I've never had a massage. What will it be like? Please refer to the separate page What to Expect from Your Massage for general information and glance over the rest of the FAQs. You are welcome to call me with any questions you have.
Will I have to get undressed? You will only remove as much clothing as feels comfortable to you. While many clients undress down to underwear or go completely naked, some clients feel more comfortable removing only their shoes. Most techniques can be modified to work through clothing. If you prefer to stay clothed, just wear clothing similar to what you might wear to a yoga class. If you are open to undressing, it does allow for a more flowing style of massage and better access to certain muscles. Undressed is a safe option, because I leave the room while you undress and you get under the sheet before I come back into the room. I then fold back the sheet to work each area and then replace the sheet. This protects your modesty and your warmth. Breasts and genitals remained covered at all times.
What areas of the body do you work on? During your health intake, we discuss your needs and preferences and design the session together. You might chose to focus your full session time on just a few areas or might decide to include the whole body. Almost all body areas are possibilities for massage. Genitals are never part of a therapeutic massage and remain covered at all times. While some therapists have specialized training in breast massage for women, I don't have this training and do not include them in your massage. There are valid therapeutic reasons for including the breasts and I am open to referring you elsewhere if you have issues that might benefit from breast massage (lymph drainage issues from injury or surgery are the most common reasons for breast massage).
I'm pregnant. Can I still get a massage? Please refer to my separate page on Pregnancy Massage.
How often should I come in for a massage? That depends on your goals.
A single visit is a great gift to yourself and will make your body more comfortable and reduce the stress hormones in your system, so that you experience a general sense of relaxation and well-being afterward. Don't you deserve a mini-vacation?
For general health or slight discomfort: I recommend once a month for optimal health maintenance — to keep your body comfortable, to nurture yourself, to reduce your stress level, and keep your immune system functioning well (like keeping the oil in your car changed). If you have a job that is stressful or causes you discomfort, you may find that you need one every two weeks to stay comfortable. If you are unable to practice other forms of self-care and are under a lot of stress, you may find it beneficial to get a massage once a week until your stressful period is over. I will give you my honest opinion about frequency, knowing that your available time, money, and ability to practice self-care will all influence your decision.
For chronic pain: If you are experiencing chronic pain, you may want to schedule two appointments close together and then gradually lengthen the time between sessions, depending on how much progress we are making. If we have not made noticeable progress within two sessions (assuming that you are doing whatever self-care I have recommended), I will work with you to find the next appropriate health care provider — another massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, physician, etc.
Why should I get regular massage? The positive effects of massage are cumulative, just as the negative effects of stress are cumulative. Regular massage boosts the immune system and helps protect you from the many health issues associated with chronic stress. Regular massage will also keep you feeling more comfortable as you go about your daily life. Why be uncomfortable if you don't have to be? Here is a link to studies on the benefits of massage if you would like to read the scientific evidence. Touch Research Institute
Will it hurt? Not if you give me good feedback. The type of work that I do focuses on relaxation and relief of chronic muscle tension, so the highest pressure I ever want to use is "hurts-so-good" and then only if the client chooses it. Most bodies have some areas that want deep pressure and areas that don't. We'll figure that out in the health intake and also as the massage progresses.
Do you use draping? Yes, I always use professional draping. Breasts and genitals are never exposed or included in your massage.
How much time do I get on the table? 30, 60, 75 or 90. While some therapists (and most spas) subtract your checking in, undressing and dressing from your session time, I allow an extra 15 minutes (not charged to you) for this, so that neither of us feels rushed.
How long will my session take? 30, 60, 75 or 90 minutes plus time to update me, undress, and dress (usually 5 to 15 minutes). If it is your first appointment with me, plan on 20 minutes extra (unless you opt to have the health intake emailed to you ahead of time). This allows me time to get a thorough health history and allows us time to discuss your goals for massage, as well as specific preferences.
How often do you get massage yourself? Currently, I get a massage every 2 weeks. I have a very low tolerance for being uncomfortable and am not always good about practicing other forms of self care. Will you need them as often as me to stay comfortable? It depends on how you cope with stress, what other forms of self care you practice, and whether being uncomfortable particularly bothers you. My stress goes immediately into my neck and shoulders and stretching and yoga are just not enough to keep me completely comfortable. Therefore, I budget on other items so that I can get regular massage. If I am having some kind of muscular issue or a very stressful week, I might even get a massage once a week for some period of time. You will find your own rhythm. Some clients come once a week; some every two weeks or once a month; others come just several times a year. While I recommend coming in for prevention rather than cure -- i.e., you have noticed your neck tightening up instead of you can no longer turn it, I will be happy to see you whatever your frequency.
Marta Magaw, Licensed Massage Therapist
Mt Lebo Massage
250 Mt. Lebanon Blvd, Ste. 418, Pittsburgh, PA 15234
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Mt. Lebo Massage
Mt Lebo Massage
250 Mt Lebanon Blvd. #418