It’s my first massage. What should I expect?

A first massage can be a little scary not knowing what to expect. So, let’s set your mind at ease. A massage can be fun, relaxing, relieving and rewarding. Arrive 10-15 minutes early, park in the street and come on in the front door into our lobby. You will be welcomed by soft music, cozy furniture and Queen Francoise “Sparky”, our Betta fish. In the summertime we may have goodies from our garden for you to nibble on or take home with you. A “New Client Intake” form will be on the coffee table ready for you to fill out. Have a cup of tea, make yourself comfortable, and give us as much information as possible for us to address your goals. You can browse through our library, sit on the porch or slide your feet in our shiatsu foot massager. We will come greet you at your appointment time and direct you to your treatment room, where we’ll review your intake form together.

Your massage can be performed either with clothing on or off.  If you want to remove your clothes, we will step out of the room while you undress to your comfort level and lie down under the blanket. When we return, we will knock to make sure you are ready, enter the room, dim the lights and start some relaxing music (if you choose).

Our massages typically take 90 minutes, and we will communicate with you throughout the entire session about comfort, depth of pressure, what feels good and what doesn’t, and we will adjust accordingly. We will use different types of strokes, long slow, short and quick, deep and shallow, friction, clapping, kneading and pinching. We may rotate some joints, twists and holds. We might use our thumbs, our fingers, our knuckles, the heel of our hand, our forearm, our elbow and sometimes even our feet as tools. We may use pillows, bolsters, rollers, stretches, heat or ice packs, essential oils, hot stones, cups, tuning forks and other tools.

We will check in with you periodically, asking if there’s anything you like or dislike or want us to do differently. We will notify you when the session is complete and ask you take a moment to slowly get up and get dressed while we step out of the room. You can crack the door when you are ready, and we will rejoin you with a glass of water, ask you how you are doing, give you some homework tips, take your payment and schedule your next session. The main thing to know is that your first session we will both be getting to know each other, and we will go at a pace that works for you and communicate often. If anything doesn’t feel comfortable, we will stop and adjust. After your session, we’ll invite you to take a few moments to relax in our lobby or on the front porch and ease back into your phone, your car and your life. We’ll send you an email request for comments taking your feedback seriously to better your experience and that of those who come after you.

A few words on gas. One of our teachers says, “it’s not a good massage unless one of us farts.”

So, let it all go!!

How long will my massage take?

Our massages usually take 90-minutes. If your session is scheduled for 2pm, arrive 10-15 minutes early, we will come get you at two and direct you to your treatment room. We will end a few minutes before 3:30p to allow you to dress and discuss homework, stretches, etc. with you. Then, we will take your payment and schedule your next session.

Typically, a massage has 3 phases, “getting to know the terrain,” the “work,” and the “wrap-up / saying goodbye to the body”. On occasion we may book a 60-minute follow-up massage for a quick tune-up or a specific protocol that addresses only own region of the body, but not during our first session.

How can I prepare for my massage?

We suggest that you eat lightly, drink plenty of fluids, you can take a hot bath ahead of time. Take care of business and turn off your cell phone. Arrive 15 minutes early. You can use our shower or tub if you are coming from work. Heating your body up will support an even more effective massage. You can slide your feet in our shiatsu massager, walk in our garden, make a cup of tea, sit on the porch, anything to transition out of your schedule into tranquility, fully hydrate and most important go pee!

Can I wear perfume or cologne?

Please do not wear perfume, cologne, scented oils / aftershave / deodorant / lotion, or other fragrances. 100% pure essential oil is fine in moderation. We would rather experience your natural body odor rather than expose our sensitive clients and ourselves to olfactory overload and possible allergic reactions.

What if I show up late or need to cancel my appointment?

Show up on time at your scheduled time. If you show up late, the session does not extend beyond the time that was scheduled. Give 24-hour notice to reschedule an appointment. We understand things come up that may require your attention and we are flexible in scheduling to accommodate your needs. 24-hour notice for rescheduling allows us to book the open time with another client. Without the 24-hour notice, we need to charge full amount for a missed appointment.

How and when can I make my payment?

We accept cash or credit card. You can pay before or after your session. If you have a gift certificate, please have it with you to redeem at the time of your session.

Do we accept tips?

Lots of people wonder but don’t feel comfortable asking: We gratefully accept gratuity, but you are not obligated to give us any, and we won’t take it personally if you don’t. Typical practice is around 20%.

How will I feel after my massage?

Some clients feel energized, others feel disorientated and relaxed.  It depends on the type of massage you receive.  If you are coming for relief of a particular ailment, you will typically feel better than when you arrived.  Although sometimes you may feel sore initially before relief comes.  Often you may feel sore for 24 hours after your session.  Sometimes some unexpected emotions will bubble to the surface. You may be hungry, thirsty or sleepy. The most common experience is leaving with what we call “massage face”.

What can I do after my massage?

Drink plenty of fluids, rest in our lobby or on the front porch, take time to “come back” before getting on your phone and or into your car and driving away.  You may wish to journal or draw or take a nap. We suggest taking a hot bath to continue the de-stressing process. Keep your commitments to a minimum and continue self-care the rest of your day. If you have another engagement following, feel free to use our clean towels and shower to freshen up.

How often should I get a massage?

For the averagely active human we recommend every 3-4 weeks for general health maintenance. If you are very active or you are wanting improvements in your posture or range of motion, we recommend every 2 weeks. If you are an athlete, come once a week as well as pre and post event. If you are doing rehabilitation of acute pain or injury, we may recommend coming twice a week for the first couple months until the pain lessens. And, don’t forget to treat yourself to a massage for your birthday and anniversary.