frequently asked questions...
If you're a first-timer, chances are pretty good you still have some questions. I'll try to answer the most common ones here.
1) What is shiatsu? How is it different from 'regular' massage?
"Shiatsu" (pronounced 'shee - ah - tzoo') is a Japanese word meaning, 'finger pressure'.
There's a lot that can be said about what it is, but as far as the receiver's experience is concerned, the primary differences you would notice are: a) You would be clothed, b) You might be on a mat on the floor (though I also use a massage table), c) You would feel more perpendicular, sustained pressure on your body from my thumbs, palms, or knees, as opposed to horizontal stroking along the body's surface, d) You would also feel rocking, stretching or holding on various parts of your body, or joint rotation interspersed with the pressure.
And, e).. Many of my clients say they can't really describe why shiatsu feels different, only that they feel more relaxed, or that it somehow goes deeper and lasts longer than with other massages they've had.
For more about what's behind shiatsu, please visit the blog....!
2) I like really deep tissue work. Is that what you do? (Conversely, I've heard shiatsu is painful. Is that true?)
The work is usually gentle, but the pressure can be deep and penetrating for some and when needed.
For others, however, it never quite gets deep enough. I have found that those who may follow a more 'no pain-no gain' approach to their bodies have a higher pain threshold (mentally), needing much deeper work to feel relief.
Personally, I don't equate 'deeper' or 'painful' necessarily with 'effective' ... and in many cases, deep pressure that's trying to push past those barriers can have the opposite effect on tissue - tightening up more and even injuring, rather than releasing.
The intention of shiatsu (and my practice as a whole), also in contrast to some 'regular' massage, is not directed to releasing 'knots' in tight muscles, but to address the underlying imbalanced energetic, postural and tension patterns causing the knots in the first place.
3) How long of a session should I schedule?
The standard session length is an hour. This is generally enough time to cover the whole body, which is ideal, as everything is related.
90 minute sessions are good for those who want the extra time, allowing for slower work and more focus on specific areas. It can also include some movement instruction to do at home as a supplement to the work.
30 minute sessions are good for focus in specific areas excluding the rest of the body, or in the case of a shiatsu 'facial' or foot massage. (These can also be added on to a bodywork session- see 'add-on's when you book online.)
4) How many times/how often should I come?
This depends on your own heath goals and what role you see me playing in that.
Many folks come regularly (weekly, monthly, seasonally) for tune-ups, maintenance... mostly as a means of keeping up with life's mayhem. Others come to work on a specific issue or to deal with a more acute stressor (ie. overcoming long-term illness, holidays, major life transitions, etc).
I try to encourage my clients to see the bodywork as one part of their self-care picture, which ideally includes more movement. To that end, I offer qigong and Restorative Movement classes and personal training sessions.
5) What's a session with you like?
Visit this page for an overview of a typical session.
6) What is your background?
You can read more about me here.... :)
7) What experiences have others had with your work?
8) I have this _______________ condition. Can bodywork help with that? Or, I'm still not really sure what to schedule for… can you advise?
Sure, you can fill out the mini-consult form below, email me or call and we can discuss your situation.
Some final words....
... I'm just a small part of the equation.
What I do is begin a process in your body - creating better conditions for its own healing capabilities. (Like a doctor who will place a broken bone into a cast. He/she is only creating better circumstances for your body to knit the bones back together. Not that I'm a doctor. I hope you get my point. :)
It's also important to understand that your body - as it is right now - is the sum total of what you've been doing with it throughout life. And most importantly, what you do the MOST of. I know that's obvious to most people. But we still tend to believe somehow that just taking supplements or eating a salad once a week, is going to offset the effects of a junky diet the rest of the time. Or, that an hour at the gym or one or two bodywork sessions is going to magically undo years of daily postural habit.
I say this, not to expect you to commit to working with me for eternity (unless you want to), but to invite you to learn more about how your body got to where it is, and to encourage you that you CAN can improve your current condition given the right knowledge, the right tools, and a willingness to pay attention throughout the day.
It can be hard work, yes… but it's not so much about doing even more things, as it is about doing what you're already doing differently, which first requires thinking differently.
So, if you're wondering if this work if right for you, or what I may or may not be able to bring to your situation, feel free to fill out this mini-consult form, and I can give you some feedback, make suggestions or continue the consultation.
If you're on the fence about working together, no problem. But I will invite you to hang out a bit - read the blog, or better yet, sign up for my email newsletter, using the form at the top of the right column.
One more question:
How can I hang on to feel-good after my shiatsu session just a little longer?