Frequently Asked Questions: Massage
Frequently Asked Questions: Posture Alignment
Should I cancel if I'm sick?
If you have a fever or an infectious sickness, even a common cold, that is good reason to postpone your massage appointment. For one thing, touch may not feel good. For anther thing, you may be contagious, especially in the first stages of a cold or flu. This is usually when you are feeling the worst, when you are coughing and sneezing frequently. The more you limit contact with others, including your massage therapist, the less you will spread it around. For example, if you don’t “pass” a cold on to your massage therapist, she won’t spread it to all the other clients.
Studies show that you can transmit a cold or flu to others one or two days before your symptoms appear, and up to five days after first being exposed to the virus. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), colds are most contagious two to four days after original exposure, when there is plenty of the virus present in nasal secretions.
There is another reason to avoid massage when you have a cold or flu. Because one of the major impacts of massage is on the circulation (including the removal of wasteful by-products and infectious materials), it is thought that massage can actually increase the spread on infection in your body. If you are sick, your immune system is already working hard. One of the best immune supports may truly be resting and drinking plenty of liquids.
Remember, whenever you have any questions about the appropriateness of massage, be sure to talk with your massage therapist when you schedule the appointment. If you are under the care of a physician for any reason, let them know you are receiving massage therapy.
What should I do between massage sessions?
To get the most out your massage, practice these self-care tips regularly.
- Stretch. If you are getting massage for pain and discomfort, stretching is essential for you. Frequency is more important than length of a stretching session.
- Try setting up a reminder sound like a chime on your computer or cell phone to remind you to stretch for 2 minutes every hour, or 5 minutes every two hours.
- Follow this simple routine. Exhale as you stretch whatever feels tight or uncomfortable to a feel-good position, and inhale as you return to a starting position. Ask your therapist or health coach about stretches for specific areas.
- Exercise regularly. Even very moderate exercise can help relieve pent-up muscle tension and improve your circulation, two benefits you may have also noticed after massage. Walking, gardening, golfing and tai chi are all ways to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving, and can also help shift your attention from your worries to relaxation and the enjoyment of life.
- Take time to relax. Change your schedule to include more down time, even if it’s only 15 minutes for deep breathing or a walk after work or at lunch. Get away from chores on the weekend for a morning or afternoon to enjoy some time in nature pr a pot of tea with friends.
- Drink lots of water.
What should I do after my massage?
After your massage you may notice profound changes in your body and mind. Here are some things that have helped many people get the most from their massage.
Drink extra water. During a massage circulation is improved, which helps flush irritating waste products from the stressed muscles and other tissues. Drinking water aids the functioning of the whole body including the circulation and the kidneys, which are both involved with relieving the body of waste products. Drinking extra water also seems to help reduce soreness and fatigue after a massage.
Schedule time to take it easy after your massage. Rest if you feel the need. If you can, take a nap or get in bed early. If you haven’t been sleeping well, receiving massage may relax you enough that you will want to turn in and catch up.
If the focus of your massage is on a particular injury or body part, remember to stretch, ice or apply heat to that area with the advice of your massage therapist. Or, you may want to do some gently movement, such a walking, sometime in the hours after your massage to mildly encourage your muscles to work in a balanced and efficient way.
People sometimes experience some soreness for 24 hours or so after a massage. If you do feel sore or think that you might, use an ice gel pack on the area for 15 minutes, stretch gently in a hot shower or take a warm bath with Epsom salts. And remember to tell your massage therapist about your experience so it can be taken into consideration in your next session.
Do I have to undress to receive a massage?
Many people are apprehensive about receiving a massage for the first time. We understand this and spend as much time as necessary to calm your worries and answer any questions and address your concerns. We tell our clients that no concern or question is unwanted or unimportant. We believe everyone deserves to be treated with honor, respect and dignity.
For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of undressing, we say "not to worry" We have impeccable draping techniques to protect client's privacy and dignity. Clients are always covered with a sheet and blanket and we only expose small areas of the body at a time. All of our therapists are skilled in manual techniques that can be done with or without clothing and they do so with proficiency and confidence.
When will I see results?
Everyone will respond at different rates. You should experience a difference after your very first menu such as walking or standing taller, improved balance, even some pain relief. As you become more and more functional, these benefits will become long lasting. It took years to get to the point of pain and it will take time to reverse these effects. Stay consistent and you will see and feel the difference!
How many times will I have to come in before I reach my goals?
This will differ for everyone. Several factors will come in to play here including your specific goals and needs, the time you are willing to spend, the severity of your issues and so forth. Our goal is to help you regain a healthy and active lifestyle by eliminating your pain. Typically, most clients come in between 2-8 times and often schedule "Maintenance" sessions 2-4 times per year, even after they have achieved a pain free status.
Do I really have to do my menu every day?
Yes. Over the years your body has developed poor posture and movement patterns to compensate for your dysfunctions. This is not a quick fix. Therefore, to see improvements and establish new muscle memory you must continue to stimulate your body on a daily basis. Miss one day no big deal, miss more than two days and you body will begin to go back to its olds patterns. If you do "fall of the wagon" dust yourself off and try again. Remember this is a lifetime process.
Can I do one or two exercises in my menu without doing the rest?
If you have already done your menu all the way through, you may do a couple of your favorite exercises at a later time. Even though certain exercises may make you feel considerably better than the rest, all of them are very important to the design of your program. If you do not have time to do your program all the way through, contact your Posture Alignment Specialist to get a shorter "No Time Menu".
Do I need to purchase the equipment used in your office?
No. We will show you how to use items around your house that will work like the equipment in our office. However, for your convenience you can find therapy equipment at TherapyZone.com. Your postural alignment specialist will recommend which equipment is appropriate for you.
Will my insurance cover this form of therapy?
No. Posture Alignment Therapy is non-medical and is not covered under insurance. Check out our Program Options to find the best discounts and packages to suit your budget. It may be covered under Your Employee Flexible Spending Account. Check Your insurance plan to find out.
Can I still see my chiropractor, massage therapist, etc.?
Yes. Postural Alignment Therapy is a great complement to all manual therapies. We would like to work with those on your health care team. A collaboration of efforts always brings greater results! Check out our Massage & Posture Alignment package if you want to work with a Pathways massage therapist while doing Posture therapy.
Is Postural Alignment Therapy any different than taking a Pilates or yoga class?
Yes indeed! While you may see benefits from these types of classes, your exercise menu is designed to address your specific dysfunctions and goals. Working one-on-one with a specialist will ensure that you receive personalized instruction and a safe training environment. Posture Alignment Therapy can be seen as the foundation to all other forms of exercise. Your body will be better prepared to move easily and efficiently through any activity you desire.
Can I still continue with my current activities?
Physical activities are good as long as you're in proper alignment. Initially, you may be asked to avoid certain activities that re-enforce your dysfunctions. As you become more and more functional, you can re-introduce these and begin other activities.