Why should I get a massage?

There are many benefits to getting regular massages.  Here are some:

  • Ease sore muscles

  • Reduce inflammation to aid in recovery

  • Help prepare for upcoming workouts

  • Soothe anxiety and depression

  • Reduce cortisol levels

  • Improve circulation / Lower blood pressure

  • Boost serotonin and dopamine

  • Decrease stiffness and pain

  • Improve range of motion


What types of massage do you offer?

A massage does not have to be selected from a menu of options, where you must choose one type over the others.  An average massage session will include swedish, deep tissue and sports massage modalities.  How the techniques are combined will depend on your goals.  When working with athletes the approach also depends on the timing of the massage. Pre-event, post-event, and maintenance all require different techniques to achieve a client's goals.  You do not have to be an athlete to get a sports massage.  Sports massage is the application of specific techniques (swedish, deep tissue, muscle energy techniques, PNF stretching) in order to achieve a specific goal.  

Depending on who you ask, the definitions of the different techniques can be very different.  Here are the best definitions that I have found. . .

Deep Tissue: Massage that affects the sub-layer of musculature. This form of massage requires muscle warming (swedish techniques) in order to soften the superficial muscles so that the deeper muscles can be affected.  Once deeper muscles are reached this form of massage is very slow and site specific. Unlike classic massage therapy, which is used for relaxation, deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as:

  • Chronic pain

  • Limited mobility

  • Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injury)

  • Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Postural problems

  • Osteoarthritis pain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Muscle tension or spasm

 Sports Massage: Working with athletes to aid in performance and recovery through pre- and post-event massage as well as maintenance, injury prevention and injury recovery.

Swedish: This style of massage is the most common.  This massage can be involve varying levels of pressure. Benefits include relaxation and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury.

Pregnancy Massage: The main goals of a pregnancy massage are relaxation, fluid movement and helping to relieve the aches and pains that come with pregnancy.  Pregnancy massage is performed in a side-lying or semi-reclined position.


What happens in an average session?

We will structure each session around your individual goals, both for the long term and to address any immediate concerns.  Your first appointment will include a longer intake (“interview”) than subsequent appointments.  I will need to ask questions about goals and do some assessments of range of motion.  We’ll also discuss any issues that you may be having as well as your training schedule and upcoming events. The massage itself will involve a combination of techniques to address the goals we’ve discussed. 


What kind of certifications/trainings do you have?  

I am a certified massage therapist through the California Massage Therapy Council.  I have taken courses in Swedish, sports, deep tissue, pregnancy and anatomy. I have taken the Performance Taping class along with the two Facial Movement Taping classes that RockTape offers.  


What kinds of products do you use?

I use Biotone Massage Lotion.  It is made from natural ingredients, is not greasy and provides for a comfortable massage experience.


Is it for old people, young people, kids?

Everybody can benefit from massage.


Do I need to bring anything?

You may want to have some water handy for the ride home. Other than that, you will not need to bring anything for the massage.


If I've never had a massage where do I start?

The most important thing is communication.  We can start with your goals and go from there.  Ask questions and give lots of feedback so that you can get the massage you never knew you wanted.


What do I wear to my appointment?  Do I have to get completely undressed?

Comfortable clothing is recommended for post massage stretching.  You are welcome to undress to your level of comfort and you do not have to get completely undressed. Areas like glutes can be worked on through underwear as well as the sheet.


I heard that you are supposed to drink water after, is that true and why?  

It is always beneficial to stay hydrated!  


What do I need to tell my massage therapist?

Before your first massage, I will ask you to complete an intake form which will give me a lot of the background information I need.  During the massage, it is beneficial to let me know when an area is tender or sore and to tell me where you are on the pain scale (see next question).


Does a massage have to hurt to be effective?

Of course not, but everyone has their own expectations regarding the intensity of the massage.  Like I have said many times before, communication is key.  


How often should I get a massage?

This really depends on your goals.  If you have a chronic issue, weekly 30 min sessions can be very helpful.  If you are a professional athlete, weekly sessions are the way to go.  For the average person, massages once or twice a month are a great way to take care of your body.


If I want to work out and get a massage, which goes first?  

It is recommended that the massage follow the workout.  The ideal situation is getting a massage on a rest day. That way you’re rested from your most recent workout and your tissues have the chance to fully realize the benefits of the massage.  A pre-event (or pre-workout) massage can also be helpful for anyone who needs tight areas loosened up and sore areas flushed.


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, we cover some general health questions. It is very important that you let me know 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. 


What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept all major credit cards and cash. 


What does ASG stand for?

My full name is Jessica Anne Sloan Gilstrap, so it's my name. I also like the way it sounds.