Q: What is massage therapy?
Manipulation of soft tissue done by kneading , pressing, rubbing, friction, effleurage, petrissage, or tapodaments of the soft tissues which include skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and connective tissues, for increasing circulation, reducing toxins from the lymphatic system, providing oxygen and nutrients to discomfort. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage but may also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure techniques. Each therapist has their own technique. Therapy may be aided by hydrotherapy, thermal therapy, an electrical or mechanical device or the application of a chemical or herbal preparation to the human body.

Q: What is a massage therapist?
A licensed massage therapist is a person trained and licensed by their state to perform massage therapy services for compensation. Some states recognize them as health care practitioners. The majority of states now require licensure. Licensed Massage Therapist is a title preferred and legalized in some states, while other massage professionals use different titles. The title of bodyworker is used in many areas or states as well. Criteria for one to be licensed and or certified vary from state to state. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork has now certified many therapists on a National level.

Q: Are there many types of massage?
There are nearly 100 different massage and body work techniques. Each technique is uniquely designed to achieve a specific goal. There are too many different types of massages to list- but here are a few:

Swedish massage. A gentle, soft, soothing massage – a traditional feel-good rubdown. Swedish massage employs long, soft strokes on the more delicate and bony parts of the body which makes this type of massage very relaxing. Kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping and pressure techniques are used to enhance the flow of blood to the heart, remove waste products used to help relax and energize you from the tissues, stretch ligaments and tendons, and ease physical and emotional tension.

Deep-tissue massage. This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.

Sports massage. Often used on professional athletes and other active individuals, sports massage can enhance performance and prevent and treat sports-related injuries. A vigorous warm up and stretch before and/or after a sports event. Sports massage should play an important part in the life of any sportsman or woman whether they are injured or not. Massage has a number of benefits which can be physical, physiological and psychological.

Trigger point massage. Pressure is applied to “trigger points” (tender areas where the muscles have been damaged) or sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries to alleviate muscle spasms and pain.

Aromatherapy massage: Essential oils from plants are massaged into the skin to enhance the healing and relaxing effects of massage. Essential oils are believed to have a powerful effect on mood by stimulating two structures deep in the brain known to store emotions and memory.

Craniosacral massage: Gentle pressure is applied to the head and spine to correct imbalances and restore the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in these areas.

Lymphatic massage: Light, rhythmic strokes are used to improve the flow of lymph (colorless fluid that helps fight infection and disease) throughout the body. One of the most popular forms of lymphatic massage, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), focuses on draining excess lymph. MLD is commonly used after surgery (such as a mastectomy for breast cancer) to reduce swelling.

Myofascial release: Gentle pressure and body positioning are used to relax and stretch the muscles, fascia (connective tissue), and related structures. Trained physical therapists and massage therapists use this technique.

On-site/chair massage: On-site massage therapists use a portable chair (table in some cases) to deliver brief, upper body massages to fully-clothed people in offices and other public places.

Polarity therapy: A form of energy healing, polarity therapy stimulates and balances the flow of energy within the body to enhance health and well-being.

Reflexology: Specialized thumb and finger techniques are applied to the hands and feet. Reflexologists believe that these areas contain “reflex points,” or direct connections to specific organs and structures, throughout the body.

Rolfing: Pressure is applied to the fascia (connective tissue) to stretch it, lengthen it, and make it more flexible. The goal of this technique is to realign the body so that it conserves energy, releases tension, and functions better.

Shiatsu: Gentle finger and hand pressure are applied to specific points on the body to relieve pain and enhance the flow of energy (known as qi) through the body’s energy pathways (called meridians). Shiatsu is widely used in TCM.

Integrative touch: A gentle form of massage therapy that uses gentle, non-circulatory techniques. It is designed to meet the needs of patients who are hospitalized or in hospice care.

Compassionate touch: Combines one-on-one focused attention, intentional touch, and sensitive massage with communication to enhance the quality of life for elderly, ill, or dying patients.

Q: How does massage work?
For centuries, human touch has been shown to be emotionally and physically healing. Particular massage techniques may either stimulate or calm the body’s muscles and tissues to create a desired effect. When a practitioner massages soft tissue, electrical signals are transmitted both to the local area and throughout the body. These signals, in combination with the healing properties of touch, help heal damaged muscle, stimulate circulation, clear waste products via the lymphatic system, boost the activity of the immune system, reduce pain and tension, and induce a calming effect. Massage may also enhance well-being by stimulating the release of endorphins (natural painkillers and mood elevators) and reducing levels of certain stress hormones.

The massage therapist often applies lotion or oil to the body to reduce friction, then generally applies pressure to different sections of the body. Let the therapist know if you experience any discomfort or if the massage is too vigorous for you.

Q: Are there any risks associated with massage?
In general, massage is considered relatively safe. Pain or other rare negative side effects are generally caused by an extremely vigorous massage technique. Women should be very cautious about receiving massages during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, be sure to find a therapist specifically trained to perform massages on pregnant women. Even though massage is a useful technique to help regulate blood sugar over time, if you have diabetes you should check your blood sugar after receiving a massage because it may be too low. Plus, if you have diabetes and you are receiving massage on a regular basis, you should check your blood sugar frequently to evaluate changes over time.

Q: What conditions are benefited with massage?
Massage is great for what ails you. Ask the average person what they think of when you say massage therapy and they most likely will mention getting sore or tight muscles rubbed, getting relaxed or reducing tension. These are probably the main reasons most people seek out massage treatments.

In general, massage is believed to support healing, boost energy, reduce recovery time after an injury, ease pain, and enhance relaxation, mood, and well-being. It is useful for many musculoskeletal problems, such as low back pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and sprains and strains. Massage may also relieve depression in people with chronic fatigue syndrome, ease chronic constipation (when the technique is performed in the abdominal area), decrease swelling after a mastectomy (removal of the breast), alleviate sleep disorders, and improve self-image. In the workplace, massage has been shown to melt away stress and enhance mental alertness. One study found that deep tissue massage reduced blood pressure levels (an average reduction of 10.4 mm Hg in systolic pressure and a diastolic pressure reduction of 5.3 mm Hg). Other studies show that massage may have immediate beneficial effects on pain and mood among patients with advanced cancer.

Clinical studies show that massage relieves chronic back pain more effectively than other treatments (including acupuncture and conventional medical care for this condition with education via books and videos) and, in many cases, costs less than other treatments. Mothers and newborns also appear to benefit from massage. Mothers trained to massage their infants often feel less depressed and have a better emotional bond with their babies. Newborns who receive massage from their mothers also tend to cry less, and are more active, alert, and sociable. Premature babies who receive massage therapy have been shown to gain weight faster than preemies who do not receive this type of therapy. Infants who receive massage regularly may also sleep better, be less gassy or colicky, and have better body awareness as well as more regular digestion.

Health problems that have responded successfully to neuromuscular therapy:
Arm and hand pain
Muscular tension
Athletic injuries
Muscular weakness
Back pain
Stiff neck
Neck and shoulder pain
Bodily stiffness
Nervous tension
Poor circulation
Equilibrium disorders
Postural distortions
Extremity numbness
Shin splints
Sinus disorders
Hip pain
Spinal distortion
Muscular cramping
Jaw Pain/TMJ
Sprain and strain
Joint immobility
Knee pain
Leg & foot Pain
Tennis elbow
Lowered vitality
Weak wrists
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Q: Will my condition benefit with frequent massages?
Tell us about any medications you are taking, as massage may influence absorption or activity of both oral and topical medications and might have a negative impact on your massage.
Acne, Dermatitis /Eczema, Moles, Acute Psoriasis, Skin Cancer, Actinic Keratosis/Solar Keratosis, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Sauamous Cell Carcinoma, Mild Sun Burn, Pre Bedsores Decubitus Ulcers, Subacute Stage of Scar Tissue, Ichthyosis, Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Spasms, Cramps, Strains, bone disorders, Osteoporosis, Paget’s Disease, Postural Diviations – Scoliosis, Lordosis, kyphosis, subacute dislocation, Gout, Chronic Osteoarthrites, Patellofemoral Syndrome, Osteoarthritis subacute stage, Spondylosis, sprains, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, Baker Cysts, Bursitis, Dupuytren’s Contracture/ Pulmar Fasciitis, Pes Planus, Planar Fasciitis, Tendinitis, Torticollis, Infant Torticollis, Spasmodic Torticollis, Wryneck, Stiff neck, Whiplash, Edema, Carpal Tunnel syndrome, Herniated Disc, Myasthenia Gravis, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, acute Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, Tremor, Polio, Post Polio Syndrome, Anxiety Disorders, General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress disorder, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, Phobias, Social Phobia, Specific Phobias, Depression, Chemical Dependency, Alcoholic, substance abuse, Neurotransmitter Imbalance, Hormonal Imbalance, Pituitary Aernal axis, Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Bipolar Disease, Seasonal Affective disorder, Postpartum Depression, Eating Disorders, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, compulsive Overeating, Bell/s Palsy, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Muscular, Tendinous, ligamentous injury, Tension Headaches, Headaches, Muscle Tension, Subluxation headaches, Fixation Headaches, Trigger Point Headaches, Vascular Headaches, Migraines, Cluster Headaches, Sinus Headaches, Chemical Headaches, Traction Inflammatory Headaches, Seizure Disorders, Partial Seizures, Simple Partial Seizures, Complex Partial Seizures, Generalized seizures, Absence Seizures, Tonic Clonic seizures, Myoclonic Seizures, Status Epilepticus Seizures, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea,Restless Leg Syndrome, Narcolepsy, Ciradian Rhythm Disruption, Anemia, Idiopathic Anemias, Nutritional Anemias, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Folic acid deficiency anemia, B12 Deficiency anemia, Pernicious Anemia, Nutritional Deficiencies, Hemorrhagic Anemias, Hemolytic Anemias, Aplastic Anemia, Secondary Anemias,Hypertension, Raynaud’s Syndrome, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Heart Murmurs, Mononucleosis, Chronic Fatique Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Immune Sysfunction Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Lupus Remission, Sinusitis, Asthma, Extrinsic Asthma, Intrinsic Asthma, Mixed Asthma, Occupational Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis,Emphysema, Remission Chrohn’s Disease, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease / GERD, Stress, Colorectal Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gallstones, Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperthyroidism, Hypoglycemia, Hypothyroidism, Kidney Stones/Renal Calculi, Nephrolithiases, Stagborn Calculus, Interstitial Cystitis, Urinary Tract Infection, Cervical Dysplasia, Cervical Cancer, Dysmenorrhea, Ovarian Cysts, Follicular Cysts, Corpus, Luteum Cysts, Polycystic Ovaries, Stein Leventhal syndrome, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostate Cancer, Menopause, Pregnancy, Premenstrual Syndrome, Constipation, Depression anxiety, arthritis, asthma & bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic & temporary pain, circulatory problems, depression, digestive disorders, headache, especially due to tension, insomnia, myofascial pain (where the muscles connect), reduced range of motion, sinusitis, sports injuries, stress, TMJ (noise and/or pain in the jaw joint), Hemorrhoids, Insomnia, Low Back Pain, Meningitis, Menstrual Pain, Migraine Headache, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Sexual Dysfunction, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Sinus Headache, Sinusitis, Sleep Apnea, Sprains and Strains, Stress, Tension Headache, Urethritis, Urinary Incontinence, Urinary Tract Infection in Women, Seizure Disorders, Vaginitis, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Autism: Autistic children, who usually don’t like being touched, show less autistic behavior and are more social and attentive after receiving massage therapy from their parents.
Atopic dermatitis/eczema: Children with this scaly, itchy skin problem seem to experience less redness, scaling, and other symptoms if receiving massage between flares. Massage should not be used when this skin condition is actively inflamed.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Massage may improve mood in children with ADHD and help them feel less fidgety and hyperactive.
Bulimia: Studies show that adolescents with this eating disorder feel less depressed and anxious after receiving massage therapy.
Cystic fibrosis: Massage may reduce anxiety and improve respiration in children with this lung condition.
Diabetes: Massage may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce anxiety and depression in children with diabetes.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) have been shown to experience less pain, morning stiffness, and anxiety as a result of massage therapy.

The following conditions may benefit with massage however these conditions will require a medical release from your doctor:

Malignant Melanoma, Shin Splints, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lyme Disease, Septic Arthritis, Spondylosis, Hernia, Scleroderma, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Herniated Disc, Peripheral Neuropathy,Tremor, Chemical Dependency, Alcoholic,Substance Abuse, Stroke, Embolism, Thrombus, Pulmonary Embolism, Arterial Embolism, Hemophilia, Hemophilia, Leukemia,chemotherapy, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia,Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Thrombophlebitis, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Heart Attack, Atrial Fibrillations, Shock, Heart Failure, Angina Pectoris, Angina, Hypertrophy of the heart, Congenital Heart Problems, Pheumatic Fever, Infectious Diseases of the Heart, Edema, Lymphoma, Mononucleosis, Lupu, Pneumonia, TB/Tuberculosis, Lung Cancer, Gastroenteritis, Stomach Cancer, Helicobacter Pylori, Ulcerative colitis, Cirrhosis, Hepatitis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Jaundice, Candidiasis, Peritonitis, Diabetes Mellitus, Glomerulonephritis, Bladder Cancer, Interstitial Cystitis, Breast Cancer, Ovarian cancer, Pelvic inflammatory Disease, Pregnancy, General Cancer, Allergic Rhinitis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Amenorrhea, Amyloidosis, Anaphylaxis, Anemia, Angina, Angioedema, Anorexia Nervosa, Anxiety, Appendicitis, Asthma, Atherosclerosis, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Bone Cancer, Brain Cancer, Breast Cancer, Bronchitis, Bulimia Nervosa, Burns, Bursitis, Candidiasis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cataracts, Cellulitis, Cervical Dysplasia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Cirrhosis, Colorectal Cancer, Common Cold, Congestive Heart Failure, Conjunctivitis, Cough, Crohn’s Disease, Cutaneous Drug Reactions, Cystic Fibrosis, Dementia, Dermatitis, Diabetes Mellitus, Diarrhea, Diverticular Disease, Dysphagia, Eczema, Edema, Encephalitis, Viral, Endocarditis, Endometriosis, Erythema, Fever of Unknown Origin, Fibromyalgia, Food Allergy, Food Poisoning, Frostbite, Gallbladder Disease, Gastritis, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Glaucoma, Gout, Hair Disorders, Heat Exhaustion, Hemophilia, Hepatitis, Viral, Herpes Simplex Virus, Hirsuitism, Histoplasmosis, HIV and AIDS, Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperkalemia, Hyperparathyroidism, Hypertension, Hyperthyroidism, Hypochondriasis, Hypoglycemia, Hypoparathyroidism, Hypothermia, Hypothyroidism, Infantile Colic, Influenza, Intestinal Parasites, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Kidney Stones, Laryngitis, Leukemia, Lung Cancer, Lyme Disease, Lymphoma, Macular Degeneration, Measles, Miscarriage, Motion Sickness, Mumps, Muscular Dystrophy, Myeloproliferative Disorders, Myocardial Infarction, Osteoarthritis, Osteomyelitis, Osteoporosis, , Pericarditis, Pancreatitis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Peptic Ulcer, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Photodermatitis, Peritonitis, Pertussis, Pharyngitis, Preeclampsia, Premenstrual Syndrome, Proctitis, Prostatitis, Pulmonary Edema, Pulmonary Hypertension, Pyloric Stenosis, Radiation Damage, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Reiter’s Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sarcoidosis, sarcoid, Besnier-Boeck disease, Besnier-Boeck-Schaumann disease, Scleroderma / chronic systemic autoimmune disease, sclerosis/scleroderma, Serum Sickness, Shock, Stroke, Syncope, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Tendinitis, Thyroiditis, Transient Ischemic Attacks, Tuberculosis, Ulcerative Colitis, Uveitis, Varicella-Zoster Virus

If you have cancer, check with your doctor before considering massage because massage can damage tissue that is fragile from chemotherapy or radiation treatments. People with rheumatoid arthritis, goiter (a thyroid disorder characterized by an enlarged thyroid), eczema, and other skin lesions should not receive massage therapy during flare-ups. We also advise that people with osteoporosis, high fever, few platelets or white blood cells, and mental impairment, as well as those recovering from surgery, should avoid massage. Check with your doctor, we would require a medical release at A Touch of Solitude in order to proceed with massage. Some of the following conditions perhaps be beneficial to massage however the therapist cannot diagnose or determine if any medicine that you may be taken could be interrupted by a massage or that the symptoms that you are experiencing may be contributed to an undetected condition, so we advise checking with your physician for precautionary measures.

The following conditions will be a local contraindication (receive massage avoiding area):

Burns, bedsores Decubitus Ulcers, open wounds, bursitis, Bunions, Ganglion Cysts, Cysts, Acute Osgood-Schlatter Disease, Boils, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, Hemotoma, Bruise, Varicose Veins, Inflammation, Ulcers, Abortion, Dymenorrhea, Endometriosis, Fibroid Tumors, Hysterectomy, Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Alopecia Varicose Veins, Warts, Wounds, Insect Bites and Stings, Nail Disorders, Otitis Media, Peritonitis, Psoriasis, Roseola,

A few listed Physicians that may determine your condition:

Psychiatrist, Podiatrist, Dentist, Urologist, Obstetricians/Gynecologists, Oncologist, Neurologist, Rheumatologist, Endocrinologist, Gastrologist, Cardiologist, Dermatologist, Gastroenterologists, Nephrologists, Plastic Surgeons, Psychiatrist, Allergist-Immunologist,

Q: Should anyone avoid massage?
The following conditions would be contraindicated for massage Erysipelas, Fungal Infections, Erysipelas, Acute Herpes Type I & II, Lice and Mites, Scabies, Acne Lesions, Acute Dermatitis/Eczema, Hives, Acute Myositis Ossificans, Acute Dislocation, Acute Gout, Acute Osteoarthritis, Acute Bursitis, Acute Tebistbivutus, Acute Whiplash, Encephalitis, Acute Herpes Zoster / Shingles, Acute Meningitis, Acute Guillain Barre Syndrome, Embolism, Thrombus, Pulmonary Embolism, Arterial Embolism, Aneurysm, Nausea, Lightheadedness, Adema, Lymphangitis, Fever, HIV/AIDS, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Pneumocystic Carinii Pneumonia, Host Resistance, Cytomegalovirus, Kaposi’s Sarcoma, Non Hodgkin’s Lymphomas, Common Cold, Acute Bronchitis, Stomach Flu, Flu, Influenza, Acute Appendicitis, Diverticular Disease, Acute Biliary Colic / Gallbladder Attack, Pyelonephritis, Renal Failure, Radiation, Heart failure, Kidney failure, Infection of the superficial veins (called phlebitis) or soft tissue (called cellulitis) in the legs or elsewhere, Blood clots in the legs, Bleeding disorders, Mononucleosis, Roundworms, Rubella/German and Measles.

Q: What should I expect?
Massage therapy sessions tend to last either 30 minutes or 60 minutes. Often, the therapist will begin by asking you about your current physical condition, stress levels and whether or not any part of your body is particularly sensitive. You will be asked to remove as much clothing as you are comfortable with and then lie on a cushioned table. For the purposes of modesty as well as warmth, a sheet is usually draped over your body, and the massage therapists will fold back the sheet when working on specific body parts. The room is generally darkened. Sometimes soft music is played and sometimes not, depending on what the massage therapist believes to be most relaxing for you.

The massage therapist often applies lotion or oil to the body to reduce friction, then generally applies pressure to different sections of the body. Let the therapist know if you experience any discomfort or if the massage is too vigorous for you.

Q: How do I know my therapist is qualified?
Ask these questions:

Where did you receive your massage therapy training?

Are you a graduate of a training program accredited or approved by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation?

If the commission does not accredit you, are you certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork?

Do you have advanced training in any specific massage techniques?

Are you currently licensed as a massage therapist in this state? Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia require licensing of massage therapists.

A TRAINED therapist to do MASSAGES will have a license. Feel free to ask for their license before committing to their services. Report any person impersonating a licensed massage therapist or bodyworker. It is illegal for anyone to claim they are a massage therapist or bodyworker without accredited training and a license.

Q: What can therapeutic massage do for me?
Whether seeking relief for some medical condition or looking for a way to deal with the increased stress of everyday life both at home and at work, or simply wanting to maintain good health, more Americans are turning to therapeutic massage. Massage isn’t just something that feels good – it IS good for you. Research shows that it reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relieves aches and pains, improves range of motion and increases endorphins. Therapeutic massage enhances medical treatment and helps relieve anxiety and stress. The body feels more relaxed and more responsive. There is an increasing demand for massage because of the health and fitness movement and the nation’s increased emphasis on wellness and alternative health care. Massage is becoming a popular part of health care maintenance and more people are receiving massage. A therapeutic massage can have the following beneficial effects:


* Physically relaxes the body
* Calms the nervous system
* Lowers blood pressure
* Reduces heart tate
* Slows respiration
* Loosen tight muscles
* Stretches connective tissues
* Reduces chronic pain
* improves skin tone
* Increases blood and lymph circulation
* Speeds the removal of metabolic waste
* Increases red blood cell count
* Relieves tired and aching muscles
* Stimulates the release of endorphins
* Improves muscle tone
* Relieves cramps and muscle spasm
* Increases flexibility and range of motion
* Promotes deeper more effective breathing
* speeds recovery from injuries and illness
* Strengthens the immune system
* Reduces swelling
* Reduces scaring
* Improves posture
* Reduces tension headaches
* Increases tissue metabolism
* Decreases muscular deterioration
* Helps rid the body of toxins
* Stretches superficial tissue
* Assists lymphatic and venous flow
* Increases nutrition to the cells and skin
* Can help reduce certain types of edema
* Increases respiration of the skin
* Stimulates the sensory receptors (nerves) of the skin and deep tissue
* Relieves joint ache and pain
* Promotes good posture and self esteem
* Improves tone and texture of the skin
* Assists digestion
* Release natural endorphins


* Reduces mental stress
* Promotes better sleep
* Calms a bad temper
* Introduces mental relaxation
* Improves concentration
* Reduces anxiety
* Enhances self-image
* Provides a feeling of well being
* Promotes greater creative expression

Q: Would therapeutic massage improve employee productivity?
Many employers offer therapeutic massage to their employees in the workplace. Employers have learned that therapeutic massage isn’t just a trend or a perk, but a very real stress reducer that increases employee productivity and morale.


Following is a summary of over 700 statements received from physicians, therapists, and patients.

Employee Benefits:
Less pain
Pain free
Able to work
Able to return to work sooner
Better able to cope with and personal activities
Less stressful
Able to think clearer
Body less rigid and stiff
More flexibility
Eyes feel like they are wide open and better able to see after the treatments
Able to reduce or eliminate medications that caused side effects
Able to stay awake because I have reduced medications
Stomach bleeding stopped because I have been able to reduce medications
Much more alert at home and work
Able to sleep and/or achieve a more restful sleep
Can remain on the job when I otherwise had to stay home
Less irritable and short tempered
Would be bed-ridden if it were not for the massage therapy sessions
The only thing that helped me, when all else failed miserably, including Chiropractic, P.T., medications, and surgery
No negative side effects in medicine or physical therapy
Since I was electrocuted from a cigarette machine in a restaurant I have had passing out spells, the only thing that prevents these spells are my massage therapy treatments.
When others are fighting the traffic after a day’s work, I am getting my treatment, to be able to go to work the next day (worked for County Commissioners Office)
Could not live sanely without it
Absolutely couldn’t perform my work without the care & treatment to keep me going
The only time I get to listen to my favorite radio show, Paul Harvey
At least now I have someone who can really see and understand what I am going through and if nothing else, my massage therapist listens to me
Only good thing left in my life to look forward to
A sense of well-being that I have not had in a long, long time
Lessens the pain from my terrible, horrible migraine headaches- even if only for a day. I can finally move my neck a little for the first time in over two years due to the lightening electrocution while working in the air conditioning business.
Employer Benefits:
Better work environment
Employee can function on employers job more effectively
Employee can function more productively
Employee has better mobility, and flexibility, and better able to maneuver on the job or in the job activity
Employee less likely to re-create the previous injury, pain or situation that caused the employee to be off the job in the first place
Employee more emotionally stable which creates a better atmosphere for other employees
Employer saves dollars due to lack of expensive medical care the employee would otherwise seek, until many end up with massage therapy in the end anyway.
Employer’s income increases due to the efficiency and productivity of the employee.
Employer saves on insurance claims, especially if they refer to a massage therapist in the first place, (once any pathological conditions are ruled out)
Employer has a better atmosphere all the way around
Employer may be able to prevent permanent and total disability claims if this treatment is sought before the employee becomes too far advanced in the injury stages or the case in general
Employee is less likely to suffer compensable injuries
Employee less likely to cause further injuries to self and or others due to side effects caused by medications
Less likely to foul up in mental activities due to medications or pain and discomfort.

Q: Why is it so important to drink lots of water after a massage?
The manual manipulation of the soft tissue causes toxins, “stale blood” and water to be flushed out of the extremities. Increased blood and lymph circulation causes the body to “cleanse” itself. Prevention of varicose veins is a benefit of massage to the arms and legs. Remember that no massage should be performed on any area of the body where varicose veins have been diagnosed. You should drink plenty of water before and after therapeutic massage. This should be pure water and not flavored water, a soft drink or especially not an alcoholic beverage, because of the increased blood circulation, and blood filtering. This is taxing on the liver and kidneys. Drinking water purifies your system from toxins that invade your blood cells and also prevents toxins from returning by flushing the system and discharging the toxins from the body. Therefore it is important to drink plenty of water after receiving your therapeutic massage to lessen the chances of coming down with a cold. Deep breathing is also needed to convert toxins. Oxygen is mixed with acids to create carbon dioxide and water. Through exhaling and elimination of liquid, toxins are evacuated from the body. It is not uncommon to experience mild dizziness and disorientation during and after massage. This is because of the high level of toxins in the blood. In fact, this is quite normal and subsides after deep breathing and relaxation. Massage regulars (those receiving massages on a weekly basis or more often) know the benefits they derive from therapeutic massage and highly recommend it. Results vary with each client and with each therapist, technique and touch.

Q: Is tipping expected?
While any gratuity is always at the discretion of the client, it is customary and welcomed, the fee you pay for your massage session belongs strictly to the business. It pays bills, taxes and supplies. Tipping for a job well done for the effort and care you received is always appreciated even when the therapist is the owner. If you do decide to tip, the amount given is entirely up to you. Your appreciation will not go unforgotten.

(FYI: The average tip is 10-15% of the charge )

Q: To benefit from my massage, what should I consider?
Take a shower or bathe before the massage. The warm water will begin the relaxation process and increase the blood flow near the skin. You will also be clean. Being clean is important because the skin will be free of surface dirt and cosmetics. Feeling clean may reinforce your confidence and have a calming effect. Also do not wear excessive jewelry. You will be asked to remove your jewelry to prevent lotion build up and lessen restriction of the massage. Talk to and get to know your massage therapist on a professional basis before the massage. To be comfortable is to be able to trust, and knowing you feel comfortable will help enhance your massage. You should completely disrobe but it is important to only disrobe to your degree of comfort. Wearing undergarments or swim wear is certainly acceptable but clothing will impede the fluidity of the massage. In order to receive a complete relaxing massage, it is advised to have your glutes and/or abs massaged (this can be done over the sheets). You do not want to interfere with the smoothness of the massage strokes. Be assured that a credited professional massage therapist will always “protect” and ensure the privacy of the clients. You will be sufficiently and appropriately covered at all times during your massage, done by proper draping techniques.

Make arrangements for your particular preferences ahead of time, when ever possible, so that your massage therapist can “tailor” the massage to benefit you. This is normally done in the first thirty minutes prior to your first scheduled session. Our specialists cater to each individual’s preferences. She knows every “body” is different and will go the extra mile to note your preferences as well as note your progress in your profile with each visit.

Here at A Touch of Solitude, we cater to your health and comfort. So please don’t be embarrassed or uncomfortable to communicate any discomfort when needed, before, during or after your session. Not communicating your discomfort would not only be taken personally by your massage therapist, but would also lessen your range of comfort and memorable experience.

You personally might need a few visits to feel completely comfortable in the new surroundings. So it is normal to talk a little during your first massage session; this could also help both you and your massage therapist to get familiar with your comfort and you with her techniques. In your future visits you will easily slip into a state of peace and tranquility.

Q: Does A Touch of Solitude accept insurance?

At this time we do not accept insurance as a form of payment for our services.

Q: What is the future of massage?
More research is needed to determine how effective massage therapy is, which health problems improve the most from this technique, and whether it is more cost-effective than other types of treatment. Although massage is usually offered in the community by private practitioners, it is slowly being integrated into a variety of health care settings, such as hospice care facilities and hospitals.

As interest in massage therapy grows, more studies are being conducted to verify the anecdotal results clients have reported for years.

As an example, several studies offer evidence that immune function is strengthened by massage therapy — in both healthy people as well as those who are fighting disease.

“In one study after another, research is suggesting that massage therapy has a positive impact on immune function,”
– Diane Zeitlin, Research Associate at the Center for Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Kessler Medical Rehabilitation & Education Corporation, West Orange, NJ.

An increase in white blood cells and natural killer-cell activity better prepares the body to fight off possible invading cells, these cellular changes suggest the immune system benefited from the massages, and these findings fall in line with previous research.

In a study conducted by the Touch Research Institute (TRI) at the University of Miami on women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, the women received regular massage therapy (three times a week for five weeks), with 80 percent showing improved immune function.

“These are the first studies that show an effect of massage therapy on an immune function test, which can support the use of massage therapy to alleviate stress, relax muscles and now possibly serve as an alternative medical practice”
– Michael Ruff, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor
Georgetown University Medical School

Another TRI study addressed fibromyalgia (a chronic condition characterized by muscular pain, aching, and/or stiffness and afflicting an estimated 3 – 6 million Americans). A portion of the study group received 30 minute massages twice a week for five weeks. The rheumatologists that evaluated the results determined that this group experienced decreases in pain, fatigue, stiffness and improvements in the quality of sleep.

If you are fortunate enough to have excellent health, consider what benefits massage can provide for you. What is becoming evident from the growing number of studies on massage benefits is that massage is helping people to enjoy more optimal physical functioning. And this in turn can lead to a better mental outlook.

The next time you hear someone say that massage is only a luxury, you’ll know that massage is really a tool that can help improve a body’s ability to regain and maintain proper function. Making you feel terrific is just a wonderful bonus as well as preventive medicine.