"With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things."—William Wordsworth
Massage therapy spans a wide variety of therapeutic approaches, working to improve an individual's health and well being through the hands-on manipulation of muscles and other soft tissues of the body.
Physical — Massage therapy is designed to stretch and loosen muscles, improve blood flow and the movement of lymph throughout the body, facilitate the removal of metabolic wastes resulting from exercise or inactivity, and increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissue. In addition, massage stimulates the release of endorphins— the body's natural painkiller—into the brain and nervous system.
Mental — Massage therapy provides a relaxed state of alertness, reduces mental stress and enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity.
Emotional — Massage therapy satisfies the need for caring and nurturing touch creates a feeling of well being and reduces anxiety levels.
People throughout the life cycle — from the very young and very old to those in between — all find that a professional massage can have special applications suited for their needs.
Eighty percent of consumers name massage therapy as the type of alternative therapy they would most likely use. Twenty-one percent of Americans said they expected to get a massage from a massage therapist in the next 12 months. These percentages continue to grow.
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."
An increasing body of clinical research confirms that massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, boosts the immune system, and increases endorphins (all may enhance medical treatment).
Cost depends upon the type of treatment, the experience of the practitioner, geographic location and length of the massage. Nationally, the range is generally from $50 to $80 for an hour-long treatment, with home visits typically more expensive.
If you suffer from certain circulatory ailments (such as phlebitis), infectious diseases, certain forms of cancer, cardiac problems, certain skin conditions, or any inflamed or infected tissue, be sure to consult your physician before initiating any massage program. A trained and experience massage therapist will also be able to tell you when massage is not appropriate.
The first appointment generally begins with the massage therapist asking what prompted you to get a massage, your current physical condition, medical history, lifestyle, stress level, and painful areas. The massage therapist may ask you about your health goals and what you hope the massage will do to help you achieve those goals.
For a full-body massage, you will be asked to remove clothing to your level of comfort. Undressing takes place in private, and a sheet, towel or gown is provided for draping. The therapist will undrape only the part of your body being massage, ensuring that your modesty is respected at all times. Your massage will take place in a comfortable atmosphere and on a cushioned table. You should expect a peaceful, relaxing experience.
A person receiving a massage should give the therapist accurate health information and always report discomfort of any kind — whether it's from the massage itself or due to room temperature, volume of music, or other distractions.
If you have a specific concern or question that we haven't addressed on this page, please email us at or call us at 608-241-4060 and we'd be happy to answer your questions.