Therapeutic Massage - FAQ
When should I get a massage?
Any time is a good time to get a massage. You don't need to wait
until you're injured or experiencing stress. Massage can work as
preventive care for your body and mind. Regular massages can help
you cope with both physical and emotional stress and can keep
stress from causing discomfort or pain to your body.
Do I need to be a Kaiser Permanente member to receive a
The Kaiser Permanente Center for Complementary Medicine is open to
everyone. You do not have to be a Kaiser Permanente member to come
to our facilities and receive chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage
treatment. Whether you are a member or nonmember, you will receive
the same high-quality care.
Do I need a referral from my primary care
No. You may contact the Center for Complementary Medicine directly
to learn more about the services provided or to book an
Are there times when I should avoid getting a
Please consult your massage therapist before you begin your
massage if you have any of the following conditions:
Any infectious disease
systemic infection, such as a bacterial or fungal infection
Certain types of cancer, such as leukemia or lymphoma
Severe cold or flu and related muscle soreness
Fracture, bleeding, burns, or other acute injury
Liver and kidney diseases
Pregnancy-induced diabetes, toxemia, eclampsia, or
blood pressure (unless under control with medication)
skin lesions or sores
What types of massage do you offer?
The most common types of massage we offer are:
- Craniosacral therapy, which focuses on the
tissues around the skull and spinal cord
- Deep tissue massage, an intense massage for
the relief of chronic conditions
- Integrative massage, which combines massage
with other bodywork techniques
- Neuromuscular massage, a massage of precise
points for pain relief
- Prenatal massage, which promotes relaxation
during your pregnancy, relieves stress on joints, reduces swelling,
and prepares muscles that will be used in childbirth
- Sports massage, which is used to prevent
injuries before sporting events and soothe muscles afterwards
- Swedish massage, which is used to ease muscle
tension and promote relaxation
- Trigger point therapy, which is used to
release muscles that have been overused or injured
How much time do I need?
If you only want your practitioner to work on a couple of problem
areas, a 30-minute massage should be enough. If you'd like to work
a few areas, you may want a one-hour session. This may depend on
your needs and the type of massage you'd like. Your practitioner
will usually be able to massage your entire body in an hour-long
Swedish massage session. For your first session, you should arrive
15 minutes early so you will have time to answer questions about
your needs and your health history.
I have sensitive skin. What do you massage
We use a hypoallergenic massage cream. Your practitioner will
always ask before using any other products.
What if I'm overweight?
Our massage therapists have seen bodies in every imaginable shape
and size, from young to old. They will not judge your physique.
What causes tension in the muscles?
Incorrect posture, stress, daily activity, extracurricular
activity, dehydration, and injury are all common causes of muscle
What does a massage therapist's license or certification
Certification means that the massage therapist has successfully
passed a specific course or test and been granted a certificate.
There are state and national certification tests for massage
What health conditions can massage help?
Therapeutic massage can help with musculoskeletal conditions,
headaches, postsurgical pain, accident-related injuries, headaches,
prenatal pain, fibromyalgia, and muscular pain caused by
What happens during a therapeutic
After you have filled out the proper forms, the massage therapist
will take you to a private room where you will undress to your
desired comfort level and get on the massage table. A sheet or
towel will be provided. The therapist will tell you whether to
start the massage lying on your stomach or on your back. There will
be a pillow or bolster on the table for you. If you're lying face
down, the pillow or bolster goes under your ankles. If you're lying
face up, it goes under your knees. Feel free to ask your therapist
if you have any questions. He or she will be happy to explain.
When your therapist finishes massaging one area of the body, he
or she will re-cover that area and undrape the next area to be
Can I work out after my massage?
It's best to wait 24 hours before working out because any fast,
vigorous movements after massage may strain the muscles. If you
absolutely have to work out the same day, wait at least four hours
after the your massage.
Why is it important to drink water?
During the massage, cellular waste and toxins are released.
Drinking water can flush those out of the body. Staying hydrated
can also help your muscles recover more quickly.
How often should I schedule a massage?
If you are in acute pain, you should try to come in every one to
two weeks. Regular, frequent massages can help you break the pain
cycle. Once your pain is less intense, you can come in every two to
three weeks. If you are not in pain and are seeking treatment for
overall health and wellness, every four to six weeks is
Can I speak during a massage?
The key to a massage is relaxation and allowing yourself to enjoy
the experience. Many clients talk in the initial stages of a
massage but become more quiet as they become more relaxed. If you
find it more relaxing to speak with your therapist, you may do so.
But it's fine to stay quiet if that's what you prefer.
There are times when you should speak up during a massage. If
anything makes you uncomfortable, please let your therapist know.
If the massage is too light or too strong, speak with your
therapist so that you get exactly what you are looking for.
Will a massage hurt?
Overall, a therapeutic massage should feel good. Massage does not
have to be painful in order to effect change. A light massage that
doesn't probe very deeply into your muscles shouldn't hurt at all.
If you have tension deep within your muscles, you may need a more
intense massage that may cause slight temporary discomfort while
your practitioner is working on a particular muscle. Some people
prefer deeper massages, while others prefer lighter ones. There is
no right or wrong way. Make your preference known to the therapist,
and give feedback at any time during a massage.
Be sure to tell your massage therapist if you have a sharp pain,
as this may indicate that a muscle is injured or inflamed.