General FAQ

How often should I get a massage?

What is your cancellation policy?

Like other health care providers such as doctors, dentists and chiropractors, we charge a fee for missed appointments or insufficient notice of cancellation.

Currently our cancellation policy states that a minimum of 24 hours notice must be given for cancellation or rescheduling. If an appointment is cancelled with insufficient notice, a cancellation fee will be charged. Failure to attend or fulfill an appointment with no notice or communication will also result in the full cost of the treatment being charged and all fees must be cleared in order to make future appointments.

Cancellation fees can not be billed to insurance providers.

Why do I have to pay a fee for cancelling my appointment?

This policy is in place for two reasons:

1. Your therapist’s time is valuable. Appointments are booked on a first come, first served basis and when appointments are cancelled with insufficient notice, very little time remains to fill the appointment or call another client who may otherwise have needed it. The fee is in place to ensure that cancellations are made with sufficient notice wherever possible.

2. Many massage therapists are self-employed. Because they are not employees, they do not receive an hourly wage. A cancellation fee is put in place to compensate for the income that is lost when a client cancels with little or no notice.

It is understandable that accidents happen and emergencies arise. In such cases it is important to communicate with your therapist as soon as possible.

Can I bring my child for a massage?

Of course! Massage is beneficial for children and adults of all ages. Treatments are adjusted to suit each individual depending on several factors. Because children are smaller than adults, less time is required to complete a massage treatment. In addition, some techniques or areas may be excluded from the treatment due to the fact that children require less pressure, or may not be comfortable with a certain area being treated.

Parents are required to fill out and sign health and insurance forms, be involved in the consultation and be present during the treatment for all children under the age of 18. Consultations in this case are more in-depth, and consent is required from both the parent and the child to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the treatment. Verbal consent is maintained throughout the treatment to ensure that the child feels comfortable. In some cases due to privacy, older children may request that parents do not stay in the treatment room for the duration of the appointment, in which case the parents may sit in the waiting room of the clinic once the consultation is complete.

For children under one year of age it is recommended that you attend an infant massage class, which will allow you to provide massage to your little one at home and can be much more beneficial for both you and your baby.

What kind of oil do you use?

During my massage treatments I use coconut oil for a number of reasons: The coconut oil that I use has no scent and is gentle on skin. Coconut oil also absorbs quickly and does not leave the skin feeling oily afterward, nor does it stain linens or clothing.

If a client has an allergy to coconut oil I use an alternative such as grapeseed oil. If you have any allergies or sensitivities, please be sure to mention it during the consultation.

During infant massage classes I will provide oil to parents, however you are welcome to use the type of oil that you feel is best for your baby based on cultural preference or family tradition, cost and availability. The International Association of Infant Massage recommends the following guidelines when choosing what type of oil to use:

Generally we recommend cold pressed, unscented fruit and vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower or fractionated coconut oil because:

  • They are non-toxic and safe if ingested
  • They can contain beneficial nutrients, such as vitamin E, which are good for the skin
  • They contain nutrients that help prevent rancidity
  • These oils are less slippery when applied, so it’s safer to handle your baby after application
  • They have no added scent, so infants can still enjoy their parents’ natural smell, and are not overwhelmed

Use an oil to massage your baby that you would eat on a salad – one that is fresh, natural, pure and unscented. Perhaps you already have an appropriate oil in your kitchen.

Is massage therapy going to/supposed to hurt?

This is not necessarily a difficult question to answer, but requires a bit of explanation.

Simply put: no, massage therapy is not supposed to hurt. Just because a massage is not causing discomfort does not mean that it is ineffective.

Massage has so many wonderful benefits that do not go hand-in-hand with discomfort; on the contrary, a relaxation massage can be just as beneficial as a therapeutic treatment.

However, some therapeutic techniques during a massage, generally aimed at treating a musculoskeletal dysfunction, do have the potential to cause discomfort. One reason for this is due to the structure of dysfunctional soft tissue in the body.

Healthy tissue in muscle and fascia contains fibers which tend to run in organized, parallel directions. When tissue is damaged severely enough or is not allowed enough time to repair properly, the body begins to generate new fibers as quickly as possible to repair the damaged area. These fibers tend to be shorter and less flexible. Due to the structure and misaligned directions of these fibers, blood flow becomes restricted, the affected tissue loses mobility and compression of nerves may begin to cause pain.

Some massage therapy techniques involve manually tearing these dysfunctional fibers apart, followed by other various techniques which help the tissue to heal properly afterward. Creating micro-tears in the muscle fibers is necessary to break down adhesion and bring blood flow back into the tissue. This is where the potential for discomfort arises.

While it is normal to feel discomfort to varying degrees during a treatment, it is important to remember that there is such thing as too much pain. Excess pressure can cause further damage, which the therapist aims to avoid as it defeats the purpose of the treatment. As massage therapists, the only thing more important to us than helping our clients is to cause no harm to our clients.

A balance must be maintained to provide enough pressure that the treatment has a proper effect, but not so much that it exacerbates the issue or causes more damage. Communication is key between the therapist and the client. It is the therapist’s responsibility to inform the client of the differences between therapeutic and abnormal pain, but it is also up to the client to assess the amount of discomfort and inform the therapist when it becomes too much to handle.

In some cases it may be necessary for the therapist to start the first treatment with mild pressure, only gradually increasing to the client’s level of comfort over time. Most conditions take multiple appointments to treat, so it only makes sense that the amount of pressure used reflects the client’s tolerance, as well as the progress and demand of the condition.

Another factor which is often overlooked is the client’s level of trust in the therapist; as the client and therapist form a professional relationship, the former gains confidence in the latter’s abilities and feels more at ease during the treatment, allowing for deeper pressure to be used.

It is very important to me to mention that some therapists might suggest that bruising after a deep massage treatment is normal. I DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS. Bruising is the result of ruptured blood vessels under the surface of the skin. As I stated previously, massage treatments are not intended to cause further damage, therefore the presence of bruising indicates that too much pressure has been used during the treatment. With education and experience, a good therapist is able to provide an effective treatment using appropriate pressure without causing harm.

What I want you as a client to take away from this is that you know your body better than anyone else. Your RMT will offer their professional opinion and provide as much information as possible relevant to your condition, but it is up to you to judge whether that particular treatment is appropriate for you in that moment. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instinct.

Infant Massage FAQ

What is the cut-off age for the infant massage class?

The cut-off for the infant massage class is one year old, or “pre-mobile” infants. After this age it is difficult for parents to learn infant massage in a group setting, as many babies don’t know what to expect and would rather crawl, run around or play. This is not to say that you cannot massage your baby after one year of age; in the class you will learn how to adapt the massage for toddlers, children and teens so you may continue to massage your child as (s)he grows.

Is there an additional fee if my spouse wants to attend the class with me?

Nope! The fee for the class covers one or both parents, so there’s no need to pay extra if your spouse wants to be involved as well!

During an infant massage class, will you be massaging my baby?

The purpose of an infant massage class is to teach you how to massage your own little one. Because infant massage promotes bonding and attachment, it is recommended that you as a parent or caregiver provide massage to your infant before anyone else. In addition, you benefit from the hormonal and non-verbal communicative effects of massaging your little one which I encourage you to take advantage of. At no point will I massage your baby personally; techniques will be described while demonstrated on a doll for auditory and visual learners, and I will assist by answering questions and correcting positioning if necessary.

Can my baby’s older sibling/grandparent give massage?

Of course! Allowing a close family member to massage your baby is a great way for them to get more involved, especially for older siblings. It is recommended that you establish a massage routine with your baby before allowing other family members to provide massage in order to better understand your baby’s cues and form your initial bond. Please note that due to its bonding effects, massage should only be provided one-on-one to avoid overstimulating or confusing baby.

What if my baby is fussy/inconsolable during class?

Please be assured that my class will always be a welcoming and judgement free zone. In a room full of babies, some crying is bound to happen.
During your time in my class I encourage you to find comfort and security in being who you are and allowing the same for your baby. You are welcome to feed, change, comfort, rock, walk or tend to your baby while I teach, as much can still be learned simply by listening. You will not be asked to leave the class.
At times the energy of the class may be high or overstimulated, in which case we will take a break for everyone to settle and reorganize before continuing.
It is natural to feel stressed when your baby cries. Please know that everyone else in the room is a parent and understands how you are feeling.

Can I come to class if I am/my baby is sick?

The immune system of an infant is still developing which means that babies are more susceptible to illness. In addition, illnesses that seem trivial to adults can be more dangerous for infants. Due to the nature of my class, it is asked that you do not attend during a time that you or your baby are ill; this is for the safety and consideration of the other parents and babies in attendance.
Techniques learned in each class are reviewed the following week, so if you miss a class please know that we will go over everything again, and I will gladly help you to catch up.

Pandemic Related FAQ

Are face masks required?

Yes, as per current government mandates, face masks are required at all times while inside the clinic; the only exceptions to this rule are as follows:

  • a child who is under five years of age;
  • a person with a medical condition unrelated to COVID-19 such as breathing difficulties or a disability which prevents them from safely wearing a mask.
  • a person who is unable to put on or remove a mask without assistance.
    [source: Government of Canada]

This page is in the process of being updated. If there are any questions that you would like answered, drop a comment and let me know!

© Randi Nowicki 2020

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