Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And, getting a massage frequently can do even more. Taking part regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be with each passing year. Budgeting resources for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health.
Just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it's any less therapeutic. Massage therapy is the application of soft tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce a variety of stresses and fatigue while improving circulation. Working with your practitioner, the two of you can establish a treatment plan that best meets your needs and goals.
Massage Therapy can relieve physical and emotional stress, reduce muscle fatigue and tension, improve sleep, increase energy and stamina, enhance your resistance to illness, relieve muscle pains and headaches, improve thinking and awareness, decrease repetative stress syndromes, encourage better posture, generate more flexibility, build awareness of breathing, and promote relaxation which you can take with you through your day!
1. Schedule Your HEAT Center Bodywork Appointment
To schedule an appointment, contact Emily or Amanda by email, phone or in person. Be ready to provide information on the following:
• Length of Appointment
How long would you like your appointment to be? The typical massage therapy appointment is one hour and can increase usually capping at 2 hours.
• Health and Wellness Conditions*
Some health conditions may delay or prohibit therapy. Please express them to your therapist. See the section below titled *Conditions That Affect Massage Therapy.
Are you pregnant? If so, how far along are you? We recommend that you refrain from receiving massage therapy during your first trimester unless you have consent from your physician. After this time, our massage therapy table will be set up differently for pre- and post-natal patients to best serve them in each stage of their pregnancy. If your therapist is unaware of your stage of pregnancy before your appointment, table set up time may come out of your appointment time. Let us know, we want you to enjoy every minute of your appointment!
2. The Day of Your Appointment
Get excited! For your comfort and healing please drink plenty of water. The human body is about 75% water, the majority of which is utilized to hydrate muscles for greater ease of movement, structure and function.
Feel free to arrive about five minutes early for your first appointment to fill out a short form and discuss your health with us. Please bear in mind that some sessions run late and we may be working with another client up until your appointment time.
The term recent injuries on your intake form is meant to include the past five years. Even ‘old’ injuries can play a part in how your body responds to current stress or relaxation.
Please list any and all allergies on the form.
If you are having symptoms of a cold or flu 24 hours or less prior to your session, please consider rescheduling your appointment. We have other people to work with and don’t want to spread potential illness to them, or ourselves frankly!
3. During Your Bodywork Session
Your therapist will guide you to the massage table, describe how to dress down to your level of comfort and show you how to lie on the table (between the top and bottom sheet) after the therapist leaves the room. Your level of comfort is your own so, here are a few guidelines; you may leave your underwear on, or off; if you would like your shoulders worked on, remove your brassiere; if your legs will be worked on, please remove your pants. You may also choose to remain fully clothed. While working, the therapist will continuously move the sheet, revealing only the areas to be worked on and leaving private areas covered at all times.
We will check in with you throughout the massage regarding pressure and how you're feeling. With a bit of time, we develop a keen awareness of what pressure is suitable for your unique body. Intense sensation is productive, extreme pain is not. HEAT therapists in part work to help you discover your boundaries in a comfortable and safe way. It is also normal to experience a range of emotions as muscles holding stress are relieved and released. Often, responses to relaxation include yawning; the need to move or change position; temperature fluctuations; changes in breathing; emotional feelings; energy shifts; memories; ; stomach gurgling, movement and/or expression of intestinal gas; sighing, and falling asleep. We are here to guide your through this recuperative process.
Your therapist will signal the end of the massage and leave the room. Feel free to take a nice, long, relaxing breath, roll on to your side, and slowly get up from the table. Once you are fully dressed, open the treatment room door or go into the reception area to await your therapist.
At this point payment and any gratuity is accepted, and scheduling your next appointment is advised. Your therapist may offer some stretching advice for areas of concern.
4. After Your Bodywork Appointment
Following your appointment please drink plenty of water. Massage therapy releases stress and that stress needs to be flushed from your system! Some soreness and tenderness following massage therapy is normal for 24 to 48 hours. If you feel sore or tender in specific areas beyond those hours please advise your therapist to reduce pressure in those areas at your next massage appointment. If you feel literal pain please call your massage therapist, they may suggest that you see your primary care physician for possible unknown conditions.
*Conditions That Affect Massage Therapy
(please express these to your therapist when scheduling your appointment)
There are some health and wellness things to think about for discussion with your massage therapist. Your massage therapist will have their hands in contact with your skin, is there anything they need to know?
Conditions like scabies, lice, whole-body contagious skin disease, athletes foot or any other contagious skin situation is a contraindication for massage therapy.
Do you have any lesions, boils, eczema, dermatitis, edema (swelling, usually around a joint), recent tattoo or piercing or have you been in an accident recently? For your and your therapist's protection, your therapist will avoid contagious or open skin and may choose to utilize essential oils for problem skin areas, with your permission.
If you have had an accident recently, and are experiencing any symptoms suggesting the need for expertise beyond a massage therapist's scope of practice, and have not seen a doctor, your massage therapist may refuse you service until you have clearance from your physician.
Body art including piercings and new tattoos involve compromised skin—a contraindication for massage therapy. The safest course in this situation is to wait for any pain or itching to resolve before receiving massage in an area with a new tattoo. The following are average healing times for piercings, which would be locally contraindicated for massage therapy and/or affect table positioning:
Cheek: 4 to 5 months / Ear Cartilage: 4 months to 1 year / Nipple : 3 - 6 months / Ear Lobe: 6 to 8 weeks / Eyebrow: 6 to 8 weeks / Nostril: 2 to 4 months / Nasal Septum: 6 to 8 months / Navel: 4 months to 1 year / Lip: 2 to 3 months
A Note on Ethics
Massage therapists/bodywork practitioners are not qualified to perform spinal or skeletal adjustments; or to diagnose, prescribe or treat physical or mental illness and nothing said in the course of the session given should be construed as such. Massage therapists in New York State are licensed professionals, designated LMTs. Any illicit or sexually suggestive remarks or advances made by you will result in immediate termination of your session, and you will be liable for payment of the scheduled appointment.
If you need to cancel an appointment, please give your therapist 24 - 48 hours notice. Imbibing alcohol prior to receiving massage therapy is unadvised.