such as the following:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Immediately following massage therapy, depressed mood, anxiety and stress hormone (cortisol) levels were reduced. Following 10 days of massage therapy, fatigue related symptoms, particularly anxiety and somatic symptoms were reduced, as were depression, difficulty sleeping and pain. Stress hormone (cortisol) also decreased and dopamine increased.
Diabetes: Following one month of parents massaging their children with diabetes, the children's glucose levels decreased to the normal range and their dietary compliance increased. Also the parents' and children's anxiety and depression levels decreased.
Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Massage therapy (as compared to transcutaneous electrical stimulation) improved sleep patterns and decreased pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and cortisol levels in adults with fibromyalgia.
Hypertension: Massage therapy decreased diastolic blood pressure, anxiety and cortisol (stress hormone) levels in adults with hypertension.
Job Performance/Stress: Massaged adults showed 1) decreased frontal EEG alpha and beta power and increased delta power consistent with enhanced alertness; 2) math problems were completed in significantly less time with significantly fewer errors after the massage; and 3) anxiety, cortisol (stress hormone) and job stress levels were lower at the end of the 5 week period.
Migraine Headaches: Massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms and increased serotonin levels in adults with migraine headaches.
Multiple Sclerosis: Massage therapy decreased anxiety and depressed mood, and improved hand strength, self-esteem, body image and social functioning in adults with multiple sclerosis.