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1. What can Massage Therapy treat?
2. Is a massage supposed to hurt?
3. What should I wear? Do I have to take off all my clothes?
4. How often should I get massage?
5. Are there age, or other, restrictions on getting a massage?
6. I’m pregnant; can I still get a massage?
7. Is massage covered by my extended health plan/insurance?
8. How long of a massage should I get?
9. Should I get a massage before or after a workout?
10.  I get tired after my massage; is this normal?

1. What can Massage Therapy treat?

Almost anything.  A list of commonly treated conditions can be found here, on the Massage Therapist Association of Nova Scotia’s website.  If you don’t see something on the list, or want more details about something you do see, ask your massage therapist by giving them a call.


2. Is a massage supposed to hurt?

No*.  At Essential Elements, we see greater success with clients that have massage therapy given within their pain tolerances.

*Massage techniques should usually only be ‘uncomfortable’ to you, at an intensity through which you are able to breath and relax.  Holding your breath and tensing your body makes it harder for your massage therapist to work into your muscles and tissues.  If you are uncomfortable with any technique or pressure your massage therapist is providing, simply let them know and they will be able to adjust to your comfort level.
There are some situations that may require more intense (read, painful) techniques. However, your massage therapist will inform you advance and only proceed with your informed consent.


3. What should I wear? Do I have to take off all my clothes?

Whatever you want.  During your first treatment, your therapist may suggest some assessment in order to best devise your treatment plan.  As such, wearing loose-fitting clothes, or bringing some, is advisable;  tight-waisted pants (like jeans) can inhibit your massage therapist’s ability to properly assess your pelvic symmetry.

No, you may leave on any amount of clothing you wish.  Your massage therapist is able to treat over or around any amount of clothing you wish to leave on.  That said, most massages are best done with access directly to the tissues being treated.  Your therapist will recommend articles of clothing to be removed for best treatment success.


4. How often should I get massage?

As often as possible.  Treatment frequency varies widely depending on the client.  You’ll want to leave enough time between your massages to recover from the previous massage, but not so much time that the effects of the previous massage wear off.  Your massage therapist will discuss these options with you.


5. Are their age, or other, restrictions on getting a massage?

No*.  Anyone from infants to the terminally ill can benefit from massage.  The only restrictions on massage are certain serious health concerns, and most conditions can be treated in a way as to limit any possible side effects of the massage.

* However, to receive the safest and most appropriate treatment for you and your present state of health, please be exhaustive when filling out your medical history.  This applies no matter what type of primary or secondary health care you are receiving.  Your massage therapist will discuss the specifics of your particular health history and how it may affect your treatment plan.


6.  I’m pregnant; can I still get a massage?

Yes.  Certain precautions are taken during the first trimester of your pregnancy, mainly avoiding structural changes around the pelvis, but otherwise your body and mind will benefit greatly from massage, from early first trimester to 10 days past your due date.  Also, many expectant mothers enjoy the novelty of a pregnancy table which allows them to lie face-down (prone) comfortably.


7.  Is massage covered by my extended health plan/insurance?

Maybe.  Every insurance policy is different.  Call your insurance provider or ask your workplace insurance plan administrator about the details.
Some plans require a doctor’s referral for massage therapy coverage.
Some plans only cover a certain percentage of your massage therapy appointment, and/or a maximum amount claimable per massage therapy appointment.
Some plans use a shared pool of credit for many or all types of health care, while others have separate credit for each type of health care covered under your plan.
Again, a quick call is best. There is usually a customer service number to be found right on your insurance policy card.


8.  How long of a massage should I get?

Depends.  Treatment length varies widely.  It depends on the condition(s) being treated, the tolerance of the client to the treatment techniques, and the quality of the tissues being treated.  As always, your massage therapist will discuss this with you, but typically:
– 15 minutes:  good for a quick stretch, particular adjustment, taping, or maintenance (e.g. TMJD).
– 30 minutes:  for treating one area (lower back, neck, a leg, etc.).
– 45 minutes:  a longer treatment on an individual area, or to add some quick work to a second area.
– 60 minutes:  treatment of 2-3 areas, or a full body massage for general maintenance.
– 75-120 minutes:  prolonged specific treatments, or fully body massages with specific work to problem areas.


9.  Should I get a massage before or after a workout?

After*.  Usually, massage is relaxing; you don’t want to exercise relaxed muscles.  Also, massage increases circulation, enhancing the body’s ability to flush out the lactic acid created in muscles during exercise, decreasing the soreness you might get from exercise, and decreasing recovery time.

* However, massage can also be preformed in a rapid, vigorous fashion.  Athletes will often get a quick, stimulating massage immediately before preforming, enhancing their muscles’ energy and activity.


10.  I get tired after my massage; is this normal?

Yes*.  Most often, massage therapy is used to relax the muscles and the body/mind, allowing the muscles and the body/mind to heal.

* However, your massage therapist can preform vigorous massage techniques to ‘wake up’ your body if you prefer not to be tired at the end of a relaxing massage.  Also, athletes will often get a quick, stimulating massage immediately before preforming, enhancing their muscles’ energy and activity.