Tranquil Palms
Bodywork Therapy
Frequently Asked Questions
Never Had Massage & Bodywork Therapy? Don't Know What to Expect?

If you haven’t had much experience with massage therapy, you might be wondering what to expect.

If it’s your first time seeing us, you will be asked to fill out a Health Intake Form. We need to know about your current physical condition, medical history, life style and stress level, experiences with specific areas of pain, and whether there is any specific need you want addressed during the massage. First and foremost, we need to make sure there aren’t any conditions present that rule out having a massage due to any health risks. If there are, we will need to speak with your doctor before you can receive treatment. Second, we need to know what your needs are regarding the massage and be sure to discuss what your expectations and goals for the session are. Third, the information you provide helps us determine what techniques to use and how to structure the session.

Next, you will be directed to a dressing room and bathroom facilities. The therapist will leave the room so that you may have privacy while you undress. There are large terrycloth wraps in the dressing room if you need one while walking into the treatment room. You should take off only as much as you are comfortable removing, and this is discussed prior to your session. When you enter the treatment room you will get under the sheets and blankets on the massage table. Additionally, the table is heated and that level will be adjusted to your comfort. We will then knock on the door of the room and ask if you are under the covers (draping) so that we may reenter the room. We uncover only the part of the body being massaged, insuring that modesty is respected at all times. The draping also keeps the person receiving the massage warm. You should also remove any jewelry or other articles that might interfere with the massage. The massage takes place on a comfortable, padded massage table. We will tell you what position to lie in on the table. The table may have some extra attachments or cushions, such as a face rest (which allows you to lie in a face down position without turning your head and neck).

Expect a peaceful and comfortable environment for the massage. We may play music and environmental/nature sounds during the massage. Some people find music playing to be relaxing, some find it distracting. If you don’t like music playing, ask us to change the music or turn the music off. Before the massage begins, we may offer some advice that will improve the quality of your massage. A common one is to breathe, especially during deep tissue therapies.

We use only Certified Organic Jojoba Oil and Certified Organic Essential Oils on your skin, which also reduces drag on the skin while performing the massage strokes. If you are allergic to some oils or lotions, be sure to answer that question on your Health Intake Form so that we may adjust accordingly.

Depending on your needs, we will massage either the full body or only specific areas that need attention. For example, general relaxation or stress reduction sessions usually include all the major areas of the body, while a session for a localized injury, pain, or tightness will be focused on a specific area. It is possible to spend most of an entire session on only one area. After the massage is finished, you will once again be provided with privacy in order to get dressed. If there is time to do so, you may ask the massage therapist any questions you have. The usual length of a session is an hour. A massage session on a table generally should be a minimum of 30 minutes and maximum of 120 minutes. A full body therapy requires a minimum of 60 minutes.

What Does Research Show About This Therapy?

At the University of Miami School of Medicine’s Touch Research Institute, 70 studies on touch — the majority on massage therapy — have been published or are under way. Recent and ongoing research at some of the nation’s hospitals, such as Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, is expanding knowledge of the benefits of massage for a variety of injuries and ailments. Among research findings: Massage increases activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”, boosting the immune system. Office workers massaged regularly were more alert, performed better and were less stressed than those who weren’t massaged. Massage therapy decreased the effects of anxiety, tension, depression, pain, and itching in burn patients. Abdominal surgery patients recovered more quickly after massage. Premature infants who were massaged gained more weight and fared better than those who weren’t. Autistic children showed less erratic behavior after massage therapy.

Is Massage Therapy a Luxury?

This is a perception that is rapidly changing as massage becomes increasingly accepted as a natural part of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, according to one media characterization, “massage is to the human body what a tune-up is to a car. It provides a physical boost to the weary, sore and stressed.” The services of a bodywork professional may be covered by health insurance when prescribed by a chiropractor, osteopath, physician or registered physical therapist.

What are the Benefits of Massage and Bodywork Therapy?

People find that therapeutic massage and bodywork can help with a wide range of medical conditions, including, but not limited to:
Allergies Anxiety and stress
Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
Asthma and bronchitis
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Chronic and temporary pain
Circulatory problems
Digestive disorders
Headache, especially when due to muscle tension
Myofascial pain
Reduced range of motion
Sports injuries, including pulled or strained muscles and sprained ligaments
TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint) Dysfunction

What are the Benefits of Meditation?

Some remarkable benefits are possible for women who meditate regularly. One study found that women with PMS (premenstrual syndrome) reduced their symptoms by 58%. Another study found that women going through menopause could significantly reduce the intensity of hot flashes. Even those women struggling with infertility can benefit: In a study of a 10-week group program that included meditation (along with exercise and nutrition changes), the women had significantly less anxiety, depression, and fatigue, and 34% became pregnant within six months.

Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex—brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety. There is also less activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear.

There's also evidence that meditation has immune-enhancing effects. For example, medical students who meditated during final exams had a higher percentage of "T-helper cells," the immune cells that trigger the immune system into action. Nursing-home residents trained in meditation had increased activity of "natural-killer cells," which kill bacteria and cancer cells. They also had reductions in the activity of viruses and of emotional distress. Cancer patients have also experienced the benefits of meditation. In one study, patients with metastatic (spreading) cancer who meditated with imagery regularly for a year had significant increases in natural-killer cell activity.