Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you a Physical Therapist who does massage, or a Massage Therapist who does PT?
Yes. I am both a DPT and an LMT, this means that I love massage too much to quit, but I feel that it is too limited in scope and most practitioners are far too poorly trained.
Q: What kinds of massage therapy do you do?
The internet is full of convincing testimonials suggesting that there is one specific type of massage that will help you best. The marketing teams of many modality empires are hard at work every single day trying to build demand for their trademarked techniques. The truth is that humans are diverse and complicated and there will never be a one-size-fits-all approach for pain relief or relaxation.
Scientific evidence tells a clear story about the effectiveness of massage and manual therapy. The effects come from a skilled and confident therapist using hands-on techniques to interact with the receiving patient who finds the therapy meaningful and believes in it. There is virtually no difference in the effects of various types of massage when you create a controlled condition and test them. It is perfectly safe to try myofascial release, structural integration, medical massage, or any of the dozens of techniques that still retain a founding guru's name. While I am certified in Precision Neuromuscular Therapy and Advanced Myoskeletal Alignment Technique and have training in many other modalities, I believe that a good therapist should be focused on the person and not a particular technique.
Because of my education, I no longer practice any single modality but have integrated all I have learned in to a unique style, blending physical therapy with massage therapy and patient-centered, science-based care. Most of my work is focused on soft tissue injuries and pain relief, but I also work with people with depression, anxiety, and chronic pain conditions like Fibromyalgia and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Q: Can I get a massage therapy when I am pregnant?
Yes, and I am well trained in prenatal massage. I am happy to work on anyone, even in the first trimester, with a focus on preventing discomfort throughout pregnancy.
Q: Do you offer any specials?
Sometimes, but I try to keep my prices in a reasonable range all the time. I don't use mass-coupon sites (like Groupon) because they undermine the importance of building a working rapport with a well-trained therapist who has your best interests in mind. Sometimes a cheap massage is just that, cheap. I'm willing to work within anyone's budget. If you cannot afford my services, I will work with you; you can email me to negotiate a reduced price.
Q: Do you have any female massage therapists?
No. I can refer you out to a colleague within my office if you are unable to have a male therapist.
My current recommendations are:
Jeannette Napoleon @ Golden Touch 417-576-6827
Jen Fenderson @ Mandala Massage 417-861-4823
Q: What is Precision Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT or PNMT)?
Precision Neuromuscular Therapy is a specific approach used to address pain and get solid results. It is typically used to address specific painful conditions such as headaches, neck pain, hip pain, back pain, etc. A combination of careful assessment, patient feedback, manual therapy techniques, and stretches are utilized for relief of pain; it is not meant for general relaxation. Many long-standing painful conditions can be relieved or at least reduced within a few visit.
Often this work is called trigger point therapy or just neuromuscular therapy. For further reading, here is a brief history of NMT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuromuscular_therapy)
Q: Do you offer "deep-tissue" massage?
Not really, and I think it is a harmful modality. I mostly work in the comfortable-to-significant range. If you are convinced that you have to be hurt to heal, you are mistaken. While I do work with firm pressure, it is never my goal to create or increase pain. I do not believe (and there is no evidence to suggest) that painful deep-tissue methods applied all over the body are helpful. Careful evaluation before any deep-tissue approach is important, and modern pain science suggest that causing pain only works to facilitate and reinforce future pain.
Q: What are the benefits of massage and bodywork?
Massage reduces pain. It works well for most common musculoskeletal complaints. It reduces the tightness and tenderness associated with muscle injury and pain. It helps break the pain cycle in cases of chronic pain. It improves range of motion, local circulation, and physical fatigue. Since pain is generated as a response to external stimuli, reducing pain can be as simple as creating a pleasant stimulus to negate it. It has even been showed to work to reduce pain and fatigue associated with chemotherapy!
Massage is extremely effective in combating anxiety and depression. Research shows that massage is as effective as psychotherapy for anxiety and depression. Whether it is a recent divorce, job-changes, or traumatic event, or a life-long internal struggle, massage may help you feel better. It has even been shown to work even with complex and difficult conditions like PTSD, Addiction, and End-of-life care.
Massage improves sleep quality. A lack of quality sleep can negatively affect your health. Pain and depression are both contributors and collaborators with poor sleep quality. Not sleeping will make your pain worse, worse pain may keep you up at night. Massage can help you lower pain levels, cope better with life challenges, and get restful sleep.
Q: I'm a guy, is it weird getting a massage from another guy?
No. I've had massages from both male and female massage therapists and both were wonderful. Massage requires physical contact, however my work is always professional and completely nonsexual. If you don't have a problem with a male doctor, chiropractor, personal trainer, or physical therapist, you will not have a problem with me.
Q: I'm a woman, is it weird getting a massage from a guy?
No. Men in the massage field have to be extremely professional and attentive. My work is always professional and completely nonsexual. The majority of massage customers are female, thus many of my clients are women. My livelihood depends on a good reputation and the ability to make you perfectly comfortable with me as your therapist. You have no reason to be concerned about the level of care you will receive.
Q: Do I have to take my clothes off?
No, disrobing is totally optional. Relaxation massages are traditionally performed with the client unclothed and covered with a sheet and blanket. During the massage, only the area being massaged will be exposed, then covered again when done. This process is called draping. Optionally, many bodywork techniques can be done over or through clothing; I take your modesty and safety concerns very seriously. PNMT is a great option if you don't want to disrobe, as most neuromuscular techniques can be performed through clothes. If you are wondering what to wear, workout/yoga clothes are best and easiest on my hands.
Q: What is draping and what parts of my body will be massaged?
Draping is the process of covering the disrobed client with a sheet and blanket, uncovering only the area being massaged, and then recovering it when finished. If you want a relaxation massage, the typical session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders.
Face, abdomen, chest, and hips are optional, and will only be done with careful draping. If you would like any area excluded, just let me know and I will spend more time elsewhere. I always uphold to the most professional standards.
Q: What does massage feel like?
Relaxation massage is broad, flowing strokes to calm your nervous system and relax muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relieve areas of muscular tension. A massage lotion is used to allow gliding strokes without causing excessive friction. The lotion also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate openly about amount of pressure, room temperature, etc. to increase your comfort.
If you are looking for specific work to address an area of tension, pain, or postural distortion, assessments will be done to determine progress. Assessments are usually Range Of Motion (measurements of dynamic movement range), or Provocation Tests (movements that will simulate the pain felt in daily life) then several different techniques may be applied to address the problematic area. The most common treatments are a combination of slow direct pressure along muscles, trigger point therapy, muscle activation through isometric resistance or cross-fiber friction, and gentle assisted stretches. This type of treatment shouldn't be painful, I do not believe that a painful massage is more effective than a comfortable one.
Q: What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
Some sessions are more involved than others. I may gently move you or tell you what is needed (such as lifting your arm). Some techniques involve "activators" such as pushing against resistance or moving an arm, leg, or your neck through a specific motion or into a needed stretch.
In less involved relaxation massages, people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, more or less heat, 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.
Q: Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?
Yes. That's why it's important that, before you begin your session, I ask general health questions. It is very important that you inform me 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.