What is a massage?
Massage is a “hands-on” treatment in which a therapist manipulates muscles and other soft tissues of the body to improve health and well-being. Massage varieties range from gentle stroking and kneading of muscles/soft tissues to deeper manual techniques. The pressure used can vary from light to deep, depending on the needs of the client and preferred techniques of the therapist. Massage has been practiced as a healing therapy for centuries in nearly every culture around the world. Although massage affects the body as a whole, it particularly influences the activity of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems. Massage also enhances well-being by stimulating the release of endorphins (natural painkillers and mood elevators) and reducing levels of certain stress hormones to evoke calmness.
What is a Bamboo-fusion Massage and it’s benefits?
In a Bamboo-fusion Massage, warm solid pieces of bamboo of different shapes and sizes are used to provide a Swedish or a deep tissue massage. The heat helps the muscles release more quickly than in a traditional massage. Choice from either a body massage and/or a facial massage! This exotic “French facial massage” will increase the flow of oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the facial area leaving the client’s skin soft and supple.
The benefits of Bamboo-Fusion Massage include
- Increased circulation due to more surface contact
- More pressure can be evenly administered to the client‘s body
- Pressure is effectively maintained for longer periods of time
- Effective deep tissue work can be done in a shorter amount of time
- Allows pain free deep tissue work for bodies with lots of hair
- Aids relaxation
- Eases muscles aches and pains
When should I avoid massage?
In general, massage is considered relatively healthy and safe. However, in some situations where massage is not recommended, Reiki can be used in place of classic massage. If you have any of the following conditions, you should NOT get a massage:
- Any type of infectious disease-massage might help the infection spread through your body
- Systemic infections
- Cold or flu
- Fracture, bleeding, burns or other acute injury
- Liver and kidney diseases
- Heart disease or heart failure
- Blood clots (especially in the legs)
- Pregnancy-induced diabetes, toxemia, preeclampsia/eclampsia
- High blood pressure (unless under control with medication)
- Open skin lesions or sores (therapist may work around them if localized)
- Contagious skin conditions
- Drunk or tipsy from alcohol
If you have cancer, please check with your doctor before considering massage because massage can damage tissue that is already fragile from chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
People with rheumatoid arthritis, goiter (a thyroid disorder characterized by an enlarged thyroid), eczema, and other skin lesions should not receive massage therapy during flare ups.
People with osteoporosis, high fever, few platelets or white blood cells, and mental impairment, as well as those recovering from surgery, should avoid massage.
If you have any of the above conditions, the therapist may require a doctor clearance or permission from your attending health care provider before any therapy massage session. Also, please notify the therapist about any medications you are taking, as massage may influence absorption or activity of both oral and topical medications.
What to expect during a massage therapy session?
At your first massage therapy session, you will be asked to fill out a client intake form so the therapist can learn about your medical history. Be assured that all medical information is confidential. The therapist will need to know your complete and up-to-date medical background to provide a safe and an effective massage therapy session. Although massage has many wonderful benefits, it is not appropriate for people with some medical conditions and must be used cautiously. The intake form will ask about medication that you are taking since some pain-killers (including aspirin) and muscle relaxants can dull your perception of pain and pressure. The Therapist needs to know because your perception may not be as accurate and to avoid using too much pressure, which can result in bruising and/or hurting you. Also any information about injuries, traumas, surgeries, and physical activities provide information about where or how you hold tension in your body. Specific massage techniques can help your body heal soft-tissue injuries. This will give the therapist the personal information about you that will guide the style of massage and therapy most appropriate for you during your session.
Following the completion of an intake form, the therapist will ask you about why you need a massage (relaxation or therapy) and about any symptoms that you may have. For example, if you’ve been having some tension and or soreness in your left shoulder and you would like the therapist to pay some extra attention to it. If you prefer a lighter or deeper massage, make that preference known as well. The therapist usually discovers your tension and sore areas during the massage, and will prioritize the time spent on these areas. It is more effective to do less work on areas that don’t need as much attention in order to provide more therapy to tense muscles. Always keep in mind that you are in charge during your massage session – some of the work will feel very good, some of it may feel good and bad at the same time (a good hurt). However, if it just feels bad let the therapist know so they can adjust the pressure and/or technique.
Once we’ve finished with the intake form and questions answered, the therapist will give you some privacy by leaving the room so you can get undressed to your comfort level. The therapist will advise you on which way to lie on the massage table (either on your stomach, side, or back, depending on why and what symptoms you are having) before leaving the room. A sheet and blanket will be draped over your body during the session and moved only to expose the part of the body being worked on at any given time. Once you get on the table, take a couple big deep breaths and RELAX! Soft music may be playing in the background, and the room should be warm and free of distractions.
If you start on your stomach, there will be a cushioned doughnut-shaped device at one end of the table (face cradle), which is where you place your face. This allows you to be face down, and keep your shoulder and neck muscles relaxed during the session. If you lay with your head on the table and turn it to one side, the muscles in your neck and shoulders will not be in their relaxed state and will not be able to receive the best benefits of the massage. There may also be a bolster (a padded, cylindrical half circle device) or pillow on the table. Whenever you are lying face down, the bolster goes under your ankles. If you’re on your back, it goes under the knees. This prevents any hyperextension while lying down for an extended period of time.
Massage oil or lotion is often used to reduce friction on your skin. During a massage, you may notice that your muscles are unexpectedly sore. The therapist will ask whether they’re applying too much or too little pressure occasionally during the massage. A session can last from, 30, 60 or 90 minutes and may include a schedule of follow-up visits, depending on the severity of your situation. If anything is uncomfortable for you or the therapist desires a different placement, they will either move you or will ask you to move certain parts of the body. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session, where others prefer to talk. Whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax, and do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
FYI: Falling asleep during the session is the highest compliment. It means that we fully relaxed you!
Do I have to get totally undressed?
No. You should only undress to your comfort level (whatever that is). You do not have to do anything that you don’t want to do. The therapist will leave the room while you undress, and lay on the massage table, covering yourself with the sheet and/or blanket. You will be properly covered throughout your treatment session to ensure your privacy and comfort. Clothes can interfere with the therapist’s full access to the body. However, the therapist will work around whatever clothes are left on. If removing your clothes makes you uncomfortable; you should stay clothed to your comfort. Commonly, the pieces of clothing left on are either panties/undies or boxers. Some women wear thong panties, which allow access to the gluteal muscles, and give them comfort and modesty.
How will I feel afterwards?
After a massage session, most clients usually feel relaxed and peacefully calm. Some may also feel a little light headed or energetic due to blood pressure and or sugar count changes. The next day or so you may also experience flu-like symptoms (soreness), especially if you had deep tissue work. This is due to the toxins in the body being released. Waste products (lactic acid) building up in your muscles, creating congestion that causes pain on touch. Causes of toxins consist of stress, tension, too little exercise, too much exercise, medical conditions, and other factors. It is recommended that you always drink plenty of water after your massage for a day or two to help flush out those toxins, and not do heavy work or exercise until the next day.
What does massage do – other than feel good?
Doctors and experts estimate that 80% of all diseases and medical visits are stress-related. Massage and bodywork combats that frightening number by helping us remember what it means to fully relax and de-stress.
- Increase circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs (promotes healing)
- Rid the body of toxins
- Lower blood pressure temporally
- Stretch superficial tissue
- Assist lymphatic and venous flow (can increase lymph flow up to 20% more during one hour of Swedish massage)
- Help to break up and loosen subcutaneous scar tissue
- Decrease anxiety/stress and Relieve headaches
- Increase the red and white blood cell count
- Help reduce certain types of edema
- Increase respiration to the skin
- Stimulate the sensory receptors (nerves) of the skin and deeper tissue
- Relieve joint ache and pain
- Increase joint flexibility
- Increase range of motion
- Reduce post-surgery adhesions
- Promote good posture and self esteem
- Improve tone and texture of the skin
- Assist digestion
- Reduce muscular spasms and cramping
- Cause release of natural endorphins (body’s natural painkiller) and promotes relaxation
- Relieve pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication
- Provide exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles
- Relax and softens injured and overused muscles
- Reduce recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts
- Reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred
- Decrease discomfort for those with low back pain
Will a massage hurt?
Normally no…but it is dependent on the type of massage, the depth of the strokes and your threshold of pain. A light massage that doesn’t probe very deep into muscles shouldn’t hurt. At the same time, a light massage won’t be able to work out any stress that’s deep within muscle groups. A muscle that is relaxed will be supple and soft and won’t hurt when rubbed. Muscles that are tight, and in many cases have been chronically tight for a long time, may have that “good hurt” feeling with a deep tissue massage. Think of that “good hurt” as the feeling you get when you stretch a sore muscle. Muscles can be very sore from overuse or tightness, and that “good hurt” can become painful. A sharp pain may indicate a muscle that has been injured and has some sort of inflammation. In that case, you don’t want the deep work to continue in this area. A deep massage with tight muscles may leave some residual soreness the next day. Drink plenty of water for a day or two after deep tissue work to help flush out the toxins and lactic acid to help prevent soreness. So make your preference known and give feedback at any time during a massage that the depth of the strokes is more than you’d like. Pain or other rare negative side effects are generally caused by an extremely vigorous massage technique. Don’t let a therapist get to “bad hurt”, because the human body will tense up to protect itself, reducing relaxation and minimizing massage effectiveness.
What Is Traditional Thai Massage
Traditional Thai origins can be dated back 2,500 years ago in Thailand’s Buddhist monasteries as a form of preventative health care for the monks. The purpose of Thai massage is to bring wellness to the whole body through the manipulation of the energy lines (Sen sib) encouraging health promotion by redistributing and to unblock an impeded flow of life energy (Prana). It has evolved into a system that is entirely unique and is widely regarded as one of the best and oldest systems of therapeutic massage in the treatment of the human body, mind and spirit.
Thai massage is based on two theories:
- 1. The Four Elements of Life Theory (Earth, Water, Fire & Air)
- 2. Sen Sib Theory – the core theory and these 10 Sen lines are the heart of Thai massage and the basis of therapeutic.
In a Traditional Thai massage the recipient remains clothed by wearing loose fitted clothes during the session. No oils or lotions are used on the body but the therapist may use a little when massaging the face & neck. Traditionally Thai massage was done on a mat on the floor but today has been adapted to use a massage table. There is constant body contact between the therapist and receiver. Unlike Western massage of rubbing on muscles, a Thai massage consists of slow, rhythmic compressions and stretches along the body’s energy lines (Sen). There are over 72,000 channels (lines) originating inside the abdominal cavity and spreads throughout the body via 10 major life energy channels called ”Sen Sib”. Thai massage concentrates on pressure points on these 10 Sen lines by applying pressure using either thumbs or fingers, palms, elbows, forearms, knees and feet. The effort of the therapist is to help immensely in removing blockages that could obstruct the energy flow (Prana) in the Sen Sib and bring balance to mind, body and spirit. This also works to free tension within the body and to encourage healing and wellness. A full Thai massage session may last two to three hours and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body. There is a standard procedure and rhythm to the massage, which the therapist will adjust to fit the receiver. A thorough Thai massage session includes the following four basic positions for the client:
- lying on their back (supine)
- alternately side lying (both sides)
- lying on their stomach (prone)
- sitting position
Holistic Benefits of Thai Massage
The benefits of Thai massage are numerous with the most predominant being the maintenance of good health, wellness and its ability to treat a wide spectrum of physical concerns. Also, being deeply relaxing and energizing with its ability to clear and balance the energy pathways.
The health benefits associated with Traditional Thai Massage include:
- Increase flexibility and range of motion (benefits physiological system)
- Strengthens body immunity system (Lymphatic drainage)
- Stimulates the blood circulation
- Stimulates the internal organs
- Relieves headaches, pain, strains and stiffness of joints
- Relieves inflammation of muscles, tendons and joints
- Increases functional muscle strength
- Revitalizes energy (unblocking and balancing of life energy)
- Improves postural alignment
- Calms the nervous system and promotes a deep sense of relaxation decreasing stress
- Positive impact on the spirit
What’s not included in a therapeutic massage?
Do not ask, and do not make an appointment if any sexual activity is what you are looking for! If it becomes clear that the massage is sexual need-based, the massage will be terminated immediately and you will pay the cost of the entire massage session even though it was cut short. The police will also be called. Massage therapists are medical professionals who treat non-sexual disorders of the human body.
How often should I get a massage?
That really depends on what your goals, budget and reasons for receiving massages (relaxation or therapeutic). If a client needs injury relief or the release of chronic tension, then weekly sessions will be the most effective to build improvement in their relief and healing. For those who use massage as preventive care and managing the daily stress in their lives, once or twice a month is normal. They may shorten the time between massages during stressful periods. For most people, the frequency of the massages they receive is limited by their wallet. However, once they realize the benefits and pleasure it brings, they find a way to incorporate a regular session into their budget. Most therapists recommend getting a massage at least once a month, as the effects are cumulative. It is important to recognize the need for self-care, and the health benefits of receiving massage regularly.
Will I get a full 60 minutes of massage when booking an hour appointment?
Yes. If you book a massage for an hour, you get a full hour (60 minutes) of “table/hand time”. The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. Many people prefer a 60 minute session for optimal relaxation or therapy. Therapeutic work may require extra time to work out full-body issues, so 90 minutes is recommended.
What’s the difference between light, medium and deep pressure?
Light pressure is light, gentle stroking and smoothing which some people find very calming, but others become frustrated by the lack of stronger pressure. Lymph and venous flow is increased.
Medium pressure is firm stroking to flush metabolic wastes from sore muscles. It does not include deep, focused work on chronic, tightly contracted “knots”.
Deep pressure is very firm, focused work on chronically contracted muscles.
What is LMBT?
LMBT is an acronym for Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist. This means that a massage therapist has met the requirements and paid the fee to legally practice massage in that area/state. To get a NC license, a massage therapist must have a minimum of 500 hours of training at an accredited or accepted school or training center and pass the MBLex (massage and bodyworks license exam).
Can I talk during the massage?
The key to a massage is relaxation. The therapist wants you to let your mind float free, and for the massage to transport you to an almost subconscious state. It’s not uncommon for many people to be more relaxed talking, since you are lying undressed on a table with a stranger touching your body. Sometimes talking during the session makes it easier for clients to place their trust in the therapist. Many clients talk in the initial stages of a massage, and as the massage progresses, they slip farther into a state of total relaxation and become quiet. There are also times when you should speak during a massage. If anything makes you uncomfortable, (i.e. “It’s too cold/hot”, “The room’s too bright”, “Deeper/Lighter, please”) let the therapist know. It’s important to know that you, the client, are in charge during your massage session.
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a gentle, non-invasive, natural but highly effective pumping technique that aims to redirect fluid from swollen areas to healthy lymphatic vessels, transporting it back to the circulatory system (returning fluid back to the heart), reducing swelling and detoxifying the body. The most common form of manual lymph drainage was pioneered by Danish Drs. Emil Vodder and Estrid Vodder in France in 1932 for the treatment of chronic congestion (sinusitis) and other immune disorders. Dr. Vodder’s technique stimulates the contraction of lymph vessels through a pumping and stretching effect of the lymph vessel, helping to move the lymph forward and drain the connective tissue. Patients may find relief from a number of pathologies through MLD as a stand-alone treatment or can be used in combination with massage therapy. MLD plays a valuable part in the treatment of Lymphoedema which involves blockage of the lymph vessels resulting in accumulation of fluid in the interstitial tissues of the body causing swelling of the limb(s) or body.
How is Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) treatment given?
MLD is preformed directly on the skin, so you will be asked to partially undress so the therapist can work without clothing restriction. Then you will lie on a massage table, covered with a sheet and /or blanket. No massage oil or lotion will be used during the actual treatment. The skin is stretched and torqued in a specific manner, based on scientific, physiological principles that have proven to encourage lymph flow. The therapist exerts different intensities of pressure to increase the activity of normal lymphatic vessels to re-direct the fluid away from congested areas by bypassing ineffective or injured lymph vessels by returning fluid back into the circulatory system (returning it back to the heart). This also aids the cleansing of other organs throughout the body, detoxifying it and promoting regeneration of cells. If there is tension or build up in some areas this may be a little tender afterwards, but not painful.
Does Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) hurt?
Not at all, a trained certified Manual Lymph therapist (MLD/C) who has an intensive knowledge of the working anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system uses light, gentle circular rhythmic and very precise hand movements that are applied to the skin that produce rapid results.
What conditions is MLD used for?
Lymphatic drainage can be used to address a wide range of health conditions and assist in healthy body functions. MLD can help patients heal after surgery by reducing swelling and detoxifying the body. It can help improve the immune system by removing blockages that are preventing the flow of lymphatic materials. MLD has been an effective method to treat for the following conditions:
- Sluggish Immune System
- Fractures and Sprains
- Digestive Problems
- Constipation or Diarrhea
- Scar Tissue
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Edema following Mastectomy
- Post Therapy after chemo, Radiation and Cancer Treatments
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)
What are the benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
- Boost and improves the immune system
- Promotion of scar tissue healing, torn ligaments, sprains and decreases pain
- Promotes healing of wounds and burns and improves the appearance of old scars
- Aids in post-operative healing
- Relieves swelling following plastic surgery
- Helps the body to heal more quickly from injuries, surgical trauma, chronic conditions and edema Treatment of lymphedema and other conditions arising from venous insufficiency
- Reduction of swelling (edema)
- Improving chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines/headaches and sinusitis
- Relaxation of the sympathetic nervous system (improved mood, and sleep, stress reduction)
- Can improve many chronic conditions: sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, acne and other skin conditions.
- Alleviates pain by greatly reducing the pain signals sent to the brain.
- Local and systemic pain relief
- Dramatic improvement of tissue regeneration and healing
- Decreases the appearance of cellulite
- Stimulation of light touch receptors
When should MLD be avoided?
Contraindications can either be absolute or relative. The physician can override relative contraindications if he or she finds good reason, but the absolute contraindication cannot be overridden.
Absolute Contraindications of MLD – Contraindications happen when an increase in lymph flow would be detrimental. If you have any of these symptoms, the therapist should not perform MLD.
- Acute inflammation– caused by bacteria, viruses and poisons are contraindicated. Lymphatic drainage will push these substances into the lymph channels before the body has a chance to eliminate them
- Fever – is a symptom of inflammation and possible infection
- Malignant tumors– possibility of spreading the cancer
- Thrombosis – can lead to free floating blood clots in the circulatory system
- Major heart problems – if the heart is not fully functioning, pumping more fluid into the heart may stress it more than the actual condition
- Contagious or infectious diseases
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Recent operations – must have doctor clearance
- Skin diseases
What should I do if I need to cancel my appointment and are there any penalties?
If you need to cancel your appointment please call Golden Hands ASAP at 336 995-8174. Please understand that if you cancel just prior to your appointment time, it gives Golden Hands little chance of booking another appointment in your place. It is customary to offer the therapist partial payment if you have to cancel within less than 24 hours of your appointment time. Golden Hands will charge you $25 per cancelled session if less than 24 hour notice is given, and also reserves the right to refuse future service.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express & Discover card as forms of payment for all services.
Am I supposed to tip?
A gratuity is a good way to express your appreciation if you are happy with the massage. As with the rest of the service industry, gratuities are typically between 15-25%. You will get the same level of excellent professional service whether you tip or not, although tipping is encouraged. One of the best ways to “tip” the therapists to refer your friends and family for massage or energy work!