Alyssia Abbott -
What do I need to do the day of my appointment?
For best results take a hot shower or bath before coming in; the heat will loosen up your muscle tissue and make your body more responsive to massage. 

What do people normally wear for massages and spa treatments?
One of the main goals of massage is to make you feel relaxed. For this reason I ask that you disrobe to your comfort level for a massage. This can mean something different for everyone. The less you wear the easier it is for the therapist to provide a thorough massage but your comfort is the most important thing. Bear in mind you will always be modestly draped for your privacy. For most spa treatments I will provide disposable underwear which may be worn for the treatment. Most spa treatments such as body wraps and scrubs can be quite messy and your own undergarments could be stained with spa products if worn.
What is the difference between therapeutic massage and relaxation massage?
Relaxation massage is a basic form of massage performed by certificate holders and beauty therapists. Remedial therapists can also use these basic techniques but have more extensive training to address dysfunction in the soft tissues of the body. Therapeutic Massage encompasses a range of techniques including stretching and trigger point therapy. For people with extensive trigger points (knots), scar tissue or fascial binding this can sometimes be slightly painful at times, but afterward the client will usually notice a marked improvement in the overall feeling and function of those muscles.
What does a full body massage include?
The term 'full body massage' does not actually mean that the therapist will be working on every part of the body. Most full body massages will include the legs, buttocks, back, arms, and neck. At Point of Balance Bodywork I always inquire if there are areas which the client is uncomfortable having massaged. In the course of a therapeutic massage some areas may be found to need more attention than others and may take precedent over a less tense or injured muscle group. Some clients may also have special requests for work in other areas (feet, abdomen) and I will attempt to work those into the session.
Are there any times when I should NOT have a massage?
Yes. While massage is a wonderful treat for most of us there are times when it is contraindicated. Having massage at these times can pose risks or exacerbate an existing condition. Here are the most commonly encountered contraindications.
  • Do not have a massage if you have a fever, a cold, or flu like symptoms. Not only are you risking spreading the sickness to your therapist and other clients you can also make your cold or flu a longer and more miserable experience. The increased circulation caused by massage can spread your infection within the body, making it harder for your body to burn it off.
  • Do not have a massage if you have a lymphatic disorder or cancer, without first consulting your physician. On some occasions increased circulation of the lymph can exacerbate or spread these conditions.
  • Do not have massage if you have inflamed muscles. If you have an injury which is swollen, red, or warm to the touch massage will only aggravate the injury. Common treatments for inflammation are ice, rest, and elevation, but always seek advice from a qualified medical professional before attempting any treatments.
There are also some conditions which require a revised type of massage. In most of these cases massage can still be performed either on parts of the body not affected, or with lighter pressure.
Conditions where light pressure massage can be performed:
  • Very high blood pressure
  • First trimester of pregnancy
  • Osteoporosis
Conditions where the affected area is not to be massaged:
  • Varicose veins
  • Broken bones/ torn muscles or tendons
  • Open wounds
  • Skin rashes/ severe acne
If you are unsure whether massage is right for you, consult your physician before booking an appointment.