Feel Better Now! The Pros and Cons of 30 Minute Massage

Without question, the most popular massage we offer is the 60 minute Swedish massage. But sometimes our book gets full. (Okay, real talk: it’s full most of the time.)

And sometimes your busy schedule won’t allow for an hour session. Sometimes you’re just in pain and need work done in one specific area.

For that, we offer 30 minute massage sessions.

Book your a 30 minute massage today.

Pros
Less time! You might think an hour massage is just an hour of your time, but think again. New clients need to factor in time to complete paperwork, and everyone needs to factor in the unforeseen delay. There’s also the time getting undressed and then dressed, checking out, etc.

A half hour session can be a great way to get the work in that you need without the big commitment. (Bonus: since it’s a smaller unit of time, it’s actually a little easier to get in on short notice.)

Focus. When you go in for a half hour session, it’s understood that there’s only really time to treat one or two focus areas. Your practitioner won’t be worrying about making time to get in a full body massage. Their treatment is focused, and so is their attention.

Treatment. Got a terrible crick in your neck? Is there just one area where you have persistent pain that just needs to be rubbed out? A half hour session might be all you need. Keep in mind, though, that the more chronic the pain is, the more regular massage sessions it will take to heal the problem. You can’t expect to reach your fitness goals after just one workout, right? Massage can be the same way. Having said that, many clients report feeling better after just one focused treatment. Your mileage may vary.

Cons
It’s over already? If you’re looking for a relaxing experience as well as treatment, you might want to consider going with a longer session. A half hour usually isn’t enough time if your goal is to release the cares of the day and escape your stress for a while. Sixty minutes is enough to get that job done for most people, but have you tried a 90 minute or 120 minute session? That is relaxation.

Not the best value. Half hour sessions are proportionally more expensive than full-body sessions. It’s like buying a small soda: you’re not getting the best value for your money, but maybe that doesn’t matter to you as much as getting only the amount you want.

So, we leave it to your best judgment. If you don’t feel like you need the length of a regular session, or if you’re short on time, a half hour session might be the ideal way to feel better right now.

Book your 30 minute massage today.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can find him online at TGunnWriter.com

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7 Mendacious Massage Misconceptions

Massage is becoming more popular every day. The public is finally getting educated on what regular massage can do to benefit your mental and physical health.

Having said that, there are a surprising number of myths and misconceptions about massage that we feel the need to clear up here and now.

This came up as a subject recently in our post about pre-natal massage. In my interview with Christie Ellis, formerly of GLM, the following misconception about prenatal massage came up:

“Prenatal massage can induce labor”
I’ll let Christie take this first one:

“That is a myth! Massage does not cause labor. Acupressure can precipitate labor, and that would be on the level of applying director pressure on a very specific spot for two or three minutes every fifteen minutes over the span of about forty-eight hours.

So there’s no way to come in for a prenatal massage and come out a mother?
“(laughs) No! And to be clear, acupuncture and acupressure are very different than massage. We’re using much broader strokes with massage and there’s absolutely no concern that a nice foot massage could put a woman into labor.

“Another myth I would point out is that abdominal massage can cause miscarriage. That’s out there, too, especially for people who are concerned about the first trimester.

“I do think it’s important to have someone that’s trained for any sort of abdominal work, but massage in general is very safe for expecting mothers.”

But there are plenty of other misconceptions about massage out there. This should put a dent in a few of the more common ones:

“Sure, you feel great right after a massage, but the effects are only temporary”
This idea probably comes from those who really need regular massage, but only tried it once, and went back to the status quo after a day or two. If you suffer from chronic pain or posture issues, regular massage can be particularly beneficial in “retraining” your muscles and your body to be well and whole.

Massage Results take time

You wouldn’t expect to reach all your fitness goals with just one workout, right? Massage is the same way: long-term improvements in your physical health almost never come in the form of a magic bullet. It just takes time and persistence.

If cost seems to be a barrier to getting the treatment you need, you might not have all the facts.

“Does it hurt? It’s supposed to. Just let it happen.”
If you feel pain or discomfort during your massage, say something! While it’s true that some discomfort can be expected in treatment massage, you need to keep talking to your practitioner about your comfort and the treatment they’re doing. Even if a particular stroke or method is supposed to be therapeutic, your therapist can and should honor your requests. The kind of care you receive is entirely in your hands, and should be wholly directed by you.

What’s more, too much pain can actually be counterproductive. If you’re sincerely in pain, you’ll unconsciously tense up other muscle groups, creating the exact opposite of the desired effect for your massage.

“Massage releases toxins and cleanses your system”
Not really. It depends on what you mean by “toxins”. What massage does do is help stimulate circulation throughout your body. This can be helpful if you’re injured. Increased blood flow can be very beneficial in that case. That circulation can include run-of-the-mill cell waste, but there’s no medical magic in stimulating processes that your body routinely caries out anyway. You can get the same effect from vigorous exercise.

“If you don’t walk away feeling like a million bucks, you got a bad massage”
It’s true that, for most cases, people walk away from their massage feeling relaxed, limber, even a little euphoric. But while this is commonly the case, a good massage can sometimes make you feel, well, lousy–at least immediately afterward.

Are you fighting a bug? If you’re getting sick, a massage can sometimes accelerate how quickly you feel the symptoms. You may walk in feeling fairly well, oblivious to the fact that you’re about to get sick, and then get off the table feeling a little weak and achy. If that turns into a bout with a cold or the flu, we feel your pain. But you can’t blame the massage therapist or the job they did for making it happen.

Another scenario is when deep tissue treatment is called for and requested. When your practitioner needs to go deep below the surface tissue to release trigger points and send circulation to distressed areas, this may cause some discomfort both during and just after the treatment.

This can be the case for specialty treatments we offer, including deep transverse friction and myoskeletal alignment. People sometimes report feeling sore after these kinds of heavy treatment-style massages. That does not mean your practitioner did a bad job. In fact, that can be a sign that more regular treatment is called for. It shouldn’t hurt every time, and there should be significant improvement after a good night’s sleep.

“If you have cancer, massage will spread the cancer cells through your body”
This is basically impossible. Massage moves lymph, but cancer doesn’t spread through the lymphatic system. Metastization (the spread of cancer) is due to genetic mutation and a number of factors that have nothing at all to do with the functioning of the lymphatic system.

Having said that, if you’re a cancer patient, it’s wise to consult with your oncologist before scheduling a massage. Relaxation massage at any stage of cancer can actually be immensely beneficial, reducing depression and anxiety. Some studies have even shown that it reduces nausea and pain.

Are there any others you’ve heard that we didn’t cover here? Do you have any questions about massage and what it can do for you?

Let us know in the comments below.

You can also contact us by phone at 425-243-7705

or by email at support@goodliferenton.com

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can find him online at tgunnwriter.com

Amy Gunn, LMP is a co-founder of The Good Life Massage and has been a licensed massage practitioner since 1999. 

What is a Full Body Massage?

We get this question a lot:

“Full body massage … what does that mean exactly?”

It’s a fair question. Here’s what you might really be asking:

Where exactly and how is my massage therapist going to touch me?

At The Good Life Massage, a full body massage includes

  • back
  • neck
  • shoulders
  • arms
  • legs
  • feet.

It is also at least 60 minutes long. When you come in for a full body massage, your therapist will assume these are the areas you want worked unless you tell them otherwise.

A full body session may also include pectoral muscles, head, hands, or face, though these are usually done upon request.

Your massage therapist will respect your boundaries. If you don’t want anything above worked on, please tell them. While it’s best if a full body massage is done with the client fully unclothed (though this is not strictly required), every client is strategically draped with sheets and towels. Draping is about more than modesty: it’s state law.

Which, while we’re on the subject …

Our full body massage is not a sexual service. In some circles, “full body” massage is a euphemism for services which are illegal in the state of Washington. The Good Life Massage is a legal, licensed massage clinic. In fact, we instantly stop any massage, report to authorities, and permanently ban any client who asks for sexual favors or makes sexual advances of any kind. By the same token, any therapist found to be doing the same is instantly fired and reported to the authorities.

Your therapist will ask if you have any particular areas you would like them to focus on before they begin. This is your chance to tell them about that ache in your side, that crick in your neck, that nagging pain you tend to tune out and kind of forget is there.

Is there an area you want your therapist to avoid? Are you like me and have ticklish feet? Say so! Communication is crucial to having the best possible massage experience.

Not sure what to expect when you come in? Take a look at this video to get an idea for how it’s going to go.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. You can find him online at TGunnWriter.com

Our Most Enticing Enhancement – Chocolate Hydrating Face Mask

Chocolate Hydrating Face Mask

Our chocolate hydrating face mask session enhancement is the perfect way to add an extra touch of spa luxury to your massage. Not only is it great for your skin, it’s actually a lot of fun to get.

Why chocolate?
Chocolate–or, more specifically, cocoa–has been shown to benefit both physical and mental health. The flavonoids in chocolate have been shown to lower blood pressure.
But should you really be putting chocolate on your face? Doesn’t too much chocolate make you break out?

Actually, eating too much chocolate causing breakouts can more readily be attributed to the fat and sugar you’re also taking in when you eat most chocolate candy.

Our chocolate hydrating face mask is made with pure cocoa powder, giving your skin the optimal benefit. According to Doctor Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angeles based dermatologist, chocolate, when applied as a mask, can help keep your skin clear and hydrated.

It’s also made with our hydrating face mask, available right here in our clinic. Take home a bottle to repeat the treatment at home!

The fun part
It feels good to wear, but it’s also a treat for the senses, surrounding you with a delicious, rich chocolate smell. You’ll swear someone was baking brownies.

Add the chocolate hydrating face mask when you book your next session, but remember that it can only be added in advance. You won’t be able to add it at the last minute. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can find him online at tgunnwriter.com

Get Free From Abdominal Pain: A Primer on Visceral Manipulation

The following is a guest post by one of our founders and therapists, Amy Gunn, LMT. To learn more about her, please see our previous blog post or our website.

Kylee_Amy88
Amy Gunn, LMP, Co-Founder of The Good Life Massage

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share my personal experience with endo. I also wanted to tell you about what a massage technique that changed everything for me–and which could change everything for you if you suffer from any kind of chronic abdominal pain.

I was diagnosed with endometriosis after suffering years of severe chronic abdominal, hip, and back pain. I was also unable to conceive. While abdominal surgery and hormone-altering injections helped with my pain, the benefits didn’t last.

I started to use my knowledge of massage to create a treatment plan for myself. I directed others as they performed bodywork on me. After just a few of these treatments, I had the first pain-free period of my life. I continued these weekly sessions for a year, at which point I was able to conceive naturally and carry a child full-term.

While I can’t promise an identical outcome for everyone who receives these treatments, I’ve made it my mission to offer an alternative to others with chronic pelvic pain. I’ve seen amazing results. I love helping my clients find the relief they’re looking for.

What is visceral manipulation good for?
Many people suffer from chronic pelvic pain from female disorders (e.g., endometriosis or fibroids), surgical scarring, old injuries, or other underlying conditions. Some have to put their lives on hold because the pain gets so bad, nothing they try seems to help.

If you fall into this category, you may be looking for some alternative to pain meds or surgery. Some people have found regular abdominal massage to be an effective pain management tool.

Studies have shown that massage can:

  • Reduce pain spasms and cramping
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Reduce post-surgical adhesions and swelling

The benefits of massage compound and multiply with consistent sessions over time. A single treatment can be beneficial, but regular massage will have deeper and longer-lasting results.

What can I expect during these sessions?
A typical abdominal treatment at The Good Life Massage only takes 30 minutes. Since we want to be able to spend the entire session length on the actual treatment, we ask that you arrive a few minutes before each scheduled appointment. That way we can take the necessary time discussing your health and treatment plan before we start.

Our goal is to help you feel safe and relaxed on the treatment table; you are encouraged to let us know if you are uncomfortable with the pressure or focus of the treatments at any time. Professional draping techniques are always used to keep you warm and secure.

Firm pressure and friction are used throughout your abdominal region to break down adhesions and scar tissue. The pressure can feel temporarily uncomfortable to some, but your practitioner will work to help you breathe through each stroke so you can get the most benefit out of every session.

While your abdomen will receive treatment every time you come in, each session will have a different focus (e.g., lower back, hips, side wall muscles). Because of this, you will probably notice more freedom in your movement over time through your back, legs and hips, as well as a decrease in your chronic pain.

What sort of treatment schedule will I need to set up?
It takes regular treatment to break down scar tissue and adhesions, so it is essential that you start up a consistent treatment schedule. Most people start out with weekly sessions and then cut back on the frequency as they feel more relief from pain between visits.

We have discounts on pre-paid packages available in either a 5 or 10 week series, depending on your needs. For more information on these packages and how they work, you can visit our website or our previous blog post.

Please feel free to contact us with any quesions or to set up a free consultation. Let’s get started on a treatment plan that works for you so you can get back to living the life you’ve been missing out on.

Our email address is thegoodlifemassage@gmail.com
Our phone number is 425-243-7705.

You can also contact us or book your first session on our website.

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

How to Book a Group Event at The Good Life Massage

We do a lot of treatment work at GLM, fixing people’s bodies and promoting a healthier lifestyle. But massage walks a line between medical treatment and spa treatment. Massage can be both of those things, but today we’re emphasizing the spa aspect of massage, and how a good thing can be made even better when experienced as a group event.

Four friends enjoying time in spa
The only thing better than a day at the spa is a day at the spa shared with friends.

Bring your friends!
Imagine you and your group of friends going out, not just for dinner or drinks, but for a spa experience you can share. A spa night or a big group massage can be just the thing to kick off a wedding celebration, celebrate a birthday, or just ring in a long-awaited weekend. You and your group can have a fantastic experience at GLM, but there are some things you need to be aware of first.

Plan ahead
The single most important thing you can do to help us make your evening a memorable one is to plan ahead. We want more than anything to fulfill your request, but we have limits. Depending on the size of your party, your event could essentially shut down our business for a few hours. This brings with it some commitments and obligations you need to be aware of.

Groups of three or fewer require minimum planning on your part, generally. If all three of you want to have a massage in the same treatment room, that’s the easiest possible event to arrange. We’ll need about a week of notice to ensure we can get three practitioners to work on your group at the same time, but for the most part this kind of event proceeds like a normal massage booking.

For groups larger than three, think of it like this: if we were a restaurant, you’re not reserving just a banquet room, but possibly the entire place.

Infographic - Group Event Registration

Commit! (for groups of 4 or more)
You may know about our 24 hour cancellation/no-show policy. Similarly, if you’re reserving our space and services for more than three people, we’ll need you to commit to the event at least a week in advance.

A deposit is required amounting to half of the total bill. If all the services you and your party are planning to purchase total $500, for instance, you’ll need to pay $250 up front to secure the reservation. This will go towards your final bill and can not be refunded or returned.

If you need to cancel or alter the event between a week and two days prior, you’ll lose your deposit. If you cancel or alter the event less than two days in advance, you’ll lose the deposit and be charged for the full remaining balance on the bill as though everything had gone forward as planned.

If this seems drastic, remember that you’re asking us to clear the schedule for several of our tables and rooms all at once. We often bring on extra staff. All that comes with a cost, and a risk, which you’ll be expected to take on. This kind of policy is typical of events of this nature, whether you’re talking about a spa, a restaurant, or an event hall.

Services
With the technicalities out of the way, let’s talk about what you and your guests can enjoy when you arrange a group event.

Massage
Massage is our specialty, of course, and most of our requests are for massage. You and your group will all walk away feeling deeply relaxed and ready for even more fun together.

Session enhancements
A few of our great session enhancements can be taken alone, but most are intended to supplement a regular massage session. Adding these can help the event feel extra special, and help you and your guests feel even more pampered and relaxed.

Keep in mind that while all our enhancements are intended to improve your massage experience, some are more suitable for treatment work than for relaxation, so keep this in mind when selecting the services you want. An example would be ice treatment. This enhancement is ideal if your event is taking place after a friendly game of basketball, but not if you’re just looking to relax for the weekend.

Spa treatments
Thanks to our partnership with aesthetician Natasha Allen of Rain City Beauty Bar, we are able to coordinate with her for your event and offer even more services, including facials and eyelash extensions. These can be a great way to keep your guests occupied if your event is too large for everyone to be having their massages at once.

Is there a discount?

Yes! We can discount our services by as much as 15%. It all depends on what services you want and how many people are in your party.

Talk to us!
If you have questions about the event you have in mind, we would be more than happy to go over the options, costs, and terms with you in detail.

The best way to start is to contact us by email at thegoodlifemassage@gmail.com and include the phrase Group Event in the subject line. And again, the more time before you event you contact us, the more we can do to ensure you and your party have an unforgettable experience.

We look forward to seeing you and your group soon!

Tom Gunn is the director of marketing and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. Find him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.

Swedish Vs. Deep Tissue Massage

What is Swedish massage?
Swedish massage is a basic massage used primarily for relaxation, but which also delivers a multitude of health beneifts, many of which we’ve covered here.

Muscular Anatomy of the BackThis kind of massage works the superficial muscle groups, or in other words, the muscles closest to the skin. It helps to circulate blood and lymph throughout your body using strokes that will move those fluids back up to the heart. The result is that some people report feeling like they’ve just had a good workout after a massage, only they didn’t have to do anything.

The intensity of this massage can vary broadly, from intense and uncomfortable to light and smoothe. It all depends on your taste and what you feel is most beneficial to you. For this reason, it’s crucial that you keep the lines of communication open with your therapist both before and during your session.

Why is it called Swedish massage?
Like many successful innovations, Swedish massage has many fathers.

For several years it was believed that a Swedish practitioner, Henri Peter Ling, was the originator of Swedish massage as we know it. It is now believed, however, that a Dutchman named Johan Georg Mezger bears more of the credit. But there’s really nothing particularly Swedish about it, as such. It incorporates techniques and methods that have been used in different parts of the world, and which go back much further than either Mezger or Ling.

In Europe, what we know as Swedish massage is referred to as a classic massage. If you think about it, this label makes a lot more sense, but for some reason, the “Swedish” name has stuck in our culture. It may be that since so much of our culture is dictated by marketing and advertising, calling it a Swedish massage makes it sound more exotic and continental. In any case, be aware that the name is just that: a name.

Deep tissue massage
This kind of massage is intended as a treatment to help improve posture or soothe chronic pain. Deep tissue massage aims to work down below your superficial muscle groups to treat muscles and tissue deep inside your body.

Contrary to the popular misconception, this kind of massage is not merely a high-pressure version of the ordinary Swedish massage. Rather, this is designed for treatment of a specific area or muscle group. It is not intended for work over your whole body, nor would you want it to be. This kind of massage over your full body would actually be harmful.

Our LMPs have been thoroughly trained and know human anatomy extremely well. As they work on you, or even as they watch you walk in the door, they’re able to identify areas that could use extra help or attention. But they’ll only treat you if you ask for it.

This kind of massage is often used as a medical treatment, and we tend to see a lot of that for those clients who have been referred by their physician. Are you billing workers comp or making a claim against an auto insurance policy? This may be the kind of massage you need.

Which should I choose?
If you’re like most people, Swedish massage would suit you just fine. If you have chronic pain or posture problems that you want resolved, we may choose to use some deep tissue therapy to address those, but only if you discuss it with us first.

It’s important to start your session with a detailed conversation with your therapist. This should be more about what kind of pressure you like or what music you want to listen to (though that’s important too). This conversation is your chance to ask for help.

  • Are you having a pain in your back that just doesn’t go away, no matter how you adjust or try to get comfortable?
  • Is there an injury they should be aware of?

Even if you’ve mentioned something on your intake form, it’s a good idea to address it with your practitioner verbally to make sure your concerns are heard.

If you have questions about any of our treatments, please feel free to email us at TheGoodLifeMassage@gmail.com and a licensed massage practitioner will address any concerns you may have.

To book a massage, please visit our website or give us a call at 425-243-7705.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. Find him on the Internet at http://www.tgunnwriter.com