This is my first massage. What should I expect?
I’m glad you asked! Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions, or offer feedback.
Your comfort, and my professionalism, are of the utmost importance.
I will spend a few minutes talking with you and assessing your needs, discussing any pertinent health information, tight spots, pain, or current life stresses, etc. I will then leave the room and you will have complete privacy while dressing and undressing. During the massage you will be properly draped at all times for warmth and comfort. I will only expose the area being worked, i.e., back, leg, arm.
Typically, Swedish, Deep Tissue and NMT, MFR massage is done directly on the skin, on the unclothed and properly draped body, using oils and lotions. I use mostly organic food-grade coconut oil. Reiki, (and other types of massage like Thai Massage or Shiatsu) is done on the comfortably clothed body, and does not require undressing. Most people will undress to their level of comfort, often completely, as the body is always properly draped at all times. I can also accommodate anyone who prefers to remain clothed, no problem.
The massage table has fresh, clean sheets, a warm blanket, and in the winter the table is heated.
In summer time the room will be comfortably cool, and sheets / draping will still be used.
Should I use ice or heat?
The age-old question. Basically, if it’s injured, pulled, torn, swollen or inflamed, use ice. If it’s stiff and sore and not moving well, use heat. Here’s a great link for more on that:
I have the flu. Should I come in?
No! No. No. No. No. No. No. Please, stay home and rest, drink plenty of fluids and get better. Please do not expose your massage therapist to your illness! I will not work with anyone with a cold or flu, or who has had a cold or flu in the past week, or if they are closely exposed to someone with a cold or flu like a family member or housemate. No exceptions. Please think of it this way, would you want your massage therapist working on you if s/he had the flu?
If you have an appointment scheduled and are not feeling well, please call me to let me know you are cancelling. I will never, ever, ever charge someone for a missed appointment if they are sick, even if they call at the last minute. Please, just call me and let me know. Thank you for understanding.
What does it feel like to you, is there a ‘knot’ there? What’s the diagnosis?
First and foremost, my scope of practice does not include diagnosis, treatment or prescription.
I believe we rely too much on looking outside of ourselves for answers, and place too much trust in external opinions rather than our own bodies’ wisdom. By no means am I suggesting you avoid or substitute medical care. But learning everything you can about your own body will help you know how to detect the more subtle signs when something is slightly ‘off’, so you can seek the appropriate medical care.
The best thing you can do, if you are in possession of a human body in this lifetime (and most everybody I’ve met on Earth so far is, in one form or another) is to read the owner’s manual! Get under the hood! Learn how to drive it. Don’t be afraid. Learn all you can about physical and emotional anatomy and physiology. I can help with that. Learn how your body is made, how it works, and how to notice and listen to the subtle signs when something is ‘off’. And when something is ‘off’, learn to understand how to interpret the signs.
It takes time, practice and a willingness to tune into our own subtle intelligence, intuition, and our own bodies’ beautiful internal wisdom. When people ask me what something ‘feels’ like to me (i.e., “Is that a knot?” or “Is that really tight?” or, “Can you feel that?”,) though I am very intuitive, I am not the one living in your body, I am not experiencing the feelings or sensations you are experiencing. Often, I will educate my clients on the particular anatomy or physiology of an area involved; or in the neuromuscular or other principles of physiology or emotional anatomy. But I am only repeating that which I have learned in books, from teachers, or from my own experience. Your experience may be different, so honor that. I am not in your body, you are. Enjoy it!
Sure, I can feel when something is ‘tight’ or ‘off’, but I mostly work intuitively; meaning I don’t ‘think’ about what I am feeling or sensing or give my own ego-thought process a chance to misinterpret and interfere- I simply tune into my client’s body and let their higher intelligence guide my hands, staying in the right-brain as much as possible. I will usually redirect the person to tune their awareness inward on themselves, and explore what their own experience is. How does that feel to you? What thoughts or emotions arise? You are the one living in your body each and every day, and learning to listen to your bodies’ own wisdom is the greatest gift you can give yourself. I can not do that for you, no one else can. But it is so worth the journey. 🙂
Do I tip my massage therapist?
This is a grey area. Technically you would not tip your doctor or medical provider, but in a spa or chain massage business, hefty tipping is expected as the employees can often be overworked and underpaid.
In my personal business, tips are always greatly appreciated, but not required. You will still get the same exceptional massage. Tips let me know you are happy, that I have offered a high quality service, and help me to keep my rates low. If you are visiting Martha’s Vineyard for vacation, you are probably surprised (or shocked) at the high prices of daily living expenses. We pay those high prices all year round.
What do you do on Martha’s Vineyard in the winter?
Haha!! Believe it or not, that is my most frequently asked question! The short answer- what do we not do? Yes, the work season slows down, as this is a mainly a tourism/ summer vacation economy- I go from working 7 days a week in the high season to being able to shorten my work week in the off season and take more time off for other pursuits. And really, the only difference from ‘regular’ life for many people on the mainland is- I don’t spend time watching TV, suffering long commutes, or going to malls! That leaves so much time for everything else!
Personally, I always have other projects going on- from making music, to building things and construction projects, reading and studying, being outdoors, exploring yoga, t’ai chi and spirituality, and enjoying time with friends and pot-luck gatherings, to name a few. Lately, aside from seeing clients part-time, I’ve been working on building my house, learning some Hindi and Indian food cooking, catching up on paperwork, leaning to play the harmonium, offering kirtan to the community with lovely friends, dusting off the sewing machine, adjusting to a life that now requires reading glasses (haha!) enjoying snowed-in days with endless hot cups of tea and napping kitties, shoveling a lot of snow, and dreaming up a good road trip and building my next Taj MaSmall…. In summers- I do a lot of massages, I hike, I bike, I swim, and I enjoy life! And always, I practice compassion and gratitude daily.
We’re visiting. What restaurants do you recommend?
Yup. That is my second most frequently asked question! Haha! Quite honestly, people ask but I really don’t go out much. In the summer I am too busy working double-full-time, and I mostly eat at home. When I do eat out, I am usually on the go and I need something fast, nutritious and vegetarian. I try to get to the local farms as much as possible. Off-season, many restaurants close, and I enjoy cooking at home. (But a few of my favorite go-to places are Little House, La Choza, Bangkok Thai Cuisine, Porto Pizza, Black Dog Tavern, Scottish Bakehouse, ArtCliff, Biscuits, Copperwok and the Food Truck.)