Frequently Asked Questions

What does the term "bodywork" mean?
What is "energy-active" bodywork?
Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?
Must I be completely undressed?
Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe?
Will I be covered during the session?
What parts of my body will be massaged?
What will the massage or bodywork feel like?
Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?
What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?
What are the benefits of massage and bodywork?
Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?
 

What does the term "bodywork" mean?
"Bodywork" refers to any kind of hands-on or manual therapy for the body. Thus, massage is a form of bodywork, but not all bodywork is considered massage. Massage is a more active form of bodywork typically performed with the client unclothed. Other modalities, like, craniosacral balancing, reflexology, acupressure and energy medicine are all considered bodywork but not massage.

What is "energy-active" bodywork?
"The cell is a machine driven by energy. It can thus be approached by studying matter, or by studying energy. In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy." - Albert Szent-Györgyi (Nobel Laureate in Medicine)

When I use the word energy, I am referring to the life force within each and every living being. This force animates matter into living beings, propelling our blood, our breath, our digestion and allowing us to respond to the world through emotions and thought. When I use the term "energy-active bodywork," I mean that I am including in my awareness this aspect of the person with whom I am working. Matter and energy are interrelated, and I converse with both through my hands. By touching the structure of the body, energy is affected, and likewise, by touching into energy, the structure of the body is affected. 

Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

Must I be completely undressed?
Craniosacral sessions are performed with clothes on (soft is best, no jeans). When giving integrative massage, Bonnie typically uses cream and so it is easier if you are unclothed. It is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort, whatever that is. Being comfortable will help you relax and allow your body to let go. During a massage, you will always be under the sheet and properly draped - so that only the area that is being worked is uncovered - during the entire session.

Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe prior to a massage?
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet.

Will I be covered during the session?
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

What parts of my body will be massaged?
A typical full-body session will include work on your back, arms, legs and glutes, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders, and sometimes the abdomen or face. If you are uncomforatble receiving work in any of these areas, please let Bonnie know and she will gladly respect your preference.

What will the massage or bodywork feel like?
A relaxing Swedish massage is often a baseline for clients. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.

Craniosacral therapy is performed using very light touch, and is typically very relaxing. Clients may notice subtle sensations in the areas being worked, or in another area of their body. Sometimes this is coupled with particular thought patterns or memories, which is just another way you are processing the work.

Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more. We can discuss which methods may be most appropriate for you.

What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
Prior to the massage, feel free to ask the practitioner any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, or anything else relevant to the session. If you have any questions regarding the session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask.

How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days.

It is common to experience a period of integration after receiving bodywork, especially after craniosacral and subtle energy therapies. For the next 36-48 hours you may experience different body sensation, slight achiness or soreness, more vivid dreams, insights into personal process or creative endeavors, or emotional releases. These are all just ways that your body and mind are integrating the work you have done, and things will calm down and feel even better after a couple days. 

What are the benefits of massage and bodywork?
Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being.

Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?
Yes. That's why it's imperative that, before you begin your session, the practitioner asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required.

Please be sure to notify Bonnie if you have any heart conditions, or if you currently have any conditions in which it would be harmful to change fluid pressures in the head, such as recent stroke, cerebral aneurism, meningitis, or herniation of the medulla.

 

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