Am I allowed to get a massage with my condition?

Massage therapy can be beneficial — however, there are certain “contraindications” or conditions that massage may interact negatively with. If you are ever unsure, please consult a doctor before receiving treatment. Here’s a list that will give you a better idea of when your massage may need to wait, or when certain areas may need to be skipped.


General Contraindications

Sometimes massage is completely contraindicated, it’s a bummer, but these conditions compromise your safety or ours during treatment.

These include:

  • Systemic contagious or infectious diseases, including the common cold

  • Acute conditions requiring first aid or medical attention

  • Severe unstable hypertension

  • Significant fever

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or severe nausea

  • Contagious skin conditions

Local Contraindications

For local contraindications, we avoid parts of the body that currently have conditions such as:

  • Acute flare-up of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis

  • Deep vein thrombosis

  • Aneurism

  • Frostbite

  • Local irritable skin conditions

  • Open sores or wounds

  • Recent surgery

  • Recent burn or sunburn

  • Varicosities

  • Malignancy


What is a full body massage?

During a full body massage, we address the standard areas people like to have worked on. Those include: Scalp, face, neck, shoulders, pectoral muscles, arms, hands, fronts of the legs, feet, backs of the legs, and back. Gluteal muscles and abdominal muscles can be massaged while properly draped as well.


Will I be covered up during my Massage?

Absolutely 100% yes. We use a flat top sheet, and blanket for every massage to protect your modesty. In massage therapy school the art of ‘draping’, or carefully and professionally placing the covers around the areas we’re working on, is taught with much care and attention.

We are held to strict standards of professionalism by the Missouri Board of Massage Therapy. By their standards EVERY massage therapist licensed and working in Missouri is required to “ Provide appropriate draping during treatment which includes draping at the gluteal cleft and genitals on males and females and the breasts on females”.

What kind of massage should I book?

We make finding your ideal treatment simple. Our integrated massage option allows us to customize your treatment every time you visit. We’ll sit down before your session and discuss things such as pressure, techniques, and focus areas to determine how you would like to spend your time. We can also make excellent recommendations  if you aren’t sure what you want.

As far as time goes, we generally recommend booking at least an hour-long session for clients that wish to do full body treatments.

What can I expect at my first appointment?

When You Arrive:

  • After you fill out your client intake form, your therapist will give you a chance to grab some water or use the restroom before heading to the treatment room. Here, we’ll discuss your goals for your massage, as well as what kind of pressure and techniques we’ll use.

  • Next, your therapist will leave the treatment room so you can disrobe and get onto the table. You can disrobe to your comfort level- which may be completely, or partially, or not clothed. It is up to you. Once disrobed, you’ll get onto the massage table - your therapist will have given instructions to lay either face-up or face down. Make sure you are underneath the top sheet and blanket before your massage therapist re-enters the treatment room.  Your massage therapist will give you a few minutes for this process, then they will knock on the door before returning.

During Your Massage:

  • Once your therapist is back in the room and the massage begins, you may feel so relaxed that you just don’t feel like chatting, and that is completely fine! Or you may feel like talking through your whole massage, and that’s fine too. This experience is all about you, so relax and talk, or not! We’ll follow your lead.

  • The technique massage therapists use to move the sheet/blanket to expose different parts of your body during massage is called Draping. Your massage therapist is trained to drape properly, to ensure your modesty is respected. Only parts of your body being massaged will be undraped.

  • A variety of products may be used during your massage, such as oils, creams, and essential oils. Please be clear with your massage therapist about sensitive skin reactions or allergies you may have.

  • If at any time the massage feels uncomfortable, please let your therapist know. We want to give you the best treatment we possibly can!

After Your Massage:

  • Once your massage is finished, your therapist will let you know, and exit the treatment room. At this time you will slowly sit up from the table, and then re-dress. Feeling like you just woke up from a nap is normal, in fact some people actually fall asleep during massage. Your therapist will be waiting outside of the treatment room when you’re ready to come back to the real world.

  • After treatment we like a ask a few questions to see how you feel, and jot down any notes for your next visit.  We’ll let you know what we felt during your massage, answer questions you may have, and give aftercare suggestions.

  • As you leave, remember to STAY RELAXED. Massage is a wonderful opportunity to feel the healing effects of touch, and relaxation. Hold on to that feeling by scheduling the rest of the day off after your massage. You deserve it!


Can you guys do really firm pressure?

There are a couple of things we ask clients to consider before we go full on ‘Incredible Hulk’.

1) Are you ok with being sore tomorrow and possibly the next day? Firm massage when done properly shouldn’t be so painful that clients hold their breath. However, even pressure that feels moderate can cause tenderness after a massage.

2) Do you actually need that much pressure, or is your body in so much pain that having an elbow directly in your rhomboid feels soothing compared to your existing tension? If we think that the pressure you’re asking for can make your problems worse, we will be honest.

If none of this is a worry, then heck yeah, we do firm pressure. For clients who need a heavier-handed touch, we recommend Ben! You can book an appointment with him here.


What do I wear during my massage?

Whatever makes you comfortable. We let our clients know at the beginning of their first massage that they are welcome to disrobe completely, or leave on any articles of clothing that they want. We will keep you completely covered where you need to be.


What do I do during a massage?

Sleep, chat, daydream, do what feels comfortable as long as you’re letting yourself RELAX.


What was that spot? Was that a knot? What is a knot?

Muscle ‘knot’ is kind of a terrible term to describe what’s really going on. More accurately, we call those spots ‘adhesions’ where the many layers of muscles and connective tissue become dehydrated and tight from stress and overuse, causing those layers to kind of get ‘stuck’ together.

Imagine layers of clothing - you’re wearing a winter coat over a sweater, over a long sleeved shirt. Imagine the sleeve on your long sleeved shirt becomes twisted and bunched up, making your sweater over the shirt fit uncomfortably, and also causing your winter coat to not feel like it’s fitting correctly. If you actually rub the surface of the arm of your coat, you can feel a bump beneath the layers of fabric. Muscle adhesions feel similar while we’re massaging our clients. What we do is smooth out those layers using different techniques to reach different layers to leave your tissues feeling soft and mobile again.


Do I have to listen to whale calls or pan flutes during my massage?

We have some delightful new age stations on Pandora if you’re into nature sounds and soothing music. If that’s not for you, we are always open to finding a different station. Just ask before your session and we’d be glad to customize your music.


What products do you use during massage?

We use a variety of Biotone and Bon Vitale gels, lotions, and creams. If you have any skin sensitivities or allergies please mention them to your therapist before your session begins.


How often should I get massage?

That varies from person to person. Consider what your goals are; are you wanting to help with chronic pain and tension? That would call for more frequent, sometimes weekly sessions until you’re feeling better. Are you wanting to relax and do general maintenance? In that case, most people choose a monthly visit.


Will my massage hurt, and will I be sore afterwards?

If you circle medium or firm pressure on your intake form, then tenderness during your massage and soreness afterward is possible. It’s tough to say for certain, especially for clients who’ve never had a massage before. With proper warming of the muscles before using deep tissue techniques, we can avoid causing delayed soreness.


How much should I tip?

Firstly, gratuity is never required but always appreciated. For clients who would like to leave a tip, think of it like a trip to a restaurant - 15%-20% is common. If your appointment was discounted, remember to leave gratuity based on the original price of the treatment.

Can children receive massage?

Massage can be wonderful for all kinds of people, children included! At Life is Sweet, we ask that all clients under the age of 18 have a parent present for the appointment. Minors can choose whether parents join them in the treatment room or not, but a legal guardian does need to be in the building. We strongly recommend starting with 30 minute appointments for children who have never received professional massage therapy.


Do you offer couples massage?

We can't do two massages in the same room, because our current office is just too small. Hopefully someday we will be able to provide couples work!


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