Patient Q & A

Massage Therapy Q & A

Questions and Answers related to our massage therapy services

Q. Do I need to fill out any paperwork?
Yes. For the first session, the client will be required to fill out a health history form, detailing information about their past and present health. Here the client can mention trouble areas or particular things the therapist needs to be aware of before the session begins, the health history form will be discussed. This is a great time to ask questions, convey wishes and expectations for the session, as well as, emphasize the reason for seeking massage therapy treatment. All health and personal information given during a massage session are confidential and will only be shared with a third party if legally subpoenaed or the client has given written consent
Q. Is there anything I should do in preparation for my massage?
There is nothing you have to do to prepare for a massage, but there are suggestions that can help maximize your experience if they are available to you. Have in mind any questions you might have for your massage therapist that will help you feel at ease. Pay attention to the time around your scheduled massage. Do not eat just before your appointment. Your body will relax more easily and your food will digest more comfortably if you have allowed time for this process. Try to leave some time open following your massage to notice and enjoy the changes you feel in your body and your mind. Your muscles have memory, and this is a feeling and condition you will definitely want them to retain! Plan to have water available to rehydrate in the hours ahead.
Q. What should I do after I am undressed?
The therapist will exit the room, giving the client a private environment in which to disrobe to their level of comfort and get underneath the top sheet. Upon exiting the room, he/she will specify whether to lie face-up or face-down to begin the session. In order for the therapist to provide their best work, clients will typically disrobe fully. Regardless of the level of apparel, the client will be securely covered with a sheet at all times with only the area being worked exposed at any time. Make sure to remove any jewelry or other articles that may interfere with the massage.
Q. What should I expect during the massage?
The objective is to serve our clients needs to the best of our abilities within our scope of practice. If at anytime you feel uncomfortable for any reason, please let the therapist know immediately. Together, we can work towards addressing your needs. This includes feedback about too much or too little pressure, whether to talk or not, pain, temperature, lighting, music, and sensations experienced both on or off the table. This time is for you.
Q. Does Massage Therapy Hurt?
Pain is not the goal of massage therapy, nor does it mean that the massage is "working". There are a number of sensations elicited during a massage session that can be described as pain, however, massage therapy does not have to involve any of them! There is a distinction between a 'therapeutic pain' and 'intolerable pain'. Therapeutic pain is a sensation that is intense, uncomfortable but tolerable, and maintaining the ability to breathe through the work and does provide a benefit. Therapeutic pain turns into BAD pain when the sensation goes from uncomfortable to intolerable. This kind of intolerable pain causes the body to tighten up in protection, which only inhibits the benefits of massage and creates more tension...clearly, the opposite reason for getting a massage!
Q. Will I be sore after my massage?
Possibly, but not necessarily. It is very important for you to let the therapist know if they are am using too much pressure at any time. We don't operate under the "no pain - no gain" theory, so please don't "take" the pressure or pain thinking that it is supposed to be that way. Sometimes working with an injured area might be painful, but even that should be within a good tolerance level… think "good hurt" vs. "bad hurt". If you are not used to receiving massage, it is similar to not being used to working out. Just as you can feel sore after a good workout, you might feel a little sore after a massage, but that feeling should not last more than a day or two. Again, communication is key to getting your best massage.
Q. Can I talk during my massage?
This is your time and you're paying for the experience. The decision to "chat" is entirely yours. Being quiet can enhance your relaxation during the massage and we understand and welcome that enhancement. If you wish to chat during the massage, we will accommodate you. During therapeutic massage procedures we may ask you pertinent questions or give you simple instructions.
Q. How long will my massage last?
. One hour (60 minutes) is the typical amount of time for a full-body massage session with 90 minutes also being quite common. If you really want to go all out try a long luxurious 120 minute session. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session
Q. Even with draping I still would like to leave on my underclothes, is that OK?
Absolutely. Undress only to your level of comfort. If a therapist tells you that you MUST take off all clothing, find another therapist. Most clients leave on their underwear and most female clients do remove their bras to make access to the back more productive but it is your choice. We will be accommodating to your needs.
Q. Can massage help me with pain from my medical condition?
Yes. Massage can help to lessen or eliminate pain stemming from a wide range of medical conditions that include fibromyalgia, lupus, myofascial pain syndrome, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ pain, migraines, and others but it is no replacement for responsible medical care. There are some conditions for which massage is contraindicated, please ask your doctor. There is still much research to do in regards to Massage Therapy. Many people feel that regular massage therapy sessions make an tremendous improvement in their everyday lives. So although there is not tons of research on the subject of massage therapy. The fact is that many people still enjoy the benefits. Hopefully, science will catch up in the future.
Q. I bruise easily, can I still get a massage?
Yes. Please inform the therapist that you bruise easily and why i.e. medications, medical condition, etc. We can adjust the pressure and technique to prevent or minimize bruising.
Q. How often should I have massage therapy?
How often you have massage therapy depends on your goals. This can be discussed at the time of your appointment to find a care plan that fits your needs and budget.
Q: What parts of my body will be massaged?
You and your therapist will discuss the desired outcome of your session.This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full-body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals.
Q: Will lubricant be used?
A light oil or lotion may be used to permit your muscles to be worked on without causing excessive friction to the skin. The lubricants used should hydrate the skin and be readily absorbed.
Q: What will the massage or bodywork feel like?
. It depends on the techniques used. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes which will help to 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. 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.
Q: 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.
Q: What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
Make yourself comfortable. We will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as rolling over). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax. Others like to talk during their session. Feel free to ask questions about massage and bodywork in general or about the particular techniques you are receiving.
Q. What should I expect afterward?
After a session, most people feel extremely relaxed and sometimes feel a little fatigued. Many experience freedom from aches and pains that have built up over weeks and months from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, clients often experience an increase in energy, heightened awareness and greater productivity which can last for several days.
Q. What if I don't want to undress?
Other forms of massage such as chair massage do not require undress.
Q. What else is necessary besides treatment?
How you spend the other 23 hours of the day also influences your recovery and therefore, requires some attention. You might be advised to do or not to do certain exercises, apply heat or ice packs. In some cases, altering your occupational and recreational activities might be necessary. We can make recommendations for your condition to assist your improvement.
Q. Should I tip?
Tips or gratuity are defined as something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service.
Massage therapy is still very much in its infancy for mainstream America. The profession straddles the fence of complementary alternative medicine and the spa industry. Therefore it can be confusing how the massage therapist is perceived in addition to how they receive compensation. The therapists at Recoup Massage consider themselves to be part of the healthcare community. We do not tip our medical doctors, chiropractors or any specialists when we have appointments.
We understand that in the massage profession many therapists rely on tips to supplement what they are paid by their employer. This is totally fine. However, we set our own rates and we think the cost of our services are fair. We would rather you save your 15-20% to put toward your next massage therapy session. It is very important to us at Recoup Massage that you realize massage therapy is a continuous part of your overall wellness, not a luxury rewarded sporadically. The best tip you could ever give us is to share with others what you consider the benefits of utilizing our services are. Leaving a review or testimonial on one of our social media platforms would be the best reward that you could give us and is always appreciated.
Q. Are massage therapists allowed to diagnose disease?
NO! As a matter of professional ethics, massage therapist's refrain from attempting to diagnose disease or prescribe for it. This is a responsibility of the physician.
Q. Does a physician ever prescribe massages?
Yes! Doctors frequently recommend to patients that massage treatments be taken at regular intervals. Your insurance may cover the cost of massage therapy. Check with your individual company.
Q. What if I'm embarrassed about my body?
Massage therapists have seen every body type and age group there is. We are not judging your physique, looking at cellulite or counting wrinkles. We are professionals here to assist you in feeling better, not worse. Only the parts of the body that are being worked are uncovered during the massage, and are then recovered when not being worked on. A good deal of draping and covering techniques are taught at any good school. We take great care to make sure that you are covered and comfortable during massage.
Q. Is a massage always appropriate?
No, there are several medical conditions that would make massage inappropriate. That's why it is necessary to fill out the health history form before you begin your session. It is very important that you inform your therapist of any health problems you have or medications you are taking. If you suffer from certain circulatory ailments, infectious disease, cancer, cardiac problems, certain skin conditions or any inflamed or infected tissues it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation from your doctor prior to your first massage session.
Q. Will the massage oils used make me break-out?
Most massage therapists use hypoallergenic massage oils or lotions. However, if you have sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotions please bring it to your therapist's attention.
Q. Why Is It Important to Have a Licensed Massage Therapist?
Massage therapy is a well-recognized, specialized health practice. State licensure and or national certification is your guarantee that your therapist has had quality professional training. In Virginia, a massage practitioner must complete a minimum of 500 hours of professional training from an accredited school of massage, successfully pass a national board examination, and apply for and be awarded a state certificate to practice massage and bodywork. Massage therapists must then complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their credentials.


I would like to take this opportunity to let you know important it is for me and my wellbeing the treatment I've been receiving from you during the past two years. In essence, my daily migraines have gone away, the stiffness of my neck has greatly improved, and my lower back--at 60--feels much younger. No other expert, nor medicine I've taken in the past have help me like you have. Travis's respectfulness, tact, friendly manners, confidence, thorough knowledge of your profession as a therapist, and availability are the key elements that make him the true professional that he is. I highly commend him for that.
Alicia E.-Bourdin
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Nikkie from recoup massage. I called and she was able to meet me at my work and give me a much needed massage on my lunch break. She was quick yet very effective and when she was done I felt like I had just had a 90 minute session at the spa. She was very knowledgeable about the muscle groups and was able to not only give me relief from some shoulder pain I was having but was able to explain what muscles were in fact bothering me and give me a couple of stretches I could do on my own to try to relieve the pain.
Justin T.
Nicole has been treating my husband and me for almost one year. We've had treatments from many, many therapists and I can honestly say she is one of the very best! Our professions are both very stressful and she works those knots right out! Thanks Nicole!

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