Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to get undressed?

I want you to be completely comfortable and relaxed on the massage table, so how much clothing you remove is completely up to you and what makes you feel secure. Some people leave their underpants on for modesty, which is fine. Some people want to keep their socks on for warmth. I can always work around your choices. Having said that, if you want deeper work around the hips, I can access your muscles more easily without the hindrance of clothing. Likewise, Esalen style massage is about strokes that travel the full length of the body (e.g. foot to head), so wearing clothing means I have to skip over those parts, which defeats the purpose of the stroke. You will never be fully exposed. I always step out of the room while you undress and redress, and I cover you with sheets or towels so that only the body parts I'm working on are exposed, and to help you relax and keep you warm. I also have extra blankets to keep you comfortable.

How much of my body will be massaged?

When the client is seeking treatment for a specific injury or condition, the entire session may focus on a single area. There may also be a need to treat body areas that are adversely affected by injuries, such as when a sprained ankle causes the opposite leg to bear all the body's weight and stress of walking. For relaxation massages, the client and therapist should discuss and agree upon the areas to be massaged. A 'full body massage' may include the back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, face, scalp, chest (above the breasts for women), abdomen, and hips. If being massaged in certain areas causes you to feel uncomfortable, just let me know and I will adjust the massage accordingly. You should never accept a touch that feels wrong in any way or feel pressured to offer an explanation for such sensitivity.

What can I expect at my first session?

We'll spend the first 15 minutes doing a consultation during which you'll fill out a form with your health history, and we'll talk about any health issues and what you want to achieve in your session. I will leave the room so you can undress and get comfortable on the table. Your massage session begins when I re-enter the room. Afterwards you'll dress while I'm out of the room, have some water, and we'll talk for a few minutes about how the treatment was for you. The rest of the day is yours!

What do I do during the session?

Make yourself comfortable. Breathe. Close your eyes and relax. Some people like to talk during their session; others fall asleep. Feel free to ask me questions during your treatment or give me feedback. I may gently move your limbs and inform you about what is needed during the treatment.

What should I wear?

If you're here for a Thai Massage, you'll need to wear loose, breathable clothing for the session. Something you would wear to a yoga or exercise class that allows for movement is ideal. Long leggings or trousers are also helpful. You can bring your massage clothes to change into if you want, in case you are going back out to work, for example. It is also helpful if you can remove any jewelry before you get on the table or mat.

Will therapy hurt?

If at any time the treatment you are receiving is causing you too much discomfort, let me know so I can stop or ease off for a few minutes. Be open and let me know how you are feeling and your treatment will be a lot more enjoyable and productive. The old adage "no pain, no gain" is not relevant to massage therapy. Remember that it is your physical condition or dysfunction that is painful, not the treatment. You should feel better at the end of each treatment and the treatments will become more comfortable as your dysfunctions improve. After a session, you may feel some mild discomfort or muscle soreness for a few days until your body readjusts and heals itself.

Do you use oil or lotion?

For Therapeutic Massage I use a lotion called Massage F/X. It is non-scented and readily absorbs into the skin, which doesn't leave you feeling greasy. I sometimes add essential oils to the lotion before application. Please let me know if you have any sensitivities to these. No lubricants are used in Thai Massage as it is done through the clothing.

Should I eat before the massage?

It is best not to eat at least a half-hour before your session. You don't want to eat a full meal and then lie on a table, as your body will be focusing on digestion. Massage could possibly upset your stomach because of all the stroking, kneading, and pressure being applied to your back, in addition to causing the blood flow away from the stomach and towards the heart. If you need to eat something before coming in, keep it light. Afterwards, be sure to drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins.

How many sessions will I need? How often should I come in?

There is no magic number. Everyone's body is different and how often they come for massage depends on a variety of factors such as their schedule, budget, and the results they get from their treatment. If you are seeking massage treatment for remediation from a recent injury, it is usually recommend that the first two or three treatments be spaced every three to four days or weekly depending on the severity of the pain or dysfunction. For a long term dysfunction like arthritis, a monthly treatment is recommended until your condition is stabilized. For therapeutic treatments, most people find that once a month suits their needs, but some come more frequently.

How will I feel after my treatment?

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience relief from long-term aches and pains. Some people experience increased energy, awareness, and productivity after a treatment. Others may feel tired. Drinking water after a treatment will help flush waste products from your system that may have been released into the bloodstream during the session.

Is there parking?

Yes, there is free street parking in front of the building.

Is there a bathroom?

Yes, clients have access to a toilet in the house.

Do you offer concessions?

I offer discounts and free treatments for people who refer new clients, who book several sessions in advance, and who keep a loyalty card. Ask me for more details.

What if I'm under 16 years old?

I am happy to treat young people, but require the written consent of your parent or guardian.

Can I bring someone along?

I usually do not permit guests due to space restrictions, but if you require physical assistance and have someone accompanying you, the person may be in the room during your treatment or may wait outside the room. In order to ensure that you receive the full benefit and relaxation from your treatment, the person present must remain quiet and unobtrusive during your treatment.

What if I become sexually aroused?

Massage by its definition stimulates the senses and can feel quite intimate. It has physiological effects on the body, and the same massage techniques that alleviate stress and promote relaxation also stimulate the entire sensory mechanism, which may include a sexual arousal response. Therapeutic massage is itself, in the real sense of the word, sensual. There is a difference between sensual and erotic massage, however in common parlance they are all the same. Sensual massage is not sexual, and should be distinguished from erotic massage, which is sexual. I only offer professional, non-sexual therapeutic massage.

Are you qualified and insured?

Yes, I have several massage qualifications, including Swedish Massage, Reiki, Esalen Massage, and Thai Massage. My bodywork education spans over 500 hours with training in the USA and UK. Copies of my certificates are available in my studio. I am registered with the California Massage Therapy Council, the Yoga Alliance, and the City of San Diego. Professionalism is important to me and I adhere to a strict code of ethics.

Do you offer home visits?

Yes. I can travel to your location within the city limits of San Diego. I charge an additional $10 for any treatment provided as an out-call.

What are my payment options? Can I pay by debit/credit card?

I accept cash, checks, and credit/debit cards.

Will my insurance pay for my massage?

I do not bill insurance directly but can provide you with a receipt to submit with your claim form. You should discuss with your doctor and insurance provider whether massage is included in your plan.

Where are you located?

I work from my home studio in the Normal Heights (92116) area of San Diego.

When are you open?

I am available by appointment Tuesday-Saturday. My schedule changes from week to week so please contact me or see the online schedule to discuss a good time for your session.

Contact Details

Soma Healing Arts

San Diego, California

Tel: 858-220-3293


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