Frequently Asked Questions

Are you licensed and insured?

I am a Certified Massage Therapist in the State of California and insured by the American Massage Therapy Association.

Do you give massages to pregnant women?

Yes. If there are any risk factors or other health issues, please provide medical clearance from your doctor.

What about children?

I will work on minors ages 8-14 with a parent or guardian present. Ages 15 and up do not require parental observation. For infants and children under age 8, I have a colleague who I can recommend without reservation who is certified in infant and pediatric massage.

What about the elderly?

Of course! Certain health conditions require collaboration with the client's health care providers.

What if I have a disease or an injury, can I still have a massage?

The forms you fill out before your first visit ask for medical information. This is for your safety, so that I know what my limitations are in terms of treatment. If you are under the care of a medical professional for a new or ongoing issue, I may ask you to sign permission for me to discuss your situation with the health care professional(s), so that they and I can work together to create the best plan for you. Whether your situation allows for any massage or limited massage, or if your situation means massage should be avoided completely, I will let you know.

Contact me for details specific to your situation.

What about people with autoimmune disorders and other degenerative conditions?

Yes! In fact, it was the growing population of people in my life with these sorts of stories that prompted me to pursue the specific training that I have.

I will work with the client (and the doctor, as needed) to create the best plan for that client. I will even do palliative care if I am called upon to do so.

I have a skin condition. Can I get a massage?

Possibly. For the sake of your health and mine, I do not work in direct contact with open wounds, including but not limited to dermatitis, acne, or psoriasis. If you arrive dressed appropriately, I can work over your clothes.

I recommend that my clients wear clothing without zippers, buckles, or any hard decoration that can damage my equipment or hurt my hands and arms. Also avoid heavy seams, embroidery, or other extra bulk. Leggings, yoga pants, pajama pants, or spandex with loose shorts over and a plain t-shirt are perfect.

Is massage good after a car accident?

Your first step after an accident, even a little one, is to get checked by a doctor or chiropractor. If you hit your head in the accident, go directly to the doctor and get checked for concussion.

Once a medical professional has seen you and cleared you for massage, you can safely receive massage 72 hours after the accident. This gives your body time to get through the initial phase of recovery. Bring your medical reports relating to the incident.

Do HIPAA laws apply here?

Yes, of course. Any health information you give me stays with me, and if I need to confer with your health care provider, I will give you a release form to sign for your health care provider and for me.

Do you provide a couples massage?

No, but I have a colleague in Riverside with the space and staff to offer this service.

Do you do events?

Yes! I have taken my chair to lunch gatherings, tea parties, offices, and conventions. I can also do events with my table, if space permits.

What should I expect?

There are a lot of variables here, from the location to the type of massage. For general massage etiquette, this is an excellent resource, and for info specific to the types of massage I offer, see my Services page.

What kinds of massage do you perform?

I specialize in Neuromuscular Therapy. I am also trained in Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai, Hand and Foot Reflexology, Deep Tissue, Myofascial Therapy, Rocking and Shaking, Lymphatic Drainage, Prenatal, and Aromatherapy. It is possible that your massage might include elements of several of these.

See my list and the descriptions in the Services tab.

How long is a session?

That depends on the type of massage, but the typical massage is 60 or 90 minutes of bodywork with an intake interview before and a quick reassessment after. See my Services tab for more information.

How should I prepare for my massage?

1. Be clean.

2. No alcohol before or after. Drink plenty of water, though, and visit the restroom before the massage begins. Restroom visits during the massage will cut into your time.

3. Don't eat right before your massage. Allow at least half an hour, though an hour is better.

4. If I am coming to you, make sure there is an open space about 6' x 10', or as close as you can get to that. This should be sufficient space for the table, and more than enough for the chair. Clear the space of free-roaming pets.

4. See the article here.

What does the session include?

Your intake forms will give me a good start on what questions to ask. For example, do you want me to only work on the indicated trouble areas, or are you looking for a full body massage with special attention for those areas? Are there any areas you don't want me to work? I will ask these, and possibly other questions before the massage begins.

Prior to a therapeutic massage, I will perform a brief assessment to determine the specific muscles that are causing the pain and/or limitation, and I will work with you to develop a strategy to address those issues that present themselves. The assessment will include some touch at bony structures in and around the areas of complaint, as well as some range of motion exercises.

I will also reassess you after the massage.

Do I have to take my clothes off?

That depends on the type of massage. Therapeutic work can be accomplished over clothing or without it, and the majority of types of massage I do can be done with the client fully clothed.

Disrobing is only necessary when lotions or oils are used, such as Swedish and Deep Tissue. In these cases, I generally suggest that the client undress to the level of their comfort. Whatever is left on will be treated as a barrier that I will not cross.

Throughout these massages, the client remains professionally draped at all times by a sheet and blanket. I only expose the area I am working on at a given time, so if I am working on the back, only the back is uncovered. If I am working on the left leg, then only that leg is uncovered, and the sheet is secured to prevent wardrobe malfunctions.

I recommend that my clients wear clothing without zippers, buckles, or any hard decoration that can damage my equipment or hurt my hands and arms. Also avoid heavy seams, embroidery, or other extra bulk. Leggings, yoga pants, pajama pants, or spandex with loose shorts over and a plain t-shirt are perfect.

Does it hurt?

In most cases, it really shouldn't. There is the pain that feels good, because it feels corrective, and there is the more intense pain that is just too much. My job is to relieve, or at least diminish, your pain, not cause more. Many clients (and therapists) ascribe to the "No pain, no gain" mentality, but that is not beneficial.

Trigger points will sometimes hurt, but it will be pain you already have being released, not new pain being created.

I will communicate with you at intervals throughout the session to ensure that you are comfortable.

How many sessions and what frequency do you recommend?

For maintenance, every other week or monthly is recommended in most cases. For treatment of a specific problem, or to manage chronic conditions, greater frequency may be warranted. We can work together to create an appropriate strategy for you.

What massage is good to give a friend as a gift?

I charge by time, not service, so a gift card for one hour will give the recipient any one hour massage I offer.

Do you use any scents?

I keep the work scent-free, except when specifically requested.

Do you use oils? What kind?

I use the Therapeutic Touch lotion from the Bon Vital Massage Lotion line. I prefer lotion to oil, but I do have Therapeutic Touch Bon Vital Oil available.

For aromatherapy, I use Young Living Essential Oils.

I don't see Hot Stones anywhere. Do you offer them?

No. My focus is on manual therapy, and I rely heavily on sensory input from my tools. Some therapists love hot stones, and there are demonstrated benefits, but they aren't part of my practice.

Do you play music? If so, can I choose my own?

I can play music, or not, depending on your preference. I offer several music options to choose from.

Do I have to converse during the massage?

Whatever works for you. Generally, you'll find it more relaxing if you don't. If you want a nap, go right ahead! If you're awake, I will at very least check in from time to time regarding pressure, or if I find something I need to ask about. Questions from the client are always welcome, as well.

What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept cash, Paypal, and major credit cards.

Will my health insurance cover your fees?

I cannot bill your insurance. If your medical professional gives a prescription for massage, you can turn in your massage receipts to your insurance. They may reimburse you, but of course I can't guarantee that they will.

What are your prices?

My prices are comparable to others in the local market, taking into account both my training and experience. I don't publish my prices, because in therapeutic work, I need the flexibility to structure fair and realistic pricing into the wellness plan of individual clients to make their wellness goals accessible.

Do you offer specials? Discounts? Gift cards?

Gift certificates are available here.

From time to time, I'll offer specials, but I don't offer a membership or a bulk purchase discount. However, in cases where frequency of treatment is indicated, the client's needs in pricing will be a factor in the treatment plan.

How about a free sample?

Are you having an event, party, or gathering? I can bring my chair. As long as I can put out a tip jar and my business cards, we can do business.

Is tipping required? What is the standard tipping etiquette?

Tipping is not required. It is highly appreciated though! This link regarding massage etiquette has a very good section on tipping.