Where do you practice?

I have a home practice, in Cherry Hill, very close to Haddonfield and right off Rt.41.

What’s a massage session like?

For those of you that have never experienced bodywork, here are the basic procedures: there is a table in the treatment room especially designed for massage therapy, with flannel sheets and a blanket. After we’ve talked, I leave the room, so that you can undress and get on the table under the sheet and blanket. Underwear is fine to leave on if you prefer. When you are set, I will knock and come in, make sure you are comfortable and we can begin. Using an organic, hypoallergenic cream, I begin the session massaging the neck, face, and head, followed by upper chest, arms, ribs, legs and feet. You will be covered at all times except for the area I am working on, and you are in charge of your comfort zone.

Then you turn over, with me stabilizing the sheet, and the back, hips, legs, and feet are massaged.

In a regular session this takes about an hour, although I don’t work by the minute. If extra time is needed to complete all areas, then the session is a little longer. If you have scheduling or time restraints, let me know and we can make sure we finish on time.

What are the main benefits? Why should I get a massage?

Soft tissue work [muscle treatment] eases stiffness, increases flexibility, takes away chronic headache, lowers blood pressure temporarily, and places the body in a resting state which helps digestion, clears toxins, and relaxes. Taking a person out of a stress state is so fundamental that if it did nothing else [and it does!] massage would still be a very potent healer.

Can massage be the wrong treatment for me?

Absolutely!!! Like any healthcare option, massage is a powerful tool towards better health, and should be treated so. Acute illness, such as fever, mental or physical exhaustion, skin irritations like poison ivy or psoriasis, serious illness such as cancer, recent recovery from surgery, recent severe trauma, and mental states such as grieving can all be grounds for delaying treatment. With a phone call we can decide what’s best for you. I will never treat a human if it seems at all risky.

How often should I get treated? Is massage a one-time cure?

Frequency of treatment is based entirely on conditions, and the wishes of the patient. No one can decide better that the client how often that treatment should occur. I will suggest a course of massages dependent on what’s happening bodily, to facilitate repair and relief, but the human I am treating is inside himself and knows more about his health and needs than I ever can know.

Massage is not a cure for anything. Like exercise, good diet, and a proper relationship with a doctor, maintaining good health is an ongoing process for life. I use the example of changing your car’s oil… wouldn’t it be nice to service your car once and never have to think about it again!

What’s the best time to get a massage?

Before the gym? After wards? Before eating? In the morning? Later in the day? Before a sports event? After running a race?

This is dependent on the individual, although I prefer not to work on a patient immediately after serious exercise. Massage is a workout, although it’s mostly passive for the client. I am working your muscles for you, and it can be tiring for your body. Sports massage is the best exception, with good results before and after a run or a good workout.

It’s also more comfortable to get a massage if you have not just eaten a big meal. Your digestion is very busy and blood and nerve flow are in service to your stomach!

Morning or evening sessions are dependent on your preference, and although massage can make people sleepy, some people are energized by it.

Never get a massage if you have been drinking alcohol. The results can be dangerous. Although you may choose to have alcohol after a session, be aware that you will process the beverage quicker, and you might feel a bit sick.

Will it hurt?

Some styles of massage carry a level of discomfort. Perhaps you’ve had someone ask you to ‘rate your pain’ on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being agony.

I know as an anatomist that when a certain threshold of pain is reached, the body sets up a negative response, which takes away any therapeutic effect and makes the body frightened. This level of pain never helps.

When we start any treatment, I am very clear as to what you may expect, and I don’t use heavier touch in the first sessions. I will always explain fully before any deeper work as to what you may expect, and I never go beyond tolerance. You are the decision maker in all bodywork styles, and I’ve said before, the lighter styles may carry the same healing as the deeper work.

How do I know what style of massage is right for me?

You might not, especially if you’ve not experienced a style that you like. When we have our initial consultation, we can go over any information that you need, and its effects on your system. We can do some of the preliminary work over the phone also; sometimes this makes patients more comfortable before we even meet. I have many years of experience with different conditions, and will recommend and explain until you feel comfortable.

Should I discuss massage therapy with my doctor before being treated?

Please, please do. Your physician is aware of conditions and has an ongoing relationship with you and your body’s needs. Even if he has no direct experience with massage, he may be able to advise you about positives and negatives in massage therapies. I work in conjunction with doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and other health professionals, and I will be happy to send reports or talk with your healthcare people to make sure we are all doing what’s best for you.

What if I have a chronic medical condition?

Massage therapy is indicated in a broad range of health problems. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, nerve dysfunctions, multiple sclerosis, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, traumas resulting from car impacts or falls, joint replacement rehabilitation, pain syndromes, migraines, herniated discs or scoliosis, bone spurs, sinus headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes, irritable bowel… all tend to respond favorably to massage modalities. Please discuss with your doctor any concerns you have, and I will also discuss at length what you might expect and what we will do to lessen your symptoms.

Can a massage interfere with medicines I am taking?

Yes.  Something that the body does, besides flushing out unneeded quantities of medicines [this includes herbal supplements and vitamins] is to store excess in muscle tissue. When I manipulate your muscles, some of the medicines can get out into your bloodstream, and raise the body levels of whatever you take. This sounds a bit scary, but it depends on the drugs. I have a very complete knowledge of western pharmaceuticals, herbs, and vitamins which may interfere with a session, and I will never let you endanger yourself. Please bring a list of what you take, so that we can go over everything before the work starts.