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3605 Long Beach Blvd., Suite 100
Long Beach, CA 90807
Phone: 562.981.2200

What is Massage Therapy?

The Answer:

Massage therapy is the application of specific manipulation techniques to human musculature and soft tissues. Massage therapy can help reduce stress, fatigue, pain, inflammation, and stiffness while improving circulation and flexibility.

Massage therapy specifically excludes the adjustment, diagnosis, and/or treatment of the human skeletal structure, or any other service, procedure, or treatment which requires a license to practice orthopedics, physical therapy, podiatry, chiropractic, osteopathy, psychotherapy, acupuncture, or any other profession or branch of medicine.

What should I expect during a massage therapy session?

The Answer:

Your massage therapy session should be a relaxing and healing experience. Before your first therapy session, you will fill out a form where you will provide any medical history, past/present injuries, and any other physical conditions your professional massage therapist should be made aware of. Your massage therapist may want to discuss your current physical condition and any specific anatomical areas which are causing pain or discomfort. This is your opportunity to discuss any issues you are hoping to address during your massage.

Your massage will take place in a tranquil environment where you should be able to relax. You will be positioned on a comfortable massage table and meditative music or soothing sounds maybe playing softly in the background.

During the session your therapist typically asks you to tell them if any technique or stroke being applied is painful or uncomfortable. You will receive either a customized full-body massage aimed at general physical and mental relaxation or a more focused session that targets specific areas of your body that are causing pain or discomfort.

At the end of your massage session, you will be left alone to get dressed.

What is the treatment room like?

The Answer:

Your massage will be performed in a peaceful, quiet room. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort and fitted with clean sheets. Meditative music or soothing sounds may be played in the background to help create a tranquil atmosphere. The treatment room may also feature calming aromatherapy.

What are some of the benefits of massage therapy?

The Answer:

Receiving massage therapy on a regular basis can help:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve circulation and tissue oxygenation
  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Release endorphins (which are the body's natural painkillers
  • Reduce headaches and provide migraine relief
  • Enhance healing and injury rehabilitation
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Stimulate lymphatic flow
  • Increase joint flexibility and range of motion
  • Decrease dependency on medications
  • Reduce muscular tension and stiffness
  • Enhance chronic pain management
  • Alleviate low-back pain
  • Improve posture
  • Promote relaxation
  • Relieve stress

How much time does it take to receive a massage?

The Answer:

Typically a full-body massage or bodywork session takes approximately 1 hour to complete. Partial massages which target only specific parts of your body may be completed in 30 minutes. Generally a 60 to 90 minute session helps achieve ideal results and relaxation.

Must I be completely nude for the massage session?

The Answer:

Most massages are performed with the client undressed; however, ultimately you should disrobe to your level of comfort. Some clients prefer to completely disrobe, while others remain partially clothed. Once disrobed, you will lie on the massage table, draped under a clean sheet or towel.

Will the therapist be in the treatment room when I undress?

The Answer:

Your massage therapist should leave the room while you undress, lie on the table, and drape yourself with a clean sheet or towel. Your therapist should give you a few minutes to undress and should knock on the door to ask if you are ready before entering the room.

How exposed will I be during the massage?

The Answer:

You should be appropriately draped with a clean sheet or towel throughout your massage session. The therapist will only expose the area of your body they are actively working on.

What areas of my body will be treated?

The Answer:

Before starting the massage you and the therapist should discuss the goals of your session. This will determine which parts of your body will be focused on. A typical full body session will include work on your arms, back, feet, hands, head, legs, neck, and shoulders. The therapist should not touch you on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).

Are there different types of massage therapy?

The Answer:

Yes. There are numerous techniques or types of massage that may be customized to meet needs of each individual. Each type employs different strokes, movements, and applications of pressure to achieve the goals of the therapy session.

One of the most popular is the Swedish massage, which is characterized by broad, sweeping strokes that work to relax your nervous system and relieve muscle tension and stiffness.

Deep tissue massage is another type of therapy which employs more intense movements and pressure than a Swedish massage. It targets deeper anatomy with the aim of releasing knots, relieving chronic muscle tension, and decreasing inflammation. The technique involves first relaxing the surface muscles which allows the therapist to reach and treat the deeper tissues.

How will I feel during the massage?

The Answer:

During the massage you should relax. Some people just close their eyes and enjoy the tranquility while others prefer to converse with their therapist. You can use the opportunity to ask the therapist questions and learn more about the specific type of massage being provided to you.

As you become relaxed, your therapist will be able to increase the pressure applied in an effort to relieve tension, stiffness, and stress. Often oil or lotion is applied to help your muscles relax and decrease the friction cause by the massage. These oils or lotions also help moisturize your skin.

Your therapist's efforts will be much more effective if you and your body can relax during the massage. Accordingly, you should make the therapist aware of any discomfort or pain you experience during the session so that the techniques employed can be appropriately adjusted.

How will I feel after the massage?

The Answer:

After an ideal session of massage therapy, you should feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Some people may also experience a decrease in the aches and pains associated with muscular tension. For days after the massage some people experience an increase in energy, level of alertness and productivity. To help "flush out" any toxins released by the massage session you should keep yourself adequately hydrated.

Are there situations when massage is not advisable?

The Answer:

Yes. Unfortunately, not everyone will be an ideal candidate for massage therapy. Accordingly, it is vital that before seeking massage therapy you consult with your primary or regular healthcare provider and get a written recommendation to receive massage therapy or bodywork. In fact, your massage therapist may actually require that your healthcare provider approve or recommend massage therapy prior to your session.

Furthermore, before the massage session you should provide your therapist details about any symptoms you are experiencing, your current physical condition, any past or present injuries you have sustained, your medical history, and any other relevant details about your health. Communicating such information to the massage therapist will help you receive coordinated and safe treatment.

Does insurance pay for massage therapy?

The Answer:

Massage and bodywork may be covered by health insurance when such therapy is provided as part of a treatment prescribed by a qualified healthcare provider.

Acknowledgements and Notices

IMPORTANT:  The information on this website is NOT intended to substitute for the expertise and advice of a qualified healthcare professional. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with a qualified healthcare professional.

The mention of any product, service, or therapy is NOT an endorsement.

Neither the author nor the publisher shall be responsible for any damage or harm caused by the improper use of information in this website.

Any diagnostic or treatment options presented herein are for general informational purposes and may NOT necessarily represent tests or treatments that your healthcare professional performs, provides, or would recommend. The information is simply provided for educational purposes and in a good faith effort to help patients make a more informed decision about their healthcare.

Furthermore, any tests or treatments presented herein may NOT be comprehensive with regard to all the diagnostic or therapeutic options that may be available for any given medical condition or disease. Accordingly, you should always discuss any decisions about treatment or care with a qualified healthcare professional.

This website may feature actors, models, or artistic representations.  The actors and models may NOT have actually used or provided any product or service described or promoted in this website. These actors and models may be identified with the notification: "Model" or "Model – not actual patient". If actual patients are featured, they may be identified with the notification: "Actual subject", "Real subject", and/or "Before vs. After".

Artistic renderings of any medical condition, disease, or treatment in this website are for illustrative purposes only and may NOT be a realistic depiction of actual medical conditions, diseases, patients, or treatments. Actual outcomes of any medical condition or actual results achieved by any treatment may be significantly different due to variations in the delivery of healthcare and the individual circumstances of each patient.

"Massage Therapy F.A.Q."
For inquires regarding the information on this web page, please contact
Rayhawk Corporation (www.rayhawk.com).