• Will I have to undress?
It depends what type of massage you need. For Indian head massage or table shiatsu, no, you will not have to undress. But for deep tissue, Jing, Swedish, therapeutic massage, trigger point therapy or myofascial release, a massage therapist must make direct contact with skin in order to manipulate body tissue effectively. During a massage session the client is unclothed beneath a cover, and is kept fully draped except for the area being massaged. Clients' modesty, comfort and well-being are a prime concern at all times. Wearing undergarments is optional. Clients with lower back pain relating to the piriformis muscle (near the sciatic nerve) will find their massage more effective and may actually find it less embarrassing or intrusive if they choose not to wear underpants
• What does the time period cover?
The 30/60/90 min period includes consultation time, payment, undressing, dressing and post-massage consultation. It is recommended that a first appointment is 60 minutes long to allow for a slightly longer consultation period. Consultation forms are available to download online and clients are advised to fill them in and bring them to their first appointment, ensuring more time on the table and less time on paperwork.
• What will happen at the appointment?
At the beginning of your first appointment, I will go through a consultation form to check for any contraindications and to familiarise myself with your general health and well-being. That usually takes around five minutes for a first consultation and a couple of minutes for subsequent visits. If you are able to print out and fill in as much of the consultation form before your appointment and bring it along then that will reduce the amount of time spent on paperwork and mean more time on the table.
We will discuss what massage treatment will be best for you. I will explain what it entails before you get on the table.
I will ask what your plans are immediately following the massage, to gauge whether an invigorating or relaxing massage is more suitable for you. We will discuss which oil is best for you and I will ask you which aroma you prefer from a choice of blends. If you opt for a relaxing massage you may feel a bit drowsy – do not plan to do any strenuous or mentally arduous tasks immediately afterwards!
For a back massage you will need to strip down to your waist; clients with lower back pain will have to be massaged as low as the coccyx - the knobbly bone right at the very bottom of the spine, down to the greater trochanter (the bony prominence at the top of your outer thigh, about one hand-length below your hip bone). Wearing underpants is optional. Your modesty will be protected at all times and you will be fully draped during your massage session, except for the area being massaged.
I will advise you what clothing needs to be removed and how to best use the pillows and face cradle for your comfort, and then I will leave the room while you undress and drape yourself with a towel. At the end of the treatment, I will lower the massage table and leave the room while you get off the table and dress. If clients have had a particularly deep massage, I will advise them to take their time getting off the table and to drink some fresh water at the desk once they are dressed.
There will be a brief post-massage consultation when I will recommend any useful stretches and offer general after-massage advice.
• Should I drink water after my massage?
Yes, massage can cause your lymphatic system to drain, it can flush lactic acid from the muscles and can release calcium deposits which will break down into your bloodstream. Drinking plenty of water afterwards will assist flushing these waste products out of your system. I recommend drinking at least one pint of fresh water and preferably two pints, depending on the depth of massage and the time of day. If you do not like drinking water, decaffeinated herbal tea will hydrate you appropriately, but choose a herb relevant to your needs. Be aware that alcohol or caffeinated drinks will be twice as effective after a massage and that alcohol dehydrates the body.
• Is there anything I should not do before a massage?
Ideally, try to avoid eating for one to two hours' before the appointment and refrain from drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs.
• Can I exercise before or after my massage?
It is a great idea to have a massage after a strenuous workout. It will assist recovery by helping remove any lactic acid that builds up in the muscle during your workout, thus reducing fatigue and soreness.
Any exercise after massage should not be too tough or hardcore, and the massage itself will avoid deep tissue work and concentrate more on stretching.
• Should I tip?
Tipping is not necessary. The very best way to thank your practitioner is to schedule a repeat appointment and to spread the word. Testimonials for the website are always very welcome also.
• Can I buy a massage as a gift for a friend or family member?
Yes, gift vouchers are available and Gabe will ensure that a gift massage is an extra special experience for the recipient. She can also tailor a massage to suit any occasion or location. Ask for a quote.
• Can I receive a massage if I’m pregnant?
Gabe Stewart is not qualified to practise prenatal massage, however she may be able to share a list of names of suitable therapists. In any case, always consult with your doctor prior to receiving a prenatal massage.
Any inappropriate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or aggressive nature will result in the termination of the massage session.