Soteria Wellness, LLC
Enhancing Optimal Health Throughout the Lifespan

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?
Must I be completely undressed?
Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe?
Will I be covered during the session?
What parts of my body will be massaged?
What types of massage and bodywork can I choose from?
What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?
What are the benefits of massage and bodywork?
Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?


Photo courtesy ABMP

Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a clean, comfortable, quiet room. You will lie on a cushioned massage table or sit in a massage chair ergonomically designed for your comfort. Musical selections may be used to help achieve your session goals. Selections you may choose from include: relaxing classical masterpieces; seamless instrumental music featuring strings, keyboard, and/or native flutes; quiet vocal or instrumental worship music or traditional hymns; instrumental music integrated with the sounds of nature; and soothing rhythmic womb sounds woven into instrumentation.  If you have a preference, please let us know!

Must I be completely undressed?
Most table massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped (covered) during the entire session.  Chair massage is generally performed with the client wearing comfortable street clothes, removing only excess layers and jewelry.

A full CranioSacral Therapy session is typically performed with the client fully clothed (except shoes, belt, and jewelry for comfort) relaxing on their back on the massage table, but can be adapted to other positions as needed.

Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe for a massage?
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet and blanket for modesty and warmth. Assistance is available if needed due to physical limitations.

Will I be covered during the session?
You will be properly draped with a sheet and blanket at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.  Please see Bodywork and Body Image for further details.

What parts of my body will be massaged?
A typical full-body relaxation session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. Other areas will be added in to address specific concerns at your request, for example abdominal massage for improved digestion, or gluteal work for low back pain and sciatica. Therapeutic treatment massage may target specific trouble areas for the entire session.

What types of massage and bodywork can I choose from?
A relaxing Swedish Massage is often a baseline for clients. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. A light oil or lotion (combined with essential oils if desired) is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The lubricant also helps hydrate your skin. Please 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.  Other elements such as Polarity Therapy, using gentle rhythmic rocking or pressing motions and holding areas without movement, may be integrated into a relaxation massage or used as a stand alone relaxation session.  Stress reduction and muscle relaxation are two of the main benefits of relaxation massage.  During stressful situations our "fight or flight" (sympathetic) response is initiated and chemicals are released throughout our body increasing pain.  Massage slows the body down, allowing the cells to receive oxygen and nutrients, while flushing out metabolic wastes.  The "rest and digest" (parasympathetic) nervous response is stimulated triggering the release of endorphins (feel good chemicals) into your body allowing you to relax and refresh.

Healing Hot Stone Massage incorporates the long flowing strokes of Swedish massage with smooth, heated, basalt stones.  The stones vary in weight and size to perfectly fit the body's contours.  Stones may be stationary for penetrating heat, or used as massage tools in flowing broad strokes and focused circles on muscle tender points.  This combination lends itself to deep relaxation and stress reduction along with alleviation of chronic muscle and joint pain.  If desired, warm, textured river rocks to invigorate and/or cold stones to aid in flushing metabolic wastes from areas receiving deep work or for headache treatment may be used. $10 additional fee applies.

Clinical or Treatment Therapeutic Massage addresses specific injuries and pain.  Muscles will automatically contract around painful areas to support and protect the area.  If the pain or injury is resolved quickly, the muscles relax.  If the pain continues, the muscles may remain habitually contracted, causing more pain and limited motion in the surrounding joints.  If these tight muscles happen to put pressure on a nerve, more pain often radiating to other areas, with numbness or tingling may result. Therapeutic massage addresses these contracted muscles using the application of heat or cold; deeper pressure; and Neuromuscular Therapy (working on trigger points--"knots" that refer pain to other areas, adhesions, or scar tissue.)  Myofascial Release (skin rolling and stretching of fascial connective tissues), Deep Tissue Massage (targeted deep pressure applied using thumbs, forearms, elbows, or hand tools), CranioSacral Therapy, lymphatic drainage, and Swedish massage are also combined on an individualized basis to optimize results for each session. Active and passive stretching, positional release with a special body support system, and joint movements may be incorporated into your clinical treatment session to improve mobility and reduce pain in tight muscles. Some tenderness and discomfort may occur as restricted areas are released, and possibly for a couple days following the massage, but it should not be extremely painful.  This temporary discomfort is generally followed by decreased levels of pain, greater freedom of movement, and a sense of relaxation in the soft tissues. Active, honest communication with your therapist is crucial in clinical and treatment work.

AromaTouch™ Techniquesessions gently remind your body to heal itself with the rhythmic application of 8 highest quality essential oils and blends.  This process addresses stress reduction, immune enhancement to combat the toxic insults we all face, inflammation and pain reduction, and autonomic imbalance in the nervous system.  Restoring the body's homeostasis (balance) can reduce the physiological impact of stressors on the body.  The practitioner only needs access to your back, ears, and feet for a complete session.  This technique is grounded in solid science and research and is beneficial to anyone seeking to improve their overall well-being. An additional $15 fee applies. 

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a powerful, yet gentle, non-invasive hands-on healing modality based in Western Osteopathic tradition.  CST enhances the body's own self-healing and self-regulating capabilities by working with the craniosacral rhythm resulting from the flow of the brain and spinal cord's cerebrospinal fluid.  Because this system is intimately connected to the rest of the body through the fascia, CST can impact many other body systems (immune, nervous, musculoskeletal, digestive, respiratory, endocrine, etc.)  Because of these connections, CST may be an effective modality for many varied conditions. Most people find a CranioSacral Therapy session an extremely relaxing way to guide their body into better health, balance, and relief of discomfort, often in a very short time.  Because it uses such a light touch it is suitable for people of all ages from infants to elders, and for most conditions.  This precise, yet intuitive, art of gentle touch follows the tissues as they release and relax through specific movements or holding of areas needing attention.  Many clients report sensations such as heat, stretching, or pulsating in the tissues along with a deep state of relaxation, release, and refreshing. Others don't acknowledge any unusual sensations at all on the table but discover changes in their bodies, mental focus, and/or emotions after the session has ended.  Changes begun in a CST session often continue over the next hours and days as the body is adjusting to its new state of equilibrium.

What better way to embrace the joys and challenges of the child-bearing year than with Prenatal and Postpartum Massage and CST?  As baby grows, mom's body, mind, and emotions face many changes which regular massage can help to alleviate, and perhaps eliminate:  mood swings, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, headache, backache, insomnia, leg cramps, edema (swelling), postural deviations, decreased circulation, shoulder pain, carpal-tunnel symptoms, constipation, sciatic nerve impingement from tight muscles...Every mom-to-be deserves massage!  Correct postural alignment and positioning during massage and bodywork varies based on the stage of pregnancy.  Your body is supported using our reclining massage table and body support system which gently cradles your growing breasts and belly, relieving stress in your shoulders and lower back. In later pregnancy your massage will be enjoyed in a relaxing side-lying and/or reclining position.  Massage during the weeks after delivery helps restore muscle tone in the abdomen and realign posture. The body support system allows ample room so that nursing moms can be comfortably accomodated in a face down position again if they prefer, alleviating pressure from the lower back.  Remember, touch is a crucial part of bonding with your new bundle of joy--ask about Infant Massage Instruction for parents!

A sedating Lymphatic Drainage Massage uses light repetitive motions on the skin's surface to stimulate flow of lymph, minimizing post-injury or post-surgical swelling and enhancing immunity.  We are each equipped with a miraculously designed immune system, made to heal our body and protect us from disease. Our cells are nourished by the lymphatic and circulatory systems. Metabolic wastes from the cells, bacteria, and viruses are deposited into the lymph for disposal.  Balance in the lymphatic system is a crucial component in experiencing optimal health!  Lymphatic techniques can be used as a stand alone treatment session or incorporated into any massage to target a specific area in need of extra attention.

Peaceful Reflexology (feet or hands) and Pressure Point Face Massage are a gentle way to unwind and heal.  The bottoms of each foot contain over 7,000 nerve endings.  Working specific areas on the feet, hands, and face as part of massage to these areas can enhance health throughout the body.  Most clients find work to the face, feet, and hands extremely relaxing--many fall asleep during a full session to these areas, waking up refreshed and ready to face life's challenges.

What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
Prior to the massage, feel free to ask the practitioner any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. Before and during the massage, make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). 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. By keeping off-topic talking to a minimum, most people achieve a deep level of relaxation and greater enjoyment of their session than if they are distracted by conversation. Other people enjoy the social outlet of their appointment and find it helps them relax to chat a little during their session. If you have any questions regarding your session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask.

How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?
Most people feel very relaxed. Many 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 metabolic wastes are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage or bodywork. Occasionally clients will feel some tenderness for a couple of days after a session as their muscles and other soft tissues are adjusting to new freedom and balance. This is most common in people receiving deep work, those who are not drinking enough water, and those who do not receive bodywork regularly. Please call if this happens and you have any concerns. Because of this possibility, lighter pressure may be beneficial for those first beginning. Many people prefer to schedule appointments when they will have time to relax after their session.  If you need to return to work, however, techniques are available that will help to increase your alertness before leaving. To help maintain the benefits from your session, please try to avoid heavy lifting in the hours following a massage.

What are the benefits of massage and bodywork?
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, enhance immunity, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being. See the Benefits of Massage & Bodywork page for more details.

Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?
Yes. That's why it's imperative that, before you begin your session, the practitioner asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care for a specific health concern, it is advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required.  Printable Physician Permission and Referral forms are available in the Client Forms section of this website.

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
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