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Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you. You will be covered up at all times except for the area to be worked on, so most will take it all off. Some feel better with bottom underwear on. You will be properly draped during the entire session.

Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with the clean sheet and blanket. She will knock before re-entering the room.

Prior to the massage, feel free to ask any questions about your upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable. Allow your head and limbs to be completely heavy and loose. Your therapist will either gently move you or perform passive stretching techniques throughout the session. No need to help unless you are asked to. Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, 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.

A typical full-body session will include work on your back, legs, glutes, feet, arms, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. Abdominal massage is especially beneficial to mom and baby during prenatal massage, feels wonderful and is good for digestion. Gladly performed by request.

In a general relaxation massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. Your therapist will perform techniques as needed to prep your muscles for deeper work. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to target specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be worked without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. 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.

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. We can discuss which methods may be most appropriate for you.

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage.

Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being.

*Modified from Associated Massage and Bodywork Professionals*

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Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths. -Etty Hillesum