What you get from a $60 Massage
For most people, money is the biggest obstacle to getting regular massage. There, I said it. We don’t like to talk about money, it’s supposed to be a private issue. But I’m addressing it head on. Regular massage is a considerable budget item, and it’s important to acknowledge that.
I know this because
I walk the walk and get regular massage.
I am crazy tight with finances, so if I don’t plan for it, massage doesn’t happen.
But if I expect you to jiggle the numbers and budget $60 for a massage every week, month, or quarter, it’s my job to tell you what you’re buying. So here it is, what you get from a 1 hour, $60 massage.
Clarity in Pricing
What I charge is clearly listed here: www.mindfulmassageok.com
Tip are never necessary but always appreciated.
A Full Hour
1 hour = 60 minutes. The clock doesn’t start until I walk in the room and actually begin the massage.
That’s not the case for every business. Massage Envy’s hour is 50 minutes. Elements gives you 50 minutes.
Even some full service spas operate on a 50-minute hour. But in my office, 30, 60, and 90 minute treatments last exactly as long as indicated. (Unless you’re late, then I may have to adjust accordingly.)
Ease of Scheduling
Scheduling tends to be the second biggest obstacle to getting regular massage. We never think of scheduling massage at a time that is actually convenient to call.
You can schedule with me online right here. www.mindfulmassageok.com
If you prefer, you can call me or even text me at 405.206.5825 to schedule. (We may need to play a bit of phone tag since I may need to call you back between clients.)
You get my full attention. For 1 hour, you are the superstar. You are the reason we’re in the room. Need silence? We can do that.
Want me to spend the full hour on your feet? Sure. Eye pillow for total darkness? Not a problem. Extra pillows? You got it.
You get your own full attention. No phone. No demands. Just you.
I’ve had 5+ years of practice and hundreds of hours of continuing education. They were all just prep for your massage.
I’ve been trained to treat nerve disorders like carpal tunnel, sciatica, or plantar fasciitis.
I won’t practice any techniques that are unsafe for you and your health condition.
If you’ve had knee or hip replacement, I won’t do stretches that can cause pain in that area.
There are plenty of massage therapists offering discounted massage, operating under the radar. Oklahoma has only had a state license since May 2017, and I know there are plenty still in business that never got theirs updated.
If a therapist is operating without all the proper licenses, their insurance will be voided in the event of claim. That’s scary stuff right there.
I’m covered! I have great liability coverage through AMTA, one of the nations leading company for massage therapists.
A massage with me gets you connections with all the practitioners I know. And that’s a lot of people. If massage isn’t helping your tendonitis/backache/anxiety, I’ll help you find the right Chiropractor, PT or counselor for you.
High quality massage oil (or cream, or lotion).
I only use the best products on your skin. I am actually moving towards more natural, less processed massage oil. That means just plain oil, that will leave your skin feeling healthy and not gunky.
You get to support a small local business
It’s just me! No conglomerate. No fancy management structure or corporate set up. Just a little business owner, paying her taxes, making a living, and participating in the same communities she serves. There are fewer and fewer businesses that can stay afloat in an era of big box stores and amazon. When you pay $60 for a massage, you can be certain that money is staying in the local economy.
All that, from a $60 massage!
1. Do your research
There is a wide spectrum of massage styles and therapist training. Kind of like getting a tattoo, know what you want and find the therapist that can help you. Do you think you'd like a deeper pressure? A lighter more relaxing pressure? More spa-type add ons? Someone with training in energy work? Someone with training in nerve issues?
Get referrals from friends, click through the therapist's webpage, look for what extra training they've had and what their target market is. If you are a marathoner, you probably won't match up with someone who prefers prenatal massages. Message the therapist and get more information that way. And lastly, just try them! Go in with an open mind and be willing to shop around if you really need someone to partner with you on a specific issue.
2. Arrive a bit early
About 10 mins early is best for your first massage. Some therapist will have an online intake form you can fill out before your appointment so we know what medications you are taking, what surgeries and injuries you've had, and what your goals are. Sometimes they will have you fill out that form before you get on the table. To get the most of your time and avoid the therapist running behind or cutting your session short, showing up with some time before helps out everyone.
3. Turn your phone off
Phone goes on airplane or do not disturb mode. You are getting a massage to maybe get some pain relief or to relax, but in reality you are doing this to reconnect to yourself and your body. To reconnect to your body, you need to disconnect from everyone else.
Pro-tip: Practice some mindfulness meditation during your massage. Practice letting go of your to-do list or your upcoming events, let go of what you will do when you get off the table. Let go of what the therapist is going to do next. Practice feeling what you are feeling when it happens. This is where the true magic of massage happens, where you reconnect deeply and intimately with your body.
4. Communicate about pressure!
Too many times the negative reactions I hear about massage have to do with the pressure the therapist delivered, either too much or too less. The therapist should check in during the first 5 minutes of the massage and you should let them know honestly. It is so super easy to adjust, and an experienced therapist has had clients all along the spectrum. We know that pressure is 100% subjective, what feels super deep to someone can feel way too light to another person. So we need YOU to tell us what you're feeling!
And don't think that first check in is the only time you can adjust. Different areas of the body can feel pressure differently too. If we run across an area that is more sensitive, let us know so we can back off. If something feels really good and you want a bit deeper, just ask. We will be much happier that you feel the massage was effective than staying quiet and wishing we could read your mind.
And if you have truly never have a massage and don't know what the "correct" pressure for you is, here's my tip: you want the pressure to mimic or closely mimics the sensations your feel from your current pain issue. If you aren't having any pain at the moment, think around a 4-5 on the 1-10 pain scale. Never feel the pressure to get a massage that is "no pain no gain", or to ask for more pressure if you just aren't feeling the good feelings.
5. Reschedule before you leave
Did you absolutely LOVE your massage and your therapist, and really felt like you found "The One"?? Reschedule before you leave! Those therapists are usually very hard to get in to more than a week or two in advance, getting on their books will do a couple of things to benefit future you:
You will be able to schedule things around that appointment, to actually make it and make time for yourself. You will get in before anyone else steals that time (that, let's be honest, is already hard enough to carve out of your schedule). And it is immensely easier to reschedule or cancel if you have to, than to last minute schedule at the time you need.
Veteran Massageland Citizens: got any other tips for the newbies?
Muscle knots. Sigh.
First let's say this and get it out of the way: There is no such thing as a muscle knot.
There is no such thing as a muscle knot.
The idea that certain fibers in a muscle can become "knotted" or "stuck" and that we, manual therapist, can, with our bare hands, unstick them or rub out the knot, is not supported by any study or model of anatomy that I've seen. There is no correlating pathology in the medical community that means "muscle knot".
So what are people talking about when they say "knot"? It's usually either a lumpy or bumpy muscle they've run across and can't identify it. There are a few common areas people have "knots" that just end up being a tendon or edge of a muscle that can feel bumpy. You've got lots of bumpy muscles and tendons in your body, but when these are correlated with the areas of pain or tightness you're experiencing, this can lead your brain to want to identify a physical object that must be what's causing all this. Pain is not so simple unfortunately.
Some therapists use the word "knot" to mean "trigger point". Trigger Point Theory says you have areas of hyper contracted fibers inside bigger muscles, and that these can refer pain to other areas. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence in the patterns, but the actual methodology has mixed scientific reports, the biggest issue being that even people who touch bodies for a living have about a 50/50 chance of correctly palpating areas of anatomy (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19158550), which would make it very difficult to correctly palpate a small area of contraction. There's studies and reports about wishful-thinking palpating and examining and how that works in our brains, but maybe that's a different blog post. Here's a great article that gets into Trigger Point Theory: https://www.painscience.com/articles/trigger-point-doubts.php
What do I hear when a client tells me they have a muscle knot? Either hey have had a massage in the past where the therapist used that language and they took it and labeled themselves with it, or they feel something bump where there is pain, and that's what word society uses for that phenomenon. It's very easy and understandable, when a person in authority gives you words to describe what is going on with your body, and giving something a name makes it much easier for our brain to process and think up solutions for.
I don't use the word knot. I think it's a fine metaphor for tightness and pain, but I don't find it helpful and feel it could be harmful to pathologize something completely normal. What's more helpful, telling you you have a disease that only I can help get rid of, or that what you're feeling is a totally normal pain pattern your brain has learned, and massage (along with lots of movement based therapies) can help rewire that pattern into something that doesn't cause pain?
I would much rather my clients feel in control of their pain, of their bodies, and learn to love their bodies instead of come to be because their body is "messed up" and they need me to "fix" them. There are plenty of therapists with that mindset. But not in my treatment room. There you are an amazing body with unlimited potential to love and feel the way you want to. I'm just your guide to that.
You hear it almost every massage place you go. After the massage they hand you a cup or bottle of water and say "make sure to drink lots of water today!"
I'm not going to say that those therapists are wrong or are doing anything harmful, but it's something that really irks me. The phrase alone implies that if you don't drink water after the massage, you will suffer consequences. What consequences do they suppose you might suffer?
Here is the common rhetoric I hear from therapists. Soreness, aches, maybe even bruises, all caused by a build up of lactic acid or toxins that I just massaged out of your muscles. Now you must drink lots of water to flush those toxins, otherwise you'll feel terrible the next day.
So. Lots of things wrong with that thinking. 1st massage does not push lactic acid or toxins from your body. Massage is not a detoxifying process. Massage is NOT a detoxifying process.
Lactic acid is removed very quickly from your muscles and reprocessed for cellular repair within 15 mins or a workout, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC137458/), within hours after extreme workouts (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769631/). So it's not a toxin and it's not what causes muscle soreness. And we've known this for decades. Drop this myth.
So does massage release other toxins? What toxins do we suppose are hiding in our muscles and just waiting for a nice relaxing massage to release and flush from our system? Our body is constantly working (very effectively!) to filter and flush any toxin that comes in our body from the outside world. Through our liver, kidneys, lymph nodes, and blood enzymes, our bodies have developed amazing ways to deal with almost any normal "toxin" we will encounter in our daily life.
So why do you feel sore after a massage? Usually the unfortunate culprit is the massage. When we work too deep too quickly, or deeper than your body wants that day, the muscles can get injured. Extreme soreness is never wanted, and in my opinion can further exacerbate the issue you came in for. Some mild soreness may be beneficial in the long run, especially with chronic "tight" feeling or range-of-motion issues you've had for a long time. Getting something to start moving may be better even if it comes with some slight soreness. I don't have studies for this yet, and this opinion could change with our scientific understanding of massage.
I don't tell you to drink a lot of water after a massage. Because I don't want you to hear "or something bad could happen" or "because I need to flush the toxins", because that's just not what science shows us. I have water available freely in my office, and you are more than welcome to bring your own bottle and refill before moving on with your day.
More than anything I ask you to start being more mindful about your body and what your body is telling you, including thirst. Start building that trust in how your body works, this can help lead you to solutions for tight-feeling muscles, painful sore spots, or low range-of-motion. Tune in to that amazing body and let it do what it's meant to.
What is "Mindful" massage? What makes it different?
I pay attention to YOUR body and how you tell me it feels, how it moves, what is YOUR normal? I don't measure you against some ideal muscle tension, posture, or pain. I use my 5+ years of experience to lead to to techniques that might help, but more importantly I listen to the patterns your brains has created, impacted by years, and work with you to rewrite those so you can feel in your body and in control, and hopefully in less pain.
Have you experienced a massage like that? If not, I'd love to see if I'm the therapist to help you. If not, I am well connected in the community and can give you referrals.