How Long of a Massage Appointment Should I Schedule?

background-1206941_1920If you have never had a massage before, looking at a full menu of massage options might seem kind of intimidating. Or maybe you’ve just always had “a massage” and didn’t really consider the benefits beyond relaxation. Here are some short descriptions of the types of massage I offer, and what I feel we can accomplish during specific appointment times.

Chair Massage

Chairs_vortex_mcYou may have seen this type of massage at any assortment of locations, from offices to sports events. A specially designed chair allows you to sit relaxed and fully clothed, leaning forward into a cushioned face cradle. From that position, the massage therapist can work on your back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck and head. In some instances, it’s possible to turn and face the other way in the chair for work on legs and feet.

How Long Should I Schedule?

At events, most chair massages average around 5 to 10 minutes. Even just a few minutes can be helpful in improving circulation, loosening stiff muscles, and relieving pain. In my office, or traveling to people’s homes with my massage chair, longer sessions are possible, averaging 15-30 minutes.

  • 5 Minutes: Great for a quick pick-me-up, relieving work related shoulder and neck tension, focusing on one problem area, like sore shoulders, a stiff neck, achy upper back, or even just forearms and hands.
  • 10 Minutes: You may be surprised at how much better a 10 minute massage can make you feel! Great for working on shoulders, neck and upper back, or the entire back down into the low back area. If you do a lot of work with your hands, 10 minutes working from your shoulders down to your hands can be wonderful.
  • 15-20 Minutes: I like this length for doing some deeper work on shoulders and the entire back. Clients with chronic back pain who maybe can’t afford weekly full massages may benefit from coming in for shorter sessions in the chair to work on those tight back muscles.
  • 20+ Minutes: Lots of time to pay more attention to multiple problem areas. It’s a little easier to get the full back, neck and shoulders in, work on arms and hands, even get a little scalp massage in. If a client has a problem laying down on a massage table due to vertigo or breathing issues, etc, a longer session in the massage chair may be well suited to them.

Relaxation (Swedish) Massage

physiotherapy-567021_1280For a relaxation massage, I use the long, flowing, and soothing strokes of Swedish massage, adjusting the pressure of the strokes to suit you. When you just want to relax and let go, this is the massage for you. We don’t focus on a specific problem area, nor poke and prod at “knots” or tight spots. At most, I may adjust the timing of the massage a little bit so I can spend more time on tired feet or achy shoulders, but nothing intense. This massage is just about relaxing, reducing stress, and improving your outlook on life.

How Long Should I Schedule?

  • 30 Minutes: It is possible to leave a 30 minute massage feeling relaxed and refreshed. However, given the shorter appointment length, I recommend focusing the massage on the upper body so that we aren’t just speeding through your massage to get to all the parts.
  • 60 Minutes: This is an average length relaxation massage. We have time to get the full body from head to toes, and you can really sink in to the relaxation.
  • 90-120 Minutes: A long massage session allows for deep relaxation and restorative rest. One hour of massage equals three hours of restorative sleep, so with a two hour massage, you’re getting pretty close to the effects of a full night’s sleep. In addition, I have time to really slow down those slow, soothing Swedish massage strokes, allow you the full benefit of their positive effects on your nervous system.

Therapeutic/Deep Tissue Massage

massage-2333201_1920With this type of massage, while we’re not completely ignoring relaxation, we’re focused on it less. There’s a bit more “poking and prodding”, as I seek out “knots”, tight muscles, and sore spots and spend time on those areas. We’ll talk more as I ask you to let me know when something hurts and when it starts to ease up. I might include stretches for your arms or legs, or ask you to move a body part against resistance, or while I put pressure on a specific muscle. This massage is about improving your mobility, releasing tension and relieving pain.

How Long Should I Schedule?

  • 30 Minutes: While it’s possible to get some good therapeutic work done in 30 minutes, we’d definitely want to limit it to just a particular focus area, such as neck/shoulders.
  • 60 Minutes: In an hour, we can get most of a full body massage in, but due to the extra time I like to take doing some stretching, range of motion and deep tissue work on problem areas, we should consider focusing the therapeutic work to a particular problem area, such as neck/shoulders, or hips/glutes.
  • 90-120 Minutes: In 90 minutes, we can get in full body deep tissue massage and still get some stretches and range of motion work to both hips and shoulders/neck. Two hours is perfect for doing some nice, slow, detailed work on all problem areas, including hip and arm stretches, deep work on particular problem muscles, and some finishing soothing Swedish massage to relax and relieve pain.

Signature TLC Massage

massage, massage therapy, scalp massage, neck massageThis type of massage is geared primarily towards relaxation, but if there is a particularly painful problem are, most often the neck or upper back/shoulders, we can put a little extra focus or deep work into that area.

How Long Should I Schedule?

  • 30 Minutes: As with other types of massage, it is really not possible to get the full body massaged in 30 minutes. However, if you’re on a budget, we can get in an upper body massage with a little extra focus on your problem area and still give you a chance to relax a bit.
  • 60 Minute: Probably the most popular type of massage, you can get full body relaxation, with a little extra TLC on shoulders, neck, or even feet.
  • 90-120 Minutes: As with a pure relaxation massage, in 90 to 120 minutes, you will have plenty of time to sink into the massage and get deep relaxation. I can work really slowly into tight muscles and significantly reduce the pain response sometimes felt in deeper work.

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