frequently asked questions about massage

Please email me if there’s a question I can answer for you.

What is my Covid-19 precautions, to mask or not to mask, and vaccine policy?

Updated March 2022: As a work-at-home practitioner, and unless Boulder County mandates otherwise, I welcome clients who are vaccinated or those who are not to my table. Masks are optional. If you would like me to wear a mask for any reason, I am happy to do so. 

If you feel sick prior to your appointment, please call and cancel your session. Emergency or illness-related last minute cancellations are acceptable and incur no charges; no shows are charged 50% of the appointment price. 

Covid-19 symptoms you may experience (from the CDC):

• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• Headache
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting

How do I clean and sanitize my studio?

I will always provide a clean, peaceful and healthy environment. Before and after sessions, I wipe down everything in my studio that was touched or used, including bathroom fixtures, door handles, face cradle bar and handle, oil/lotion bottles, etc. For disinfecting surfaces, I use a Seventh Generation disinfecting wipe, or equivalent, which kills kills virtually 99.9% of germs safely and botanically.

As always, your linens will always be clean. I have hand sanitizer available.

I am chemically sensitive. Is the studio free of potential irritants?

I use organic, fragrance-free laundry detergent, avoid dryer sheets, use essential oils and and natural cleaning products for household cleaning. I occasionally burn incense, palo santo or sage/smudge sticks to cleanse my space and uplift the energy in my home before or after sessions, but not during sessions. 

I sometimes use unscented tea lights in the bathroom, living room or massage studio.  

PETS: I have a cat and a dog who spend time both in and outdoors. Margot, the dog, is sometimes in the massage studio with us (as long as you are OK with her being there.)

For disinfecting surfaces, I use a Seventh Generation disinfecting wipe, or equivalent, which kills Kills 99.9% of germs.

No matter the weather, I will open windows and refresh the air in the home regularly because I love “outside”!  

What should a client keep on (or take off) during the massage?

Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed, however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort.

You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable on the table, and only the area being worked on will be exposed.

I will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with the sheet and blanket in preparation for your session.

I will knock before entering the room to make sure you are ready to get started.

For children, or anyone who may prefer to keep clothing on during your session, please let me know so we can talk through adjustments and expectations before we begin. 

I’m new to bodywork. What can I expect before, during and after a session?

Prior to the massage, feel free to ask me any questions about our time together.

During the massage, it is important that you make yourself as comfortable as possible: heat, face cradle angle, the bolster, e.g., can all be adjusted.

The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, or anything else relevant to the session.

A relaxing Swedish massage is often a baseline for clients. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting; if you can’t take a comfortable breath, the work is too deep.

There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic effleurage strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more.

We can discuss which methods may be most appropriate for you.

After a massage most people feel very relaxed, more aware of their body and more grounded. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. 

What are the benefits of massage? Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?

Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being.

There are times when massage is NOT recommended, which is why it’s imperative that, before you begin your session, we discuss general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner 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 recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to your sessions. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required.

Should I tip? And what forms of payments are acceptible?

This is such a great question, and I appreciate the handful of you who have asked it. Here’s what I’ve learned in my years both of giving and receiving massage: therapists who work as employees of spas, clinics or other businesses often anticipate tips because they only receive a percentage of the service cost. Customers most commonly tip in the 15% – 20% range. Therapists who are self-employed, and especially we home-based therapists, don’t necessarily anticipate tipping in the same way. A) we have less overhead, B) we often see you regularly, and C) our work can be more akin to heath care versus a splurgy spa day. (You don’t tip your chiropractor, or your dentist, or your yoga teacher, right?)

That said, some clients tip, some do not, and both scenarios are absolutely “normal”, acceptable and always appreciated.

It’s not out of the ordinary to tip sometimes, and other times not, or to tip different amounts on different days. Tips can also come in other formats besides money. Some clients bring fresh eggs, garden goodies, cards or art, they leave a thoughtful review, or even vouchers for self care services around town — there are infinite ways to express gratitude so do what feels right for you!

In my case: I accept but do not expect gratuity.

My stand-alone rates sustain my business and I do not expect people to pay or do extra unless they would like to.

Please know that I value your business, your trust and your feedback (positive or negative) above all else. I work hard to make your time in my care perfect. Speak up and let me know what you want more of, less of, etc. 

It is important to me that you receive the work you need and want, so please do not let cost be a prohibitive factor. If cost is an issue, please inform me. My practice is nimble and varied enough to accommodate many kinds of clients and budgets. Let’s work something out. 

I accept Venmo (@Mary-Geitner), Zelle, cash, check and all major credit cards.

Cancellations, no shows and late arrival policies

I request 24 hour advance notice when cancelling or rescheduling an appointment. This allows someone else to schedule the time you need to miss. Same day cancellations or no shows will be charged the full amount of your appointment. 

If you arrive late, your session may be shortened in order to accommodate others whose appointments follow yours. Depending upon how late you arrive, we will determine together if there is enough time remaining to start a treatment. Regardless of the length of the treatment given, I ask that you pay for the session booked. Thank you for your compliance!

Body Sense Magazine – Free Articles!

I am happy to offer you free issues of Body Sense from my insurance provider, ABMP. 

Attention is a Powerful Tool