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What’s Included in My Massage?

When it comes to getting your first massage, or even just your first with a new therapist, some people can get nervous not knowing what to expect from it. If this is putting you off booking a massage, then this blog is here to calm your nerves. You can read all about what to expect from your massage and what will be included.

How to prepare for your massage

Before you come in for a massage, there are certain things you can do to improve its effectiveness and make the experience more comfortable for you. You should make sure you are well hydrated, remembering to drink plenty of water the day or two before your massage.

Having a full stomach or full bladder during your massage could make you uncomfortable, so make sure you don’t eat too much right before the massage and that you go to the toilet before your session. Drinking alcohol the night before or on the day of the massage could also disrupt its effects and can be harmful.

What areas will be treated?

This will depend on the type of massage you go for and what you want from it. Some massages will cover the entire body while others will concentrate on smaller areas. Massage typically starts on your back and then moves down to your legs and then any other body parts involved in the massage.

If you have an injury that needs treating or anywhere that is particularly tight, then this can be focused on. You can discuss this with your massage therapist in a pre-session consultation with them, so they are aware of anything they need to know.

Most massages involve your massage therapist applying pressure directly with their hands and maybe their elbows for those tough spots. Others, however, may use other resources like hot stones for a hot stone massage or suction cups for cupping.

Available add-on services

There are various add-on services that are available with your massage, so you can ask your therapist about these before you start or when you book. One service that we include as standard with your massage is a head massage. This is an extremely relaxing form of massage that most people agree feels great! It has other benefits, too, like relieving headaches and promoting hair growth. However, you can ask for this to be skipped if you’re not comfortable with it.

If you have any more questions about our massage services and what to expect from them, then you can check out our FAQ page or get in touch with us online or by phone.

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Tips for First Massage Therapy Experience

Uses of massage therapy re different for each person. It may be a special treat you rarely experience, or it may be part of your weekly routine. Either way, you’ll have to experience the environment for the very first time. If you have questions about massage therapy etiquette, you’ve come to the right place.

Once you’ve decided to get a massage and chosen a massage therapist, you must be honest with yourself as to the reasons you’re getting a massage. This will help your therapist provide the best service.

If you have booked an appointment be sure to arrive about 10 minutes early for your first session. You may need the time to fill out some paperwork and meet your therapist.

Your visit will typically begin with a consultation with your massage therapist. Let them know the reasons why you’re there – pain relief, relaxation, or you just want to see what it’s all about – and they will be able to customize your appointment to help meet your needs.

One of the most common questions we hear is “What should I wear during my appointment?” This experience is all about your comfort, so come dressed however you like. During the session, you’re allowed to wear as many or as few items of clothing as you feel comfortable in. You will be fully covered during your session and we’ll accommodate you any way we can to help you feel more at ease.

Communication leads to relaxation. Your pre-session consultation will give your therapist an idea of the type of massage you need, but don’t be afraid to speak up during the session. Let them know if they are applying the right amount of pressure or if they are working in the right location. Our therapists are trained experts, but they can’t read your mind. Open communication will ensure the best massage experience possible. Communication could also help identify add-on services that will best enhance your massage.

After your massage, enjoy the feeling of rejuvenation. Hydration is typically recommended after a long massage session. If you appreciated and enjoyed your service, you can leave a gratuity for your masseuse. Don’t forget to book your next appointment before you leave! Having the experience and knowledge of the offerings fresh in your mind will allow you to book the ideal service for next time.

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What is a Deep Tissue Massage?

 

Almost everyone can agree that massages are amazing! They’re relaxing and beneficial in so many ways. But, it can get confusing when you go to book a massage and see all the different options available to you. Swedish massage, sports massage, deep tissue, shiatsu, Thai massage, cupping, reflexology. The list is almost as long as the history of massage itself. Each kind of massage has its own differences and benefits.

To help clear up some of the confusion, we’ll start with one of the kinds of massage you’ll probably have heard mentioned a lot – deep tissue massage.

What does a deep tissue massage involve?

A deep tissue massage, as the name suggests, targets deep into your muscle tissue. If you’ve ever had a Swedish massage, a deep tissue massage will be similar but often using a more intense and focused pressure. It targets existing areas of discomforts such as knots and tension in your muscles, so deep tissue massage typically targets a specific area rather than the whole body.

Who should get a deep tissue massage?

Since deep tissue massage focuses on existing tension or injury, it is not typically chosen by people who just want to relax. If you have a lot of tension in your shoulders and neck from sitting at a computer all day at work, or if you are recovering from an injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome, then deep tissue massage is the perfect option for you. It can help in treating pain of all sorts, including whiplash and other strains after a car accident and even pain associated with fibromyalgia.

What are its benefits?

Deep tissue massage helps to relieve the pain from conditions such as the ones listed above as well as speed up recovery from that injury or tension. There are a number of other benefits as well as this:

  • Improves mobility and flexibility
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Improves mood
  • Makes you feel more relaxed – mentally and physically!

Does deep tissue massage hurt?

Some people are put off from deep tissue massage because they don’t think they’ll be able to handle the pain. This should not be the case. It does use significant pressure, but this should cause discomfort at worst, not pain. If the pressure is too much for you, then you should tell your massage therapist and they can ease off. It is important that you stay relaxed throughout your massage for it to work effectively, so the pressure should never be painful as this will cause you to tense up.

If you’d like to book a deep tissue massage for yourself to see what it’s like, then contact us at Moonstone for massage services in Winston Salem, NC. Or you can buy one of our gift certificates as the perfect gift for a loved one.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Best Time for a Massage

 

I bet you wish you could have a massage every day but, in reality, you probably don’t have the time or money to fit this in. So, if you just want to treat yourself every now and again to a relaxing massage, when are the best times to do it?

When you’re experiencing stress

Massage is incredibly effective at relieving stress, so if you’re under a lot of stress at home or at work, or if you’re planning an event such as a wedding that’s proving to be a major source of stress, then a massage is the perfect solution to get you through it. A massage helps you to relax and can improve your sleep quality, and it has been shown to actually reduce the levels of cortisol in your body – that’s the hormone that makes us feel stressed.

Before or after exercise

If you’re preparing to run a race or have just had a particularly hard session at the gym, massage can help you in both situations. Firstly, it can help to prepare your body for intense exercise, making your muscles more flexible and reducing the risk of injury. After exercise, massage helps to speed up recovery and reduce muscle soreness by increasing the blood flow to the area being massaged, which means that more oxygen and essential nutrients are delivered to your muscles.

While you’re pregnant

Pregnancy puts a great demand on your body and can also be a stressful time for expecting mothers. Prenatal massage helps to make your pregnancy less stressful and painful. Massage helps to reduce the swelling around your joints and nerves, which may be under a lot more pressure during pregnancy, reducing joint pain, nerve pain, and back pain. It also helps to regulate hormones, which can have a positive effect on your mood and stress levels, while the relaxing nature of the massage also helps to reduce tension and improve sleep quality.

When you’re celebrating

There doesn’t need to be a source of stress or pain in your life for you to treat yourself or your loved ones to a massage. Maybe you’re just celebrating a special event and want to reward yourself. Couples massages, for example, are a great idea for celebrating an anniversary or valentine’s day. Or, you could treat a friend or family member to a massage for their birthday with one of our gift certificates.

If you fit into any of the above categories and want to treat yourself to a massage, or if you don’t need an excuse to do so, then you can book with us online or get in touch if you have any questions.

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How to Choose a Massage Therapist

So, you want to book a massage, whether that’s a one-off or a regular appointment. But, you want to make sure that you’re booking with someone that you can really trust. How do you go about choosing a massage therapist that is an expert in their field, will make you feel comfortable, and won’t rip you off for their services? Read on for a list of things to consider when looking for your massage therapist.

Their qualifications

One of the most important things is that you find a massage therapist who knows what they’re doing. You don’t want to be massaged by an amateur, so look on their website to see what qualifications they have listed.

Where they’re located

You probably don’t want to travel miles and miles for a massage, both for convenience and cost reasons. So, it’s important that you consider massage therapists that are located close enough to you so that you can easily get there.

What massages they offer

If you want a specific type of massage, then you need to check that it is offered by that massage therapist. You may even want to look for a therapist that is specialized in that kind of massage. If you’re looking for a general relaxation massage or a Swedish massage, for example, then you will find that most massage therapists offer these, while others will be rarer, such as prenatal massage.

How much experience they have

Did they just open shop yesterday or have they been practicing their trade for years? This doesn’t mean that a newly qualified massage therapist won’t be trustworthy or skilled, but some people would prefer to choose one with more experience. It all depends on what your priorities are when choosing a massage therapist.

Their price

You shouldn’t base your entire decision on who’s the cheapest, but you still want to make sure that their services are within your price range, so check their prices for different massages and whether they offer any discounts or packages. If the prices aren’t listed on their website, then you can contact them directly to inquire.

Customer reviews

If they’ve been practicing massage therapy for a while, then you should be able to find some client reviews or testimonials, either on their website, their social media pages, or independent review websites like Yelp. What their customers say about them can tell you a lot about the kind of service they provide.

Once you’ve done all your research on potential massage therapists, take into consideration which factors are most important to you and then weigh up which therapist is best suited to your needs. If you’re located in or around Winston Salem, NC, then Moonstone Massage is a great choice. Check out our website or get in touch if you need help when performing the above research on our company.

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Should You Try Hot Stones?

Massage therapy is a great tool for relaxation and healing. Hot stones are commonly used to supplement muscle relaxation. Even if you routinely visit a massage therapist, introducing hot stones may take your experience to the next level.

Most people are hesitant to try hot stones because they either believe they have no benefits, or they imagine they will be burned. However, with over 2,000 years of history in aiding healing and treatment, the hot stone is more than reliable.

While the stock image for a hot stone massage shows stones placed (stationary) directly onto dry skin, this is not proper technique. All massage therapists are extensively trained in the techniques they use. Skin will typically be protected by a towel or cloth, and oils are often applied to the stone or skin as well. Your therapist will likely keep the stones moving to properly disperse the heat.

Another common misconception is that stones are used for deep tissue treatment. In reality, hot stones are a supplemental treatment primarily intended to aid in muscle relaxation, which makes it easier for your massage therapist to accurately work the muscles.

Pain relief and increased circulation are also regularly cited as benefits of hot stones. These smaller issues could be causing larger ones, like fatigue or a build up of lactic acid in the muscles (that’s what makes you sore after a hard workout!). So if you’re looking to relax, feel better physically and mentally, and make the most of your massage session, try adding hot stones.

To ensure health and safety of every client, consult with your massage therapist before using hot stones if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune dysfunctions
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuropathy
  • Heart disease
  • Skin conditions
  • Recent surgeries
  • Pregnancy

If you’re looking to release tight muscles, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, or increase your overall physical and psychological health, consider adding hot stones to your next table massage. Book an appointment today!

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5 Myths About Massage Therapy

What do you think about massage therapy? There are plenty of myths and misconceptions floating around that might have put you off getting a massage in the past, but we’re here to put them to bed once and for all.

It will hurt

If you have a low tolerance for pain, then don’t assume that massage isn’t for you. Different massages use varying levels of pressure, so while some may cause some discomfort, others are simply soothing and relaxing. Even high-pressure massage like Swedish massage and sports massage should never cause too much pain. If the pressure being applied is too much for you, you should let your massage therapist know and they will ease off.

You’ll be sore the next day

Similarly, some people have this misconception that if you’re not sore the next day, the massage wasn’t done properly. Some people may feel some soreness in their muscles the next day, especially the first time receiving a massage, but this is not always the case. If you receive massages on a regular basis, you are unlikely to feel sore the day after.

You have to take your clothes off

When massages are shown on film and television, the person receiving the massage is normally led on the table naked with only a towel to cover their dignity. If you’ve been avoiding massages because you don’t like the idea of this, then don’t worry. Different kinds of massage allow you to leave on different amounts of clothes if you choose, there are even options for fully clothed massages. While others require more access to your skin, you should still be able to keep your underwear on, and the massage therapist will leave the room while you undress.

The benefits of massage are only temporary

A massage may feel amazing while you’re receiving it and make you feel relaxed for the rest of the day, but it’s a common misconception that the benefits end there. Massage actually has long-term benefits, including improving your flexibility and mobility over time as it can retrain your muscles, also setting them up to recover more quickly next time you suffer an injury or complete a tough workout.

All massages are the same

A massage is a massage, so you might as well go for the cheapest, right? Actually, there are significant differences between the different types of massages and the benefits they offer. The massage you choose should depend on your motivation for getting one. Are you stressed? Suffering from chronic pain? Recovering from an injury? There’s a right kind of massage for you. Check out our services to see the different kinds of massage we offer. It’s also important that you select a massage therapist that is properly trained and that you feel comfortable with, as this will help you relax during the treatment.

Now that we’ve got those myths out of the way, feel free to get in touch with us at Moonstone Massage to book your massage in Winston Salem, NC.

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What is Cupping?

 

There are a variety of different massage techniques that help you feel more relaxed and provide you with lots of physical benefits. One of the more unusual therapies you might have seen is cupping therapy. If you’re not sure what cupping is and how it works, then read on to learn all about it.

What is it?

Cupping seems like it’s the latest trend in alternative medicine and massage therapy, but it has actually been around for thousands of years, as far back as ancient Egyptian times.

Cupping involves your massage therapist heating a glass cup, although other materials are used, by setting it alight. This might sound scary, but don’t worry! The flame is left to go out and then the cup is applied to your skin, creating a vacuum inside the cup as it cools down. The result is that your skin is effectively sucked up in into the cup.

The skin that is being “cupped” will become red as your blood vessels in that area expand from the pressure. Typically, anywhere from 1-7 cups are placed on your skin and are left there for a few minutes before being removed.

What are the benefits of cupping?

Cupping is commonly used as a form of deep tissue massage. It can help to relieve muscle pain and speed up recovery after exercise by increasing the blood flow to the affected area. Like other forms of massage, cupping also has a relaxing effect on most patients, which can lead to associated benefits such as lower stress levels and finding it easier to get to sleep at night.

As well as these benefits, the British Cupping Society states that cupping can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including migraines, high blood pressure, acne, varicose veins, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Any side effects?

The main side effect of cupping is that you’ll be left with dark, circular marks where the cups were applied to your body. These may look strange, but they will fade over time and should be completely gone after 7-10 days. These areas may also feel slightly bruised, although they are not technically bruises.

If not treated properly by a fully-trained therapist, the cupped areas can be susceptible to skin infection. Your therapist may use an antibiotic ointment on the area to prevent this.

Here at Moonstone, we offer cupping therapy to patients in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Get in touch with us to book a session or to find out more about our therapies and treatments. If a friend or family member is interested in cupping or another one of our treatments, then you can also buy a gift certificate for our services.

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Reflexology 101

 

Reflexology is one of the many types of massages that we offer at Moonstone Massage, but not everyone really understands what it is. So, let’s get to know a bit more about reflexology so you can see if it is right for you.

What is reflexology?

The roots of reflexology can be traced back to ancient times in both Egypt and China. It is a holistic therapy that involves applying pressure to specific points of the feet that are thought to connect to the entire body. Targeting these points triggers specific nerves that affect other parts of your body via meridians, or lines of energy. This practice is used to address imbalances in your body that can lead to tension, pain, and a variety of health problems.

What are its benefits?

Reflexology treatment has a number of benefits and it can be used to treat various different ailments. Let’s look at some of the key benefits.

Improves circulation – As with all kinds of massage, the stimulation of a specific area helps to stimulate blood flow around the body. This has a number of benefits, including delivering more oxygen to recovering muscles and speeding up the removal of toxins from your bloodstream.

Relaxation Reflexology also helps to promote relaxation and reduce stress. The results are like a full body massage, despite only focusing on your feet, and is a very soothing and relaxing process. These relaxing effects can also help you sleep better at night.

Reduces pain Blockages along your body’s meridians is thought to be the cause of pain and even illness, so stimulating these energy lines helps to reduce the amount of pain you are feeling. Massaging the nerve endings involved in reflexology also helps to promote the body’s self-healing ability to help you recover from injury and illness.

Who should get reflexology?

Reflexology is beneficial to all kinds of people. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or just a tough gym session, reflexology can help to ease your pain and speed up the recovery process. It is also an effective treatment for anyone who suffers from headaches or migraines on a regular basis, helping to ease this pain and reduce any tension that might be causing them in the first place.

People who suffer from anxiety or sleep problems can also benefit from the relaxation and stress reducing benefits of reflexology. It is even used as a supplementary treatment for cancer patients, helping to ease their pain and reduce side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy, including nausea and vomiting.

If reflexology sounds right for you, then you can get in touch with us to book your appointment. Whether it’s your first massage or you’re a regular, come and visit us in Winston Salem, NC.

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Benefits of massage for fitness enthusiasts

If you are a fitness enthusiast, you know that your body needs just as much rest as it does exercise. Off days and stretching are always good, but you may not have thought about massage as a great way to take care of your body too. Your body will be able to rest much more effectively with a massage. Muscles and joints both benefit from a restorative massage. At Moonstone Massage Therapy, we take pride in our work and really get to know each and every client that comes through the door. We can tailor your massage to help your body recover by focusing on where you may need it most. If you recently had a rough leg day, let us know and we can be sure to focus more on the sore and tight muscles.

 

Massage for fitness

Massage is a great way to help your muscles recover. If you are doing some intense physical training, your muscles, joints and even your mind could use some rejuvenation. A soothing massage is well known for helping ease tight or tired muscles. Working those knots out or any stiffness from changing up your workout can make you feel renewed. Getting regular massages can really help your body recover more efficiently in the long term. Your range of motion can be improved and you can feel much more mentally prepared. After all, sometimes just starting the workout is half the battle. Fitness is just as much about your mindset as it is about your body.

 

It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is either. You don’t have to be a part of an intense fitness program in order to see results by adding massage. You could be an older adult that walks for their exercise or a younger high school athlete. The benefits are for anyone who has implemented regular fitness into their lives. Any form of exercise can leave your muscles aching.

 

Massage helps work out any stiffness and also triggers your body’s self healing hormones. Even one massage today can help. As with anything, the more you repeat it the better the benefits. With regular massage you will feel much more capable physically and emotionally. You may even find that you enjoy working out more knowing you have a massage to look forward to later in the week. Even if your workout doesn’t leave you sore your body is still experiencing wear and tear. This can really be detrimental to your body in the long run, which is why we feel massage should be a key component to anyones fitness plan. The rejuvenating effects of massage are endless. Not only does it help your muscles lose their tightness and help you mentally relax, but it will help improve your circulation. Better circulation means a healthier body.

Cupping is also extremely beneficial to those serious about their fitness. Check out our blog post What is Cupping? for more information.

 

If you are in the Winston-Salem area, please visit us at Moonstone Massage Therapy. We would be more than happy to discuss with you what a typical massage session with us looks like and how we can help you.