Massage Benefits + FAQ
protect + moisturize skin
soothe + move achy joints
promote feelings of wellbeing
return to body after hibernation
define + cultivate sleep hygiene
prime muscles for activity
pre + post workout attention
support mind-body connection
ease in seasonal change
balance in the hustle&bustle
Does massage hurt?
Pain is not a necessary aspect of massage. Sometimes massage can be confronting or uncomfortable... but not painful. Pain is an indication of a deeper issue or that your therapist is doing something that doesn't work for your body. Your feedback is important.
Why do you have different rates for different people?
The world we have made and find ourselves in can be exponentially more challenging to navigate for certain groups of people, namely BIPOC (Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color/Visibly Racialized People), immigrants, LGBTQ+ communities, disabled communities, aging communities, larger bodies, women, and all the intersections of those. I am unavailable to accept this as the only option, and I am working toward a different kind of world. For me, that looks like making bodywork more accessible. As my practice in Helsinki grows, I will be able to offer different kinds of care to different communities. By supporting my work at any level, you are supporting and nourishing the idea that every body deserves care.
What is a "knot"?
We call those painful things "adhesions". An adhesion is the body's reaction to injury or overuse that forms on the soft tissue of the muscle. While they can limit movement and cause pain, they are a sign that the body is trying to repair itself from a trauma. They can be loosened with regular massage, providing immense relief!
What do I wear?
You can always be massaged at your comfort level. It is common for clients to remove everything or everything but their underwear bottoms. Regardless of your level of clothing, you will always be kept appropriately covered with a sheet or towel. It is best to remove jewelry, watches, and wigs if applicable.
What oil do you use?
I use a combination of oils and lotions, usually odorless, and make sure you do not leave feeling greasy. Sweet Almond/Sesame/Coconut oils are common because they warm nicely and provide extra moisture for the skin. I will ask before using any essential oils or scents. If you have any allergies, to nuts or otherwise, please let me know.
Is massage dangerous?
There are quite a few medical conditions and contraindications (reasons massage could be harmful). For example: very recent surgery, pregnancy, a known blood clot, an infection, intoxication, an open wound, a communicable illness. However, there are also many conditions that can be serious or sensitive (ex: HIV, diabetes, seizures, auto-immune, pregnancy, amputation) that can really benefit from massage, so if you are in doubt, just ask. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition, it is important that you clear massage with your physician and let your therapist know your situation ahead of time in case any adjustments need to be made or precautions need to be taken.
Do you massage on a bed?
I use a professional massage table, which is an elevated and cushioned full-body table designed for massage. There is a cradle for your face and a place to rest your arms. While I may lean on it, I will never be on top of it at the same time as you. The table is 70-95 cm wide.
What is a that popping sound that can happen?
Carbon dioxide cavitation bubbles naturally form in your joints. The popping or cracking sound is the collapse of those bubbles (that will reform in time). The prevailing understanding is that this is harmless to your joints and can even release pressure buildup, promoting feelings of relief, and studies show that even just the sound of the joints cracking can release a little dopamine in your brain. Intentionally trying to crack your joints is outside of the scope of practice for a Massage Therapist (talk to your Physical therapist!), but it can often happen unintentionally while manipulating the muscles around the joints and is no cause for alarm.
Who is massage for?
The vast majority of people can benefit from some type of massage and it is generally considered safe. While most of my clients are 18+, it is also possible to give massage to teens and kids with parental agreement/possible supervision.
Massage for older clients is great as well and pressure/technique can be tailored to their individual needs.
What is the atmosphere like?
This is your time and it is important for you to feel relaxed. I have light, ambient music playing, that can be turned off if desired. I will generally never initiate any conversation or share too much about my personal life. Silence is usually the easiest way to connect with your breath and body to feel deep relaxation, but there is no judgement if silence feels uncomfortable and you need more communication. I will always be happy to answer any questions.
How will I feel after a massage?
Hopefully, more relaxed and energized! Depending on the depth of work, you may need extra rest (whenever I get very deep tissue I often need a nap) and lots of water. With very deep work it may also move things around--digestion, water-retention, and mental space may shift temporarily. Usually though, your body will be feeling more mobile, more fluid, and more calm, as we are working not only on the muscles but the mind as well. You may be hungry or thirsty immediately following a massage.