Tom Pettengill Massage
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 will the massage or bodywork feel like?
Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?
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?

Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?
Your massage or bodywork session will be in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a comfortable padded table. 

Must I be completely undressed?
No. For all of the session with you, you will actually be fully clothed. For that reason, I request you wear thin clothing so I can feel underneath. Yoga clothing is the standard but any thin material is fine. Try to avoid thick shirts and jeans. For a Swedish massage using oil, you can disrobe to your comfort level and that will be fine.  

Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe?
 You will have your clothes on during all orthopedic sessions. For a Swedish massage, I will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet.

Will I be covered during the session?
For an Orthopedic massage, you will be fully clothed. For Swedish, I follow the State ethics policy so you will be properly draped at all times, this will keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

What parts of my body will be massaged?
A typical therapeutic orthopedic massage will focus on the particular areas you request and that need attention. I strive for a balanced approach but want to spend more time on the areas you want. For a Swedish massage, a more complete overall coverage will be achieved, emphasizing what you want or don't want. The choice is always yours.  

What will the massage or bodywork feel like?
The orthopedic massage I do is both relaxing and therapeutic: relaxing so you can start to let go of deeper tensions and therapeutic to accomplish a deeper release. This is why it's important for you to as aware and tuned into your body as much as you can during each session. In this way, we work together - I help you to relax and you help yourself to release. This is how we work together.     I may use more pressure but if it's too much, please let me know, as too much pressure usually results in tightening up, not releasing.  Swedish massage is often more relaxing and usually has its benefits in being comfortable and relieving stress in general.     In all cases, I want you to tell me if you feel uncomfortable for any reason and I will make adjustments for you.

Will you do different kinds of massage and bodywork?
I use several types of bodywork, the main one is the Hendrickson method of orthopedic massage. This method assesses and treats soft tissue pain and dysfunction in the body. As part of that treatment, I may use MET's [muscle energy techniques, to re-educate muscles to relax] as well as fascia stretching to loosen the connections between body segments.  We can discuss which methods will help you the most.

What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
Prior to the massage, feel free to ask me any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, I want you to be comfortable. 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. I will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). If you have any questions regarding the 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 relaxed and calm. Some may experience freedom from aches and pains developed from daily tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling relaxed, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins may be released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink water following your 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, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being.

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, I ask general health questions. It is very important that you inform me of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care, it is strongly 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.

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