Massage is a highly personal service, because each client’s needs are unique. What one person loves, the next may not. Knowing what to ask prior to booking, being prepared for your appointment, and communicating with your therapist during the session improves the chances that you’ll be happy with the massage you receive.
Many people have questions about receiving their first massage. Here are answers to some typical questions and concerns about your first massage or bodywork session.
You probably know that problems can occur when you combine different drugs or use certain drugs in conjunction with certain foods. Yet, are you aware that a wide variety of commonly used drugs — including prescription, over-the-counter and herbal products — can affect your response to exercise, potentially increasing your risk of injury? Discover how to stay sage using these tips from Carol Krucoff, coauthor of Healing Moves: How to Cure, Relieve and Prevent Common Ailments with Exercise.
Q. Being fairly new to massage, I’m always unsure about whether to tip or not? Is there some sort of tipping protocol like in dining, or is tipping my massage therapist like tipping my doctor?
Q. Is there any way for me to get my massage expenditures reimbursed by insurance?
Q. My therapist told me that massage and bodywork can be helpful for eating disorders. How can this be?
A. The truth is, millions of American men and women suffer from some sort of eating disorder. Bodywork, however, can help lessen the chasm between body and mind that helps “feed” these disorders. According to author Merrill DeVito, who went on her first diet in the fifth grade, the self-loathing that accompanies eating disorders gets trapped in the entire body, but bodywork helps release it.
In massage and bodywork, there is an elephant on your tables and chairs, in your spa rooms, and, in fact, everywhere you take the profession. Not the trunk and peanuts kind. No, this animal is metaphorical in nature, yet an animal, nonetheless. Strangely paradoxical, this elephant is the backbone of many modalities and to many of our lives, yet is often avoided in the name of privacy, sacredness, and because we just don’t know how to talk about it. The subject of which I speak is none other than spirituality.
When I go into my garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health, that I discover I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1849
It’s difficult to find a gardener who doesn’t agree with Emerson. The reward, avid gardeners say, of cultivating the earth is nothing short of sublime. So what exactly is going on in the backyard plot that has captivated more than 85 million Americans? Well, in a word, healing.