FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 Q.  What will my session be like?

Your session will vary depending on the type of massage or bodywork chosen, the length of time chosen, and your particular needs and focus areas.  Please allow an extra 10-15 minutes before your first session to discuss your massage, complete a health questionnaire and consent form, and help me understand your level of comfort, experience with massage, and what treatment approach you prefer.

A typical treatment session will include a brief consultation before the session begins to let me know if you have changes in condition or desired approach.

I'll leave the room while you undress and position yourself for table massage or change into loose comfortable clothes for Thai massage or Zen shiatsu. Draping will be used if you choose a table massage.  Draping may also be used for floor massage if requested at any point during the massage.  Because many people become cold during a massage, I normally use a heating pad on the table or mat.  We'll begin the session with compression over the clothing or draping and then move into the particular massage style chosen. I'll work on the areas that we discussed during the consultation and once the session is over I'll leave the room to give you time to get dressed.

Q. What should I wear to & during a treatment?

I recommend wearing loose comfortable clothing, preferably natural fibers, to your session, particularly if you are considering Thai massage or Zen shiatsu.  For oil based table massage most clients undress fully to maximize the benefits of the massage, but you can chose to wear undergarments if you are not comfortable with being fully undressed or if you prefer a massage with a lot of movement or stretching.   If you choose to wear undergarments, please select items that you don’t mind getting a little oil or cream on and that provide the maximum access for skin exposure that you are comfortable with.   Also please remove your jewelry before the massage to avoid accidental injury or damage.

Q. How should I prepare for the massage?

I recommend that you have no heavy meals for at least two hours before a massage and it is best to avoid food during the hour before a massage.   Please shower and make sure that you do not have sand on your feet or body before the massage.  Also please remove jewelry, particularly earrings and necklaces, before the massage.  It is best to use the restroom immediately before the massage, particularly if you are scheduling a longer massage, otherwise you may need to interrupt your massage to go to the restroom because massage does place pressure on the bladder.

Q. What type of space is required for the massage?

I need clear space at least 7 feet wide and 9 feet long to set up my table or mat; larger areas are better.  I can work indoors or outdoors. If the massage is outdoors, a covered area that offers shade and some privacy is preferred.   A sink and a bathroom need to be easily accessible. A quite, peaceful environment is needed for you to experience maximum benefit from the massage.  Oil based massage should generally not be performed in carpeted areas because oil may stain the carpet.  Spills do happen, and you may also get oil on your feet.

Q. What type of draping will be used during the massage?

It depends on the type of massage chosen and your preferences.   For table massage, I normally use cotton sheets, but I can use sarongs, batiks, towels, pillowcases, or blankets if requested.  For side lying massage additional pillows can be used to augment the draping.   Depending on your preferences for either conservative coverage and warmth or a free flowing massage with more tropical coverage, draping can be adjusted, however some draping is required for oil based massages.  For traditional Thai massage and Zen shiatsu, draping is not normally used or required since loose comfortable clothes are normally worn and extensive movement and stretching occur during the massage, however draping may be used even with these styles if desired.  Draping will be needed if you want to incorporate oil based massage into a floor based massage.

Q. What should I do during my massage?

Relax. Breathe. Let me know if you are too hot, too cold, if you want more or less pressure, or if anything I am doing hurts or makes you uncomfortable. I will either gently move your body or ask you to move a part of your body or roll over when needed.  Many clients close their eyes during the massage to more completely relax and most of my clients go to sleep during portions of the massage.  If you feel like talking, you are welcome to, but you are not expected to do so and most clients prefer to remain quiet and allow their minds to calm down and rebalance.

Q. What type of massage lotion will be used during a treatment session?

I currently use Biotone massage lotion or cream or organic cold pressed coconut oil.  For problem areas I often use Sun Breeze, Tiger Balm, or essential oils mixed with carrier oil.  If you have skin allergies or are sensitive to creams or lotions, please let me know prior to your session.  I will be happy to use an oil or cream that you provide if you have a preference or are concerned about potential allergies.  For Thai Massage and Zen Shiatsu, oil and lotion are not normally used, but I may still use aromatherapy and apply Sun Breeze or Tiger Balm if you do not object.

Q. What parts of my body will be massaged?

The areas covered vary based on time available, goals of the massage, the type of massage, and your desires.  My full body massage (90 minutes or longer) normally covers the entire body except for the genital areas and portions of the breasts.  A  sixty minute general massage will normally cover most of the major muscle groups unless you have problem areas you want me to focus on.  Before your massage session starts, please discuss the goals of the massage with me and let me know if there are any special requests to avoid specific areas or concentrate on specific areas. Please also let me know what your issues are so that I can suggest appropriate techniques and focus areas.  Note that everything in the body is connected to everything else through a system of fascia and that often pain in one area is often caused by tightness, weakness, or imbalance in another area of the body.   In a typical full body massage session, you will receive work on your back, neck, head, shoulders, upper and lower chest, sternum, arms, hands, gluteal muscles, IT band, abductors, quads, hamstrings sacrum, hips, abdomen, legs and feet.

Q. What if I am embarrassed about my body?

My focus is on providing therapeutic relief and pleasant stress reduction, not in judging your physique. I am experienced in working on people of all sizes, shapes and ages.  For clients who are uncomfortable with exposing skin, Thai Massage and Zen Shiatsu are great options as these can be performed fully clothed so long as you wear loose comfortable clothes. For oil based massage you may also request more conservative draping either before the massage or at any time during the massage.

Q. What if I am pregnant?

Please check with your doctor, but in general, massage therapy is not recommended during the first trimester and some techniques and aromatherapy oils are contraindicated.   Side lying massage can be used if you are not comfortable laying face down.   Please let me know in advance of your appointment if you are pregnant so that I can make sure that you have additional pillows available or bring additional bolsters or a bodyCushion system.

Q. What if I have a medical condition?

If you are under a doctor’s care, please check with your doctor and provide any special instructions from the doctor prior to your massage.   Please note that diagnosis and treatment of disease is not within the scope of practice of massage therapy.  Massage may be contraindicated if you have certain medical conditions, and other conditions may require localized site avoidance or limit techniques that should be used. Please include your current medical conditions on the registration form.   Please be aware that symptoms from cold and flu may be aggravated by massage.

Q. What if I'm sick or have a skin condition?

If you think you are getting a cold or getting sick, or if you actually are sick, a massage may make your symptoms worsen.   If you have any open sores or skin conditions massage may be contraindicated.  If you have any doubt about whether you should get a massage or not please consult with your doctor and please discuss with me prior to your treatment.

Q. What If I have larger breasts or breast implants and am not comfortable laying on my stomach?

I have an Oakworks Nova table with a breast recess system which is very comfortable.  Please let me know in advance if you prefer this table or if you would prefer use of a bodyCushion system.

Q. What If I am larger or overweight and not comfortable laying on a flimsy portable massage table?

I have two choices for massage tables, both are high quality tables made in North America.  If you are under 400 pounds and can raise and lower yourself onto a table, either table will support you comfortably.   My Oakworks Nova table has an operating weight rating of 550 lbs and my Custom Craftworks Athena table has a load rating of 650 lbs.  However, if you are large, you will probably be more comfortable on the Athena table; this table is a little wider.  Floor massage is also an option if you can raise and lower yourself from the floor. My bodyCushion system also increases comfort for many overweight clients.  Please let me know in advance if you prefer a specific table or if you would like me to bring the bodyCushion system for your massage.

Q. How do you customize a treatment?

Prior to the session we'll discuss your goals for the session, your experience with massage, your comfort levels and preferences, and we will agree on a general approach for the massage session customized to your needs.   I can stick to a single massage style or integrate numerous modalities into your massage.  If at any point during a massage you are uncomfortable with anything I am doing, please let me know and I can further adjust and customize the treatment.

Q.  Is hot stone or Thai herbal ball treatment available?

Hot stones and Thai herbal ball treatments require extensive setup, breakdown, and cleanup requirements and are difficult to use in mobile massage environment.  However, if you have power outlet in the area where the massage will be performed are willing to pay for an additional hour for setup, breakdown and cleaning, and make the request in advance, it may be possible to incorporate either hot stones or Thai Herbal balls into your treatment.

Q.  Is couples massage available?

Yes, with advance scheduling I can either perform consecutive massages, or I can bring my wife, Melody Hall,  mixedtraditions.com,  and we can perform simultaneous couples massage.

Q. Am I supposed to tip?

 Tipping is not required but as in any service industry in the United States, it is appreciated.  The highest compliment you can give is to rebook and refer your friends.

Q. What are the benefits of massage and who is likely to benefit from massage?

Nearly everyone benefits physically and mentally from massage through increased relaxation and reduction of stress which helps your body to re-balance and heal itself and reduces depression and anxiety. In addition, massage can offer many specific benefits such as increased circulation, increased immune system function, increased flexibility, increased range of motion, reduction of pain, relief of constipation, headache reduction, reductions of scar tissue adhesion, reduction of post-surgery adhesions and swelling, improved sleep, and reduction of postural stress.  For more information see the Associated Massage and Bodywork Professionals Webpages.   In my personal experience, I have found both deep tissue and traditional Thai massage to be very useful in reducing muscular tension, reducing joint pain, reducing back pain, reducing leg pain, increasing flexibility, relieving pain from repetitive motion, reducing asymmetry, and improving athletic performance.  As such, I believe that massage is beneficial for many athletes including runners, swimmers, surfers, dancers, golfers, bowlers, tennis players, and martial artists.  Massage is also beneficial for those with sit for long hours or whose work involves repetitive motion.  Many people with constipation benefit greatly from a 5 to 10 minute abdominal massage.

Q. What to expect after a treatment?

Everyone responds differently to treatment sessions and you may respond differently at different times.  A lot of factors contribute to how you will feel.   Factors include your current physical and mental condition, how frequently you receive bodywork, and the type, intensity, and duration of your massage. Many clients feel a little woozy after a massage, almost like they have just woken up form a nap or had a glass of wine.   After a Thai massage, most clients feel taller and more limber. Many clients feel immediate pain relief and increased mobility.  Some clients who choose deep tissue, Thai massage, or Rossiter System workout, experience some second day soreness much like they would experience after a workout at the gym; this may continue for a few days just as it does after a workout.

Q. What areas of Oahu does Touch of Zen Enterprises Serve?

Touch of Zen Enterprises is based at the North End of Kaneohe on the windward side of Oahu between He'eia and Kahalu'u and offers discounted rates in this area.  Commute fees vary depending on location and distance.  I may be available in other areas of Oahu, including Honolulu, JBPHH, and Waikiki by appointment, but additional fees may be negotiated to cover commute time and expenses.  Additional fees may be waived or reduced for longer gigs such as massage parties or pool party massage station coverage.

Q. Can I download a client intake form to fill out in advance of my Appointment?

Yes, Please click here to download a Touch of Zen Client Intake and Informed Consent Form. (Note, pdf file will download but may not open in your browser).