Massage Therapy FAQ


  1. What is Massage therapy?
  2. What are the benefits of Massage Therapy?
  3. Are there any risks or contraindications with massage?

  4. I’ve never had a massage before and/or I want to by a gift certificate for a loved one who’s never had a massage.
    What can I/they expect and how do I choose a Massage Therapist?
  5. There are so many types of massage! What type of massage do I need?
  6. I’ve been told I need deep tissue massage, but this sounds very painful. Is deep tissue massage painful?
  7. What can I expect after my massage?
  8. How often should I schedule a massage?
  9. Can children and/or teenagers benefit from a massage? Is there a minimum age requirement for massage?
  10. Sexual Conduct/Prostitution Florida Statutes 64B7-26.010 & 796.0

What is Massage therapy?

Massage Therapy is a licensed profession defined by The State of Florida as; the manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body with the hand, foot, arm, or elbow, whether or not such manipulation is aided by hydrotherapy, including colonic irrigation, or thermal therapy; any electrical or mechanical device; or the application to the human body of a chemical or herbal preparation. Licensure is only given to those who have completed a 500+ hour course of study at a board-approved massage school or have completed an apprenticeship program that meets standards adopted by the board; and received a passing grade on an examination administered by the department. LMT stands for Licensed Massage Therapist.

What are the benefits of Massage Therapy?

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for, but not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Myofascial pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • TMJ
  • Sports injuries

Are there any risks or contraindications with massage?

Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have, any of the following:

  • Fractures
  • Bleeding disorders or take blood thinners
  • DVT’s (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
  • Burns or wounds that are healing
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Severe thrombocytopenia
  • Acute flare-ups of lupus, fibromyalgia or Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • High risk pregnancy
  • Certain types of cancer or currently in chemo or radiation treatment
  • Certain infections and use of antibiotics.

This is a general list, you need to discuss with your LMT and your physician if there’s any question as to whether you should receive massage. It may be appropriate to have a massage but to limit treatment to areas that are not affected.

I’ve never had a massage before and/or I want to by a gift certificate for a loved one who’s never had a massage.
What can I/they expect and how do I choose a Massage Therapist?

Massage Therapy is dependent on one of the most important aspects of human connection, touch. Positive touch is an integral part of our health and wellbeing. Choosing to work with an LMT is an important part of your personal healthcare regimen, but it can be challenging to find an LMT that you are comfortable with. If you’ve never had a massage before lets face it, it can be a little strange. You go to a clinic/spa, you meet your LMT (usually for the first time), they ask you to undress, get on a table and they touch you. This is a very, very simplistic description but this is often the scenario that plays in your head. This sounds like a nightmare for some people. If you’re having trepidation about scheduling your very first massage (or you’ve had a bad experience and would like to try it again) the list below covers a few aspects of what you or your loved one should experience and qualities that make a good LMT.

A professional atmosphere and clean surroundings with required state and local licensure displayed in a conspicuous place.

Be prepared to fill out informed consent, medical history and any other forms that your LMT may require. This may include a list of medications and any pertinent information that will help the LMT give you safe treatment. If you require insurance billing to cover your massage (if it’s offered) you will need your insurance card and the referring physician prescription for massage.

The LMT should introduce themselves, take you into the treatment room, familiarize you with the table, oils or creams to be used and dedicate 5-10 minutes of your first appointment to a client/patient intake. This is a wonderful time for you and your LMT to get to know each other, for you to ask questions and for your LMT to explain the process of your treatment so that you are comfortable in the room and with the LMT. Your LMT should also discuss the use of draping as it is state law.

The removal of clothing depends on your personal comfort level. Most people either undress completely or leave their undergarments on; however, the choice is 100% yours. Keep in mind, you will have a sheet and/or blanket draped over you at all times and your buttocks, genitalia and the breasts of female clients will be covered, even if you are clothed, this is a Florida state law.

Your comfort level is very important and though it is customary to remove clothing, please do NOT remove the draping during the massage, even if the room temperature is too warm. You can ask your therapist to adjust the room temperature, turn off table heaters or remove heavy blankets, but the main sheet/draping must remain on at all times. Proper draping is a state law.

It is important that your LMT let you know that YOU are in fact in control of the session, not them. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, you should let your LMT know. Do not suffer in silence, that will only result in a session you are not happy with and unfair to your therapist. Your LMT should be told the following:

  • If the pressure is too deep and you need them to lighten up, ask them to.
  • If you need additional bolstering or support, ask for it.
  • If they are talking too much and you’d like quiet, ask them for quiet.
  • If you don’t like the music, ask them to change it or turn it off/down.

Be assertive with your LMT, they will appreciate it. Although you are in control, keep in mind that your LMT is a professional and should be treated as such. Your LMT has the right to terminate the massage if they feel harassed or uncomfortable with you. Respect and comfort are a two-way street.

It is not uncommon for individuals who are wanting to try massage, but apprehensive about it, to schedule a 30 minute treatment instead of 60 minutes. For example if you are having neck and shoulder pain, 30 minutes is adequate for treatment, undressing is a minimum and the time you are on the table is reduced.
Your LMT should NEVER:

  • Remain in the room while you undress or dress. (Only if you request help due to disability and consent to assistance is this appropriate).
  • Continue treatment when you have requested to stop.
  • Share information on you or your treatment without your consent.
  • Engage or intimidate you with talk of a sexual nature.
  • Attempt to engage in sexual activity.
  • Reuse unwashed sheets or linens.
  • Remove the draping completely from the body exposing the client.

Do you have a general good feeling and rapport with your LMT? Call it vibes, energy or something else. If you are not generally comfortable in their presence you will not be comfortable receiving treatment from them. There may be nothing wrong with the therapist, you simply don’t feel comfortable. That’s okay, there is an LMT out there you will be comfortable with.

Are they giving you the treatment you are asking for? A good therapist knows how to find balance between what you the client is asking for and what they may think you need. If you want an upper body massage and they work your legs, you may not be happy. However, there may be a reason they want to address the legs as it may have a connection to your pain, but they should discuss this with you and honor your wishes if you decline that work.

Do they communicate efficiently with you and give you reasons for using certain techniques or explain things to you when you ask?

There are so many types of massage! What type of massage do I need?

The type of massage that is best for you may very well be a combination of techniques and approaches. There is no one size fits all and the massage that will suit you best will be determined by your needs and goals. This is where finding the appropriate LMT and having good communication is key. A few of the most known approaches/techniques are as follows.

Swedish Massage is what most people consider a relaxing massage. A Swedish massage consists of longer strokes and a tendency towards lighter pressure.

Deep Tissue Massage generally uses slower and deeper strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue.

Trigger Point Massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscle tissue. This may require the therapist to apply pressure to the area for several seconds or up to a minute.

Sports Massage is dedicated to improving sports performance,
boosting flexibility and handling injuries or potential injuries.
Myofascial Release is a technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure
into the myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.

This is a small list of approaches with many others being offshoots of these techniques.

There are also various treatments that utilize heat such as hot stone massage and
heated bamboo massage. These treatments may be used in conjunction with each
other.

I’ve been told I need deep tissue massage, but this sounds very painful. Is deep tissue massage painful?

Deep tissue massage is relative to the individual. What one person feels as deep another may not. Pain is subjective, therefore so is “deep” work. Generally speaking, your therapist should approach deep tissue work with your specific pain tolerance in mind. Deep tissue massage may not be appropriate in certain situations such as flare ups of arthritis and/or lupus or if you are taking certain medications that can affect your pain sensitivity. There are massage techniques such as Rolfing that go beyond your standard “deep tissue” massage and should be scheduled with an appropriately trained Rolfing therapist. Clear communication with your LMT is vital to achieving your goals with deep tissue work. A slight ache or feeling of tenderness is common, but pressure that produces pain that makes you want to jump off the table is another. No pain, no gain is not necessarily a path to a successful treatment and can lead to other issues.

What can I expect after my massage?

This will largely depend on the type of massage you have received and how often you receive massage as well as other factors such as hydration, medications, diet etc. It is not uncommon to feel a little soreness after a massage, but this is generally described as soreness similar to what you would feel after a tough workout. Not everyone has post-massage soreness. This is not indicative of a “good” or “bad” massage, everyone is different. Some individuals feel energized after massage. Those with insomnia may find that their sleep improves for several days after their massage. Increased range of motion, uplifted mood, general sense of calm, pain reduction are all possible outcomes of massage.

How often should I schedule a massage?

The frequency of your massages will depend on your needs and goals. It is not uncommon to schedule once or twice a week for 4-6 weeks if you are presenting with an acute issue that does not require PT or other medical interventions. The goal would be to spread your appointments out as you progress to every 2-3 weeks and then eventually a schedule of once every 4-6 weeks or as needed.

Many individuals maintain a regular schedule of massage as part of their general healthcare routine. Whether once a week, once a month or every other month, this is a personal choice that will largely depend on your lifestyle, schedule, goals and budget.

Can children and/or teenagers benefit from a massage? Is there a minimum age requirement for massage?

Children and teenagers can receive and benefit from massage as they have stress and physical issues just as adults do, but treatment for them may not be as readily available. It is at the discretion of the LMT or the establishment whether to offer massage services to those 18 and younger. The approach to massage with this demographic is in fact different. Certain techniques may not be used, 20-30 minute sessions may be more appropriate, for those 12 or younger. Teens may feel clothing such as gym shorts and sports bras make them more comfortable and the availability of a female LMT to work on young females may be more appropriate. Parental consent is required and a parent or guardian must be on the premises at all times during treatment for those 17 years and younger. No exceptions. Communication is key, as stated above, it is especially vital that the younger individual knows they are in control of their treatment and can terminate it at any time regardless of the parent wanting the session to continue.

Sexual Conduct/Prostitution Florida Statutes 64B7-26.010 & 796.0

WARNING: Due to the potential for misguided clients to make inappropriate sexual advances in this industry, we wish to prevent any embarrassing predicaments by making it CLEAR to all clients in advance, that any solicitation for overt sexual acts, subtle hints or comments regarding “full release” or “happy endings” (even if made as a joke) will result in the immediate termination of the treatment. Please be advised that removing or attempting to remove the draping to expose genitalia or buttocks will be considered inappropriate conduct. Should you require techniques related to groin or pelvic injury, please discuss your needs with your therapist prior to the treatment to discuss the appropriate protocol. It is our strict policy to call the police, file a report and follow through with the filing of charges should any misconduct or requests for illegal acts occur. Should such an unfortunate incident occur, you will be required to pay the full amount of your treatment and/or forfeit any prepaid packages. Failure to pay for your treatment could result in further filing of charges. Don’t even think about it.