FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MASSAGE
It seems fate has led you to our healing hands. We cater to many clients with diverse needs in Honolulu. From Hawaii visitors, local residents with sport injuries, the elderly, and those with everyday ailments, we can help soothe your muscle aches and joints. We will make sure you walk out of our clinic feeling better than when you came in.
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 can also promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety, and create an overall sense of well-being.
Is it OK to receive massage therapy while on period?
Massage therapy in specific areas can actually help alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms caused by menses. Certain trigger points can be stimulated, and the abdominal muscles can be gently massaged to help ease pains, cramping, nausea and fatigue. Though, it is entirely up to the client if they are feeling well enough to remain in a relaxed position for the duration of the treatment.
When should I not get a massage?
You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection. There are also other conditions in which your therapist may need to adapt his/her techniques (i.e. arthritis or osteoporosis) or avoid an area completely (i.e. cuts or burns). With some conditions, it is a good idea to get an approval from your physician before you receive massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy). This doesn't mean you can't get massage. But it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?
Yes. That's why it's imperative that the practitioner asks general health questions before your session. 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, we strongly encourage you to get written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required.
How a tense or stressed person would fall asleep during massage therapy?
A good massage eases muscle tension and encourages the parasympathetic nervous system to switch into its healing and relaxation state. The right combination of touch and deep pressure releases a great mixture of the happy hormone endorphine and calming love hormones prolactin and oxytocin that help switch off the secretion of stress hormone cortisol.
It is a compliment for a massage therapist if you fall asleep and completely relax.
How often should I get a massage?
"Some is better than none." What does that mean? Well, it varies from person to person. If you are just looking for occasional relaxation, a session every three-six weeks is usually fine. However, if you want to address a specific condition, we recommend more frequent visits at first and then slowly taper down to a maintenance schedule. Often, more frequent 30-minute sessions can be effective until your goals are met and a maintenance schedule is in place. Frequency of sessions should be discussed with your massage therapist after your treatment when he/she has a better hands-on understanding of your particular muscular issues.
On a lighter note: Do you know American comedian George Burns who lived to be 100 years old? He was known for his not-so-healthy lifestyle but always credited his longevity to a daily massage :)
Can I choose a massage therapist?
Yes, if you’d like to request a specific therapist, we recommend you book the appointment in advance. Our therapists have different specialties and schedules. Please call us to inquire about their specific availability to assure your time slot. Check our massage therapists’ professional profiles here.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, we enforce a minimum 24-hour notice policy. Same day re-schedules result in a 50 percent charge of the regular treatment price. No-shows are charged at full value of the treatment.
When do I need to arrive for my massage appointment?
Please arrive five to ten minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. Traffic has gotten increasingly bad in Honolulu, so please allow extra time to navigate to us.
What if I’m going to be late for an appointment?
Please give us as much notice as possible if you know you are going to be late for your appointment. In some cases, we are able to rearrange the massage therapist’s schedule, but in most cases we will need to shorten your appointment accordingly to accommodate clients scheduled after you.
How long will my massage treatment last?
An average full-body massage treatment lasts one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, typically reflexology, neck and shoulders, or just back. Most clients prefer a 90-minute session for optimal relaxation of the entire body. Always allow for relaxation time before and after the session.
Where will my massage treatment or bodywork session take place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort. Please check the page about our massage clinic.
Can I influence the flow of my massage session?
Yes, it is your session. You are the boss in the massage room. Why is that so important? If you’d like anything adjusted: pressure, areas worked, position, or if you are too hot or too cold, please let your massage therapist know. You will not hurt the therapist's feelings by asking for something to make you more comfortable. Your therapist wants your session to be the best experience for you to relax and enjoy. Also, what you requested in one session may be different in another. If you had a full-body massage last time but this time you only want your back, neck, shoulders, or arms worked, it's perfectly fine to ask. You will enjoy your therapeutic massage sessions so much more!
What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?
We require that you first fill out a combined health history and liability waiver form. The therapist will then begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, what conditions need to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and determine whether you have any presenting complaints. It is important to list all your health concerns and current medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without causing any harm. Please list any allergies so the therapist can use a different oil or lotion during your session, if needed.
Which products do your therapists use?
For massage we use professional massage oils, cremes, or lotions by BIOTONE. Each massage therapist has their own style and their preference whether they use oils, cremes, or lotions. We always check with clients regarding any alergies. All therapists use Hawaiian Pineapple Scrub by Kona Skin Care for facial exfoliation and Gena Pedi Scrub - Botanical Cleansing Gel for the foot scrub treatments.
Do I have to be completely undressed?
Undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full-body massage, most clients get completely undressed. However, if you are more comfortable with your underwear on, that's fine. The therapist will work around the clothes you leave on. If removing all your clothes makes it difficult to relax, then you will not get the optimal benefit from the session. Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table. If you prefer to stay fully clothed, we recommend exploring other types of bodywork that are performed clothed.
Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?
This is known as draping and depends on the therapist and in some cases, the law. The vast majority of therapists insist on draping. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body being worked on. The genitals and woman's breasts will always be covered. If the therapist is going to work on a woman's abdomen, a second towel or sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet or towel can be moved to expose the abdomen.
What if I get an erection during my massage?
Sometimes it happens. Yet, most men avoid massage for fear this will happen to them. Or they are unable to relax during a massage because of this fear. But there is no reason to be embarrassed. Sometimes men get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic, full-body massage. Touch administered to any part of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can result in a partial or complete erection. An educated, professional massage therapist understands this, and it will not be an issue for him/her. If you are still concerned, we recommend wearing more fitted underwear (briefs or boxer briefs), which provide more support than traditional boxers.
Please note: If the therapist feels that the session has turned sexual for the client, male or female, he/she may stop the session to clarify the client's intent, and may decide to end the session immediately.
Do I need to take off my jewelry?
We recommend removing any extra jewelry prior to your massage (necklaces, bracelets, etc.). Therapists can more easily work without having to shift around jewelry or worry about accidentally damaging your valuables. Smaller items like earrings/studs are generally OK to leave in.
What do I do during a massage treatment?
Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she/he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It's up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
Can I eat before or after the massage?
The decision to eat prior to your massage, or after, is personal. We do suggest waiting until after your treatment to indulge in a larger meal, as you will be lying face down for a part of the session and do not want to experience discomfort or indigestion with a full stomach.
Will the massage hurt?
This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light, relaxing massage that doesn't probe very deep into the muscles, shouldn't hurt. Nonetheless, there is a “feels good” hurt and an “ouch, stop it” hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the “feels good” hurt range. Pain can be an indication that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed and pressure should be adjusted. Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body's natural response, not against it.
If I want a really deep massage, shouldn't I see a male therapist?
The answer is no. There is a perception that men give deeper massages than women. This is a myth. While some men do give a deeper massage, there are men who prefer not to work so deep. The same holds true for women. It is a matter of style, training, and therapist preference. Some therapists prefer not to give really deep sessions while others specialize in this area. If you are looking for a deep massage, it is best to simply ask the therapist if she/he does this type of work. And of course, during your session it is perfectly OK to give the therapist feedback if you would like a lighter/deeper pressure. It's your session! And remember, massage does not have to hurt to be effective.
Can I talk during my session?
Sure, if you'd like to talk, go right ahead. The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and enjoying the experience. Many therapists discourage talking so that you can relax, let your mind float free, and enter a state of massage bliss. In many cases, clients may feel more relaxed starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, enter a quiet state of relaxation. Just remember there are times when you need to speak up. If the therapist is doing anything that makes you uncomfortable, you should let her/him know immediately. Also, let him/her know if you get too warm or too cold, if the room is too bright, or if the pressure needs to be changed (lighter or deeper). If something is not working for you - speak up! It's OK!
Do I have to listen to whale calls or flutes during my massage?
No. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Although many therapists play slower, quieter, new age type music, you can choose different music or no music at all. Studies have shown that music below 60 beats per minute has a calming, relaxing effect on the body and therefore can enhance your experience. However, our therapists are happy to play any music you enjoy listening to during your massage. If it relaxes you and you enjoy it at home, why wouldn't it do the same during your treatment? Ask your therapist what music he/she has to offer or if it is OK to bring your own from home.
How will I feel after my massage treatment?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience a significant decrease or freedom from long-term aches and pains. Many feel a little slowed down for a short period and then notice an increase of energy, heightened awareness and increased productivity which can last for days. If you received a deep massage, you may be slightly sore the next day - much like a good workout at the gym. Sometimes a hot shower or a soak in the tub can ease this soreness. After your session you should increase your water intake a bit. Just a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body's tissues hydrated and healthy.