Frequently Asked Questions About Massage Therapy

Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?

Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm and comfortable room. Music will be played during your session. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

Must I be completely undressed?

Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped during the entire session.

Will the practitioner be present when I undress?

The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet.

Will I be covered during the session?

You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

What parts of my body will be massaged?

A typical full-body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. However, therapists who do focused work may not be able to get to the full-body during the session and will focus on the primary issue and secondary complaint until those lessen.

What will the massage of bodywork feel like?

A relaxing Swedish massage is often a baseline for clients. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.

During treatments where they are more therapeutic, you will feel the therapist work through some areas of tension and the discomfort you may experience will lessen with each move. They might also find trigger points to release or fascial to stretch. All are different sensations but you can help the session by not resisting.

Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?

There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more. We can discuss which methods may be most appropriate for you. We utilize neuromuscular, myofascial, deep tissue, cupping, rock blading, rock taping, trigger point, muscle activation, and acupressure techniques.

What should I do during the massage or bodywork?

Prior to the massage, feel free to ask the practitioner any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, or anything else relevant to the session. If you have any questions regarding the session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask.

How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. You might be sore for a few days following but after those few days you will feel much looser and less pain/discomfort. During those few days, you can ice and stretch to aid the process.

What are the benefits of massage and bodywork?

Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being.

Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?

Yes. That’s why it’s imperative that, before you begin your session, the practitioner asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required.

Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

Can acupuncture help my condition?

The best answer will come from an experienced practitioner. The practitioner, based on your medical history, condition, and what other treatments you have been or are receiving, can best help you decide whether acupuncture is suitable by itself or as adjunctive therapy. Please see the referral section of this website for a physician skilled in acupuncture near you.

Conditions Recommended for Acupuncture by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.)

Respiratory Diseases

  • Acute sinusitis
  • Acute rhinitis
  • Common cold
  • Acute tonsillitis

Bronchopulmonary Diseases

  • Acute bronchitis
  • Bronchial asthma

Eye Disorders

  • Acute conjuctivitis
  • Cataract (without complications)
  • Myopia
  • Central retinitis

Disorders of the Mouth Cavity

  • Toothache
  • Pain after tooth extraction
  • Gingivitis
  • Pharyngitis

Orthopedic Disorders

  • Periarthritis humeroscapularis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Sciatica
  • Low back pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Gastrointestinal Disorders

  • Spasm of the esophagus and cardia
  • Hiccups
  • Gastroptosis
  • Acute and chronic gastritis
  • Gastric hyperacidity
  • Chronic duodenal ulcer
  • Acute and chronic colitis
  • Acute bacterial dysentery
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Paralytic ileus

Neurologic Disorders

  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Facial paralysis
  • Paralysis after apoplectic fit
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Paralysis caused by poliomyelitis
  • Meniere’s syndrome
  • Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
  • Nocturnal enuresis
  • Intercostal neuralgia

In addition, you might read “An Overview of Medical Acupuncture” by Dr. J.M. Helms. or the Acupuncture Information and Resource Package from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

What is an acupuncture treatment like?

This is difficult to say because of the wide variations in the styles of acupuncture performed. Generally three to fifteen needles will be placed. Costs vary depending on locale and practitioners training and experience.

How does the acupuncturist manage infection control?

Non-physician acupuncturists are required by law in most states to use disposable one-time-use sterilized needles. Physicians because of their experience and background in infection control have the perogative of using re-usable sterilized needles. These needles would need to be sterilized in the same way as any surgical instrument.

Because blood loss and bleeding are minimal with acupuncture, I am not aware of any attempt to require acupuncturists to wear gloves.

My review of the literature on the risk of infection associated with acupuncture assures me that if one receives acupuncture from a licensed practitioner in North America the risk of a serious infection is drastically less than the risk of a serious accident while traveling to the acupuncturist’s office. The exception to this might be acupuncture being delivered in a hospital setting.

What training is required to practice acupuncture? Do you have recommendations in this regard?

Requirements can vary significantly worldwide. In most of Europe a person to legally practice acupuncture must first be a medical doctor. In this country there are non-physicians who are licensed to practice. Again there can be significant variations in requirements depending upon local laws.

You can review our requirements for membership in the AAMA as a guideline for recommendations for physicians wanting special training. We, as an organization, leave issues of credentialing of non-physicians as acupuncturists in the hands of non-physicians and politicians.

Can acupuncture help cancer patients?

Read the article “Acupuncture and Cancer Treatment.”

These FAQ’s were written by the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, 2512 Artesia Blvd, Ste 200, Redondo Beach, CA 90278; 2018; https://www.medicalacupuncture.org/FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Energy Healing (Reiki, Polarity & Crystal Work)

What is Energy Healing?

Energy Healing works with the body’s energy systems to facilitate or enhance the body’s natural ability to heal. Trauma, stress, limiting or false belief systems, emotional or physical distress, and other blocks to our well-being, if not fully resolved, are often stored in the energy fields of our bodies. These blocks can hinder our ability to heal physically, mentally and emotionally and as result prevent us from fully experiencing our divine potential: love, joy, peace, and abundance.

How is Energy Healing Possible?

Science tells us that everything in this universe is made up of energy. Energy is the building block of all matter. It shows up in different forms and shapes – you, me, a cat, a chair, a train, planet earth, the universe, etc. We are all made of the same stuff – energy. It is constantly flowing, changing form all the time, permeating everything.

We are energy and the space (air) between us is energy, so we are all connected. We are essentially all in one big ocean of energy.

Energy is also responsive to thought, feelings and intentions.

Healers channel Divine Source energy (life force energy, Chi, Divine Love, etc.) to a client by activating the healing energy with focused intention. At these times (thanks to understandings made known by quantum physics) a healer is operating outside of the normal limitations of time and space. This allows the healer to transmit healing energy to a person or animal whether in person or located thousands of miles away.

According to the The International Center for Reiki Training, “Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens and heals the energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way.”

According to the American Polarity Therapy Association, “Polarity Therapy is a truly holistic practice that works for anyone, in any state of health. It meets you where you are and inspires positive changes that are just right for you. Polarity Therapy is a system of treatment used in alternative medicine, intended to restore a balanced distribution of the body’s energy by combining touch, exercise, nutrition and self-awareness.

What Does Energy Healing Help?

  • Heal physical aches and pains
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Heal emotional issues, including depression, lack of self-confidence, and anger
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Eliminate stress, anxiety and fear
  • Increase motivation for achieving your goals (write a book, run a marathon, start a business, etc.).
  • Correct self-sabotaging thought patterns & habits
  • Recharge your energy
  • Release subconscious blocks that prevent you from achieving your life goals

Energy Healing can also help you on your spiritual path by:

  • Opening your third eye
  • Increasing your intuition and ability to connect with Source energy.
  • Cleansing and clearing your chakra system
  • Raising your energetic vibration
  • Discover your life’s purpose
  • Resolve career and job-related issues

How Will I Feel After an Energy Healing Session?

Your experience will be unique to you. However, most report:

  • Heightened energy and a feeling of well being
  • Feeling “lighter’ and more optimistic
  • Greater clarity and an ability to get things done

If deeper issues are worked on, you might also experience:

Low Energy or Fatigue – You may have spent years suppressing your true feelings and past events. Therefore, you might feel a temporary low as your body assimilates the release of the blocked energy and integrates the new ideal energy of Divine Love.

Feeling Very Emotional – You may experience sudden waves of emotions that you previously suppressed. Feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, or fear may bubble to the surface. Resist the urge to ignore or stuff these feelings down. Instead, allow them the to space to simple just be. You might even say to the feeling, “I hear you.” Thank the feeling for trying to protect you and then allow it to drain away.

Vivid dreams – this is your psyche’s way of processing the healing. Consider keeping a journal of your dreams. Your dreams often provide valuable information that can further your healing process.

Post Energy Healing Session Tips

  • Drink Water:As blocked energy is cleansed, cleared and released, it may release mild toxins in the body. To avoid feeling achy or run down, it is highly recommend that you drink plenty of water immediately following a session and for the next 12-24 hours.
  • Take an Epsom Salt Bath:  Detoxifying your body by bathing is an ancient remedy. A detox bath is thought to assist your body in eliminating toxins as well as absorbing the minerals and nutrients that are in the water.
  • Practice Extreme Self-Care – Following an energy healing session, if “stuff” comes up for you, it is very important to pamper yourself. Take a walk, do some yoga, listen to guided meditations, get a massage, pat your dog or sit with your cat (animals are natural healers), etc.

Signs that Energy Healing is Working

The results of an energy healing session can be quite dramatic. Aches and pains disappear, debilitating fears melt away never to be felt again, and new positive behaviors are suddenly easy to implement and stick with. Other times the shifts are subtle or occur gradually.

The subtle shifts are:

  • You suddenly feel inspired to take action (even a baby step) in a new direction, after days, weeks, or months of feeling indecisive or unmotivated.
  • Your days are now filled with a general sense of well-being and optimism.
  • The intensity of your “negative” feelings (anger, sadness, disappointment, anxiety, etc.) have significantly softened or lessened.
  • Wonderful synchronicities are suddenly happening in your life. The right people, experiences, and opportunities are suddenly, effortlessly appearing.

These FAQs were written by Natalie Eve Marquis and the Wisdom Within, Boston North Technology Park, Building B, Suite 208, 110 Haverhill Road, Amesbury, MA 01913; WisdomWithin.co; 2018

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