Reiki and Therapeutic Massage FAQs


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1. What should I be doing during a session? You don’t have to actually do anything, but I encourage you to tune in to your body. Use the sacred time of your session to go off-line with the world and on-line with yourself. Your body is full of information and wisdom that often goes unheard in the busyness of daily life. Use this time to listen.

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2. How can I tune in to my body? No matter how familiar or unfamiliar you are with the concept of “going within,” you do possess the ability to listen to your body. As with anything in life, all it takes is a little practice. Begin by using your breath. As soon as you lie down on the table, tap into your breath and feel its contact with your body. I also encourage you to work on deepening the breath by lengthening both your inhales and your exhales. In addition to focusing on the breath, you can also focus on the feelings you are experiencing where my hands are contacting your body, as well as any peripheral feelings that seem to be related to the site of contact.

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3. What can be done if an area is very sensitive, painful or even ticklish? Pain is your nervous system’s way of letting your body know that something is wrong. In some cases pain during your session may be okay, but in other cases it may be exacerbating an existing issue. How to tell the difference? I encourage you to breathe into the area where you are experiencing pain or discomfort while also scanning your entire body to see if you are tensing up in response to the pain.

For example, if you are experiencing low back pain as I am working in that area, your glutes may tense up in response, but you also could be clenching your jaw or tensing up in your toes. I guarantee you that tensing up in your glutes, your jaw, or your toes is not going to help the pain in your low back release; in fact, that reaction is only telling your nervous system that something is wrong, triggering the “fight or flight” response. So instead of tensing up, continue breathing deeply and focus on relaxing any and all areas of your body that are resisting.

If the pain is so much that you cannot relax certain areas of your body and/or you cannot breathe deeply, then please communicate this with me. Please rest assured that I will not simply move on and avoid working on that area just because you spoke up; in fact it is highly likely that that area actually needs more attention, and so I will simply adjust my approach to work more effectively with your body.

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4. What if emotions come up? It is common to feel not only physical sensations but also emotions when receiving massage and energy work. If you feel an emotion or an unexpected sensation during a session, well that’s great! This means you are relaxed and open enough to allow that to happen, and I encourage you to feel it, let it move and let it go, even if it feels awkward, uncomfortable or even a little bit scary. The alternative is to hold onto it, and we all know that bottling up our emotions is a surefire way to continue to hold onto unnecessary stress and even make ourselves sick.

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5. To talk or not to talk? There seems to be some unwritten (and unhelpful) rule that we should be silent and just let the massage therapist do what they’re going to do. But once I found myself on the other end of things, I realized that the best sessions are often those that involve communication and collaboration. Not only does the massage therapist receive invaluable real-time information, but you, the client, also get to be involved and take ownership of your treatment.

I am skilled at sensing what is going on in your body; however, you know your body best. Your input can provide valuable information that will improve the quality of your session. So if you haven’t spoken up in the past, even when you wanted to, I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and speak up when you feel the urge to do so.

Also, some of you want to know all the “what’s” and “why’s” of what I’m doing, while others of you prefer to just feel into the experience. Most of you are probably somewhere in between, and your level of curiosity may vary depending upon your goals, mood and energy level. So if you want to know what I’m doing and why, just ask! I love educating you but don’t want to overdo it if you prefer to just feel into the experience.

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6. What if I’m just a little (or a lot) uncomfortable in some way? Are you cold? Hot? And now you’re cold again? No problem! Does the face cradle or bolster feel funny to you? Simple fix! Is the music too loud? Too soft? Do you want to bring your own music? Easy enough! Your session is your If you’d like me to change something please let me know!

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7. How can massage and Reiki support overall health, healing and recovery? All of the sensations, feelings and emotions you experience during a bodywork or energy work session are full of rich information. I encourage you to write down what you felt, as new insight may occur with the reflection that comes with writing. In addition, you may find this information useful as you become more in tune with your body and start making unexpected connections. Some clients have found it helpful to bring this information to other health care practitioners, including physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists and mental health providers.

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8. What is Reiki? Reiki is a holistic healing practice that supports overall balance, reduces stress and supports the immune system. Reiki can help to relieve a variety of emotional and physical ailments, including pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, fibromyalgia and the side effects of chemotherapy. Treatment is given by placing the hands lightly on or near the body’s surface to facilitate energy transfer. I offer sessions that are Reiki only, massage only or a combo of the two. In a combo session Reiki can be incorporated at the beginning, the end or throughout. If you’ve never had Reiki before and are interested in trying it, I offer a free 10-minute sample at the end of your session; just let me know prior to your next appointment so I can schedule accordingly.

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9. What should I do immediately after a massage? Take care of yourself after your session. Most importantly, hydrate more than you normally would. In general, avoid intense exercise for the rest of the day. If possible, do gentle stretches. If you are feeling tired from a particularly intense session, try and get some extra rest; maybe journal or take a hot bath.

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10. Is it okay to reach out to you after a session? If you felt something significant after your session, whether “positive” or “negative,” I’d love to hear about it. Please let me know! This is great feedback for me that I can add to your file and take into consideration for future sessions.

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11. How often should I come in? Occasional massage is terrific for relaxation. If you’re working toward relief from specific issues, however, more regular treatment is usually necessary, at least in the short term. The therapeutic benefits of massage are cumulative, and the more frequently you receive massage the more responsive your body will become as chronic patterns of stress and tension are released. If you have chronic muscular tension or are recovering from an injury, it will likely take a few closely spaced sessions to see lasting results, at which point less frequent maintenance sessions will likely keep you on track with your goals.

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12. What should I do between massages? Be consistent with your self-care between sessions. If you’re not sure what I mean by self-care, ask me what I suggest. The more consistent you are with your self-care between sessions, the better you’ll feel and the longer lasting the effects of your session will be. Plus your next session with me is likely to be more effective because you’ve kept the basic maintenance under control.

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13. Should I eat before a session? The general rule of thumb is to eat enough but not too much. Try not to eat a big meal right before your session, but also be sure you’re not going to be distracted by hunger during your session.

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14. What if I’m running late? Because I work on an appointment basis, my schedule can be very tight. Being on time also allows me to provide the full session length, and you will walk into my office feeling calm rather than frantic. Worst case scenario, please let me know if you’re running late; we can work together to resolve scheduling conflicts.

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15. What is your cancellation policy? Because of the appointment based nature of this business, please provide at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment. If you are not able to do so, you will be charged 100% of the appointment fee.

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16. What should I wear? If you are receiving Reiki only, it is standard to remain fully clothed. For massage, most people prefer to just wear underwear or their birthday suit, but some people prefer to keep other items of clothing on or even remain fully clothed. Please do rest assured that you will be securely covered with a sheet at all points during your session, but if you prefer to remain clothed in areas where we will be working, comfortable and form fitting apparel is best.

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