Your First Massage
I've never had a massage before. What should I do to prepare?

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the massage is for your benefit. Remember that you can always ask if you have questions before your session begins. If questions arise during your session, the therapist can answer them for you.
When you call to schedule your appointment, you’ll want to tell us any preferences you have, if you want cream or oil, what massage type you like, etc. Of course, this is your first massage, so how do you know your preferences? For first-time guests, we recommend a Swedish massage. It’s nice and relaxing, plus you still get the therapeutic benefits you’re looking for.
What massage is best for a first visit?
Asking for recommendations can be helpful, but nothing compares to firsthand experience. For your first visit to Beni Massage, a Swedish massage is a good recommendation. Not only is it relaxing, but it also provides therapeutic benefits. Click here to learn more about the benefits of massages.
However, there are many types to choose from and you might prefer one of our other modalities instead. To see all your choices, click here.
What happens during a massage?
That depends on where you go. At Beni Massage, once you schedule your first appointment and arrive at Beni Massage, I will greet you and ask you to fill out a Massage Wellness Chart. If it’s your first time visiting me, You will have some paperwork to fill out. I will ask you some questions about the reasons for getting a massage, your current physical condition, medical history, lifestyle, stress level, experiences with specific areas of pain and whether there is any specific need you want addressed during the massage — all of which is confidential. We recommend wearing comfortable clothes and arriving 15 minutes early so you can fill everything out without feeling rushed.
When you’re all finished, you can relax and wait in the lobby. This is also a good time to turn your phone off or on silent. Also a good time to use the bathroom, which is worth using so you won’t need to take a break mid-session.
The paperwork is so I can make sure there aren’t any conditions present that rule out having a massage due to any health risks. Second, I need to know what your needs are regarding the massage so that both of us are clear about what your expectations and goals are for the session. Third, the information you provide helps me determine what massage techniques to use and how to structure the session.
After discussing your needs, I will leave the room to provide privacy while you disrobe. But, what’s the right amount? Some clients prefer to completely disrobe, while others remain partially clothed. Either option is absolutely fine. You should take off only as much as you are comfortable removing. You should also remove jewelry or other articles that may interfere with the massage. Once disrobed, you’ll lie on the massage table under the top sheet and blanket. I will give you a few minutes alone, then knock before entering the room. These are provided for draping during the massage, and I will uncover only the part of the body being massaged, insuring that modesty is respected at all times. The draping also keeps you warm.
Your massage takes place on a comfortable, padded massage table equipped with a heating device to keep you warm. If you would prefer, you can request that the heater be turned down or off. I normally start clients laying on their back with their face looking at the ceiling unless a client requests otherwise. The table may have some extra attachments or cushions, such as a face rest (which allows you to lie in a face down position without turning your head and neck). If you don’t like using any attachments, I can remove it. Expect a peaceful and comfortable environment for your massage. The massage room is equipped with music to enhance your massage experience. If you prefer a completely quiet environment, I can turn the music off. Or if you want your own feel free to bring it in! I have a player that connects to iphones and ipods. I also have Pandora if you would like to listen to a specific station.
I use a hypoallergenic massage cream or oil. Still, it’s a good idea to let me know beforehand if you have any allergies. I also offer Biofreeze (a cold therapy gel used for pain relief and soreness) at the end of the session sometimes if I feel it will help.
The key to obtaining your goals during a massage session is communication. If this is your first massage, tell me. I answer any questions you have and walk you through the process so you feel comfortable. Please let me know if you are in need of general relaxation or stress reduction or if there are specific areas needing attention. For example, general relaxation or stress reduction sessions usually include all the major areas of the body, while a session for a localized injury, pain or tightness will be focused on a specific area. It is possible to spend most of an entire session on only one area depending on the length of the session. If there is anything that does not feel comfortable or right or you do not like, you have the right to ask me to stop. Throughout the session, I will ask about the level of pressure, and you should take this opportunity to communicate the level in which you feel comfortable, asking for more or less. Should you experience pain or discomfort when working a particularly tight area, it’s EXTREMELY important to say so. I am a professional. I can adapt my pressure and techniques techniques to relax stubborn muscles.
After the massage is finished, you will once again be provided with privacy in order to get dressed. Take a few moments to relax before you redress and leave the room when you are ready. I will then offer you some water, discuss areas that were worked, and offer recommendations for future sessions. At this time, you may ask about any questions you have. The usual length of a session is an hour, but may be as short as 30 minutes or as long as 120 minutes.
Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort. Must I be completely undressed? Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed. We tell most clients to disrobe to their under garments or some people bring a swimsuit; 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 during the entire session.
Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe?
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet.
Will I be covered during the session?
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.
What parts of my body will be massaged?
A typical full-body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders.
What will the massage or bodywork feel like?
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. Massage cream or oil is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The cream/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.
Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic massage 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. Check out the differences of types of massage by clicking here.
What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?
Prior to the massage, feel free to ask the practitioner any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable. 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. If you have any questions regarding the session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask.
How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?
Most people feel very relaxed. 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. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage.
Do I need to shower after a massage?
I recommend that a warm bath with epsom salt or shower after receiving a massage is optimal for getting the full benefits out of the treatment. Water has been used for centuries as a therapeutic treatment to alleviate all kinds of muscle and body pain, and combining with a massage will only enhance your experience. In addition, if you suffer from oily skin, it’s a good idea to remove the massage lotion that was used as it does contain higher amounts of oil than a regular hand or body lotion. If you had essential oils put on you or biofreeze or sombra I will tell clients to wait. It just depends on what therapies you received during your session.

Why Massage?
How can I justify taking time for a massage? What good does it actually do?
Aside from the advantages of taking time for relaxation, massage actually benefits you in many other ways. Studies have shown the physical and mental results of one session, as well as ongoing programs.
Some of those benefits include relieving stress and headaches, strengthening your immune system, improving circulation and posture, lowering blood pressure, increasing flexibility and range of motion, enhancing rehabilitation, and more.
Click here for more on each of those benefits, along with other specifics on wellness.
Why is a professional massage better than what I can do at home?
Massaging at home can relieve pain and tension in certain areas. But a licensed, professional therapist has the advantage of training in all types of massage therapy, the ability to maneuver and reach all areas of your body, and an environment designed for relaxation.
If you know you want to focus on a particular area, or even a specific modality like Sports massage or Cupping Therapy, mention that when scheduling an appointment. This will ensure getting a therapist who specializes in that type of massage, and whose experience will likely include techniques you never thought of trying at home.
What are the benefits of massage and bodywork?
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. Check out a longer list of benefits here.
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, the practitioner asks 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 written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required. Get a general idea of contraindications or risks of massage therapy by clicking here.

How Long, How Often
How long should a massage last?
That depends on what you want to accomplish. Some people view a one-hour massage as enough for relaxation and relief of mild stress or tension areas. A two-hour session provides maximum therapeutic relief of chronic pain, stress or tension through a full-body massage using various modalities. And in between those, an hour and a half session allows time for relief of tight muscles or persistent pain, plus dedicated relief of specific areas of discomfort.
A Swedish or Deep Tissue massage can fill any of those lengths, but for something more specialized like a Prenatal, Sports Massage or additional Enhanced Therapies, it might be better to allow 90 or 120 minutes.
How often do I need a massage?
Think of once a month as your baseline for “maintence”. Times of extra physical or mental stress may call for more frequent sessions. Finding time can seem difficult when life is extremely busy, but it’s an investment that will pay off by helping you maintain your pre-stress levels of health and wellness. If you want the maximum benefit, twice a month is really optimal.
How soon will I notice the results of massage therapy?
This depends on what your own specific condition, pain levels and skin health are. The one thing you will notice is a heightened state of relaxation (which is great for stress relief) directly following your session.

Cost of Massage
What does a massage usually cost?
It depends on where you go for that massage. A luxury resort spa typically charges more than someone working out of his or her home. It also depends on the type of treatment you want, since a one-hour basic massage costs less than a two-hour service.
At Beni Massage, there are always special offers for first-time visitors, and clients can take advantage of multiple hour packages that are valid for a year and can be split up and shared with family. Click here for pricing of services.
Do I need to leave a tip?
Just like with any service, it’s never required. Think of getting a massage the same as eating at a restaurant, where tipping 10 to 20% of the pre-discounted price is customary. If you really enjoyed your session, tip more. Gratuities are not included in the session price. 100% of the gratuity goes directly to the therapist. If you feel you received exceptional service, a gratuity is appreciated.

Types of Massage
What's the best massage for a beginner?
A Swedish massage is the most common choice for a first-time visitor, because it provides therapeutic benefits while also being relaxing. There are many types to choose from, though. What's the difference between certain types of massage? The two most common are Swedish and Deep Tissue massage. Nearly every full-body massage incorporates the long flowing strokes and kneading motions of Swedish massage. This promotes relaxation, improves circulation and range of motion, and is great for relieving muscle tension.
Deep Tissue addresses deeper layers of muscle, and is often incorporated after your muscles have been warmed up with Swedish massage. Deep tissue techniques normally include the use of knuckles, forearms, and elbows.
Before deciding which of several choices sounds best, you can get more details on various types of massage — including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Prenatal, and Cupping Therapy.
I work out and keep in shape. What type of massage is best for me?
You might want to consider Sports massage, particularly after a workout. Also keep in mind that as we age, joints tend to tighten. By working muscles, connective tissues and tendons, massage therapy will help improve flexibility and range of motion, helping make you less prone to injury.
How does massage on the abdomen aid digestion?
Massage therapy is about addressing muscles. Massage in the abdominal area can loosen muscles in this area which has the potential to create less stress and more relaxation. When the body is less stressed and relaxed, normal bodily functions can be improved.

For Women
Can I get a massage during my menstrual period?
Absolutely. Some women find it helpful when dealing with PMS or cramps.
I'm taking a fertility drug; is a massage okay?
While massage is generally safe during this medical intervention, it’s wise to check with your doctor’s office as they are more familiar with your specific condition and responses. Bring your doctor’s approval note to your appointment with you.
Will massage help my stretch marks?
Unfortunately, no. Stretch marks come from the inside of your body, so applying oil or massage to the outside of your body won’t affect them — even if companies who supply those products or services say theirs are different.
The good news is that stretch marks won’t get in the way of a massage to make you feel more relaxed about your entire body. Visit Paula’s Choice for more information on what does and doesn’t work on stretch marks.
I have a big ovarian cyst; should I avoid a full-body massage?
Relaxation massage is fine for this condition; however, no massage techniques should ever be applied to the area of the cysts. So abdominal work is contraindicated. Be sure to communicate your condition to I prior to the service.

Is it safe to get a massage while I'm pregnant?
Moms-to-be, especially first-time moms, want to make sure their baby is safe. Prenatal massage therapy is perfectly safe in all trimesters of normal pregnancies and actually can be beneficial. Women in high-risk pregnancies should consult their health care provider before getting a Prenatal massage.
How does massage benefit a pregnant woman?
Massage relieves many of the discomforts experienced during pregnancy, like backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema or swelling. Along with boosting circulation and reducing stress on weight-bearing joints, it can also help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.
Click here for more information on prenatal massage.
Is a Prenatal massage different from a regular massage?
The biggest difference is that I will take extra precautions in making sure you’re comfortable. Soft, supportive cushions help alleviate any strain on your lower back and pelvic area. During your second trimester, I have a wedge to keep you in a reclined position to eliminate any possibility of your pregnant uterus inhibiting return of blood to the heart.
Aside from those differences, though, the prenatal massage experience is the same as any other at Beni Massage.

How to Prepare
What's the best day and time to get a massage?
Everyone has their own preferences for the best day and time. Some people like to schedule after a workout, others before a busy day or after a busy day. Some people like to relax during the weekend, others to boost their energy during the week.
Since Beni Massage is open late, nights and weekends, as well as most days of the week, it’s easy to find the best time for you.
Either way, plan to arrive 15 minutes early so you can take care of the paperwork, use the bathroom, and relax before your appointment.
What should I wear during a massage?
Whatever helps you relax is always recommended. This usually means comfortable clothing. For clients who come straight from work, consider packing a bag with comfy shirts, shorts or pants for when your massage is over.
Should I shave before a massage?
Only if you want to. Professional massage therapists don’t care about back hair or leg stubble. Unless you JUST shaved, everyone is going to have some, so don’t worry about it.
What should I do about my hair during a massage?
Many sessions include cranial therapy, or a head massage. Because of this, your hair may be a little messy when your session ends. If this isn’t a concern, then come as you are. You can also tie your hair back, place it in a bun or wear a hat if it makes you more comfortable. Or ask your therapist to avoid this area. It’s as easy as that!
Should I avoid eating or drinking before a massage?
It’s best to not eat right beforehand. If you’re too hungry to wait, something light that won’t upset your stomach is okay. We just wouldn’t recommend heavier fare.
It’s all right to drink some water or lighter non-alcoholic beverages before your session, but again we recommend not overdoing it. This is more of a comfort issue than anything. So if you’re okay with it, so are we.
What about drinking after a massage?
About 50-70% of your body is water. After lying on a massage table for an hour or so, drinking water can help you re-hydrate and even feel less light-headed. And also help reduce soreness experienced after a massage depending on what kind of work was done during your session.

Etiquette / Embarrassment
What's the proper etiquette for getting a massage?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the massage is for your benefit. You can ask a friendly front desk associate any questions before your session begins. If other questions arise during your massage, I will be happy to answer them.
What if I feel self-conscious about a certain area?
We’re all self-conscious about something, but this shouldn’t keep you from getting healthy. I always try to make clients feel very secure, so they know they’re in a safe place. But if you’re still self-conscious, just ask me to avoid that area and focus elsewhere. And of course, let me know of any health conditions beforehand.
What if something embarrassing happens, like gas or an unwanted response?
Professional therapists have plenty of experience in dealing with those situations. Their goal is to keep you comfortable, so there’s never any need to feel embarrassed. Trust me, people have passed gas on a massage table at some point or time before. It’s a normal bodily function so please don’t feel embarrassed. 😉
What if I'm feeling ticklish?
This is very common. Some people and certain areas are just more sensitive. You can tell me that you’re ticklish and definitely speak up when I hit a ticklish area. There are techniques that I know to help reduce the ticklishness. I may move to broader strokes, or if you prefer, avoid that area altogether. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of, so don’t let being ticklish keep you from enjoying all the healthy benefits.
How do I know whether my therapist is behaving appropriately?
I am professionally educated, so you’ll never need to worry about inappropriate behavior. However, if you ever feel uncomfortable being touched in a ticklish or otherwise sensitive area, be sure to let me know when it happens or even before your massage.
Everyone has individual preferences, and I want to make sure you feel comfortable at all times, so don’t hesitate to speak up!

Therapist Gender, Talk, Skill
Can I choose whether I want a male or female massage therapist?
Absolutely at locations that have both genders. Some people prefer a therapist of their own gender, and some care at all.
When you’re working with a professional therapist, both men and women can give equally powerful and gentle massages, so that doesn’t need to influence your choice. Though since I am the only therapist at Beni Massage you only option is female.
Should I chat with the therapist during my session?
If talking helps you relax, then feel free to have a conversation. But there’s never any obligation to talk during your massage unless you want to. I don’t mind if you talk or just want to be quiet and relax, whatever you want. Your only responsibility is to tell me if you feel any discomfort, so I can adjust to give you the best possible massage.
How do massage therapists know which muscles are tight?
Tight muscles tend to be inflexible. They lose their softness and often can become hard and restricted. During school, student therapists become very adept at recognizing muscle health through fine-tuning their touch senses. Tight muscles also cause pain even when not touched, so you probably know when your muscles are tight just by how you feel.
How much pressure does the therapist use?
It depends on your goals, so be sure to tell me at the beginning of your session if you’re looking for improved flexibility, relaxation, relief of a particular stress point, or anything else.
If you’d like me to use less or more pressure, please say so at any time during your massage. Communication is important for getting the greatest benefit from your session.
I generally start off with a medium pressure and adjust as I notice the client’s reaction. First time clients I also ask multiple times throughout the massage how the pressure is. This allows them the chance to speak up in case they are nervous or shy about speaking up. So please be honest when I ask so I can give you the best experience possible.

At the Studio
What's the difference between using sheets or towels on a massage table?
Beni Massage uses only freshly cleaned linens for every session. This allows for optimal cover and modesty during your session. However, hot towels can be added on to practically any service.
What kind of cream or oil works best for a massage?
At Beni Massage, I use only hypoallergenic cream and oils. This allows for optimal manipulation of muscles, frictionless glide, and fewer — if any — reapplications. For specialty sessions like Deep Muscle Therapy, additional lotions like Biofreeze or Sombra lotions may be used.
Is there any risk of germs if the therapist massages me with bare hands?
Professional massage therapists are very aware of germ risk and are trained to always thoroughly clean their hands and arms before a session and after the session. While we can’t avoid coming in contact with germs in our daily lives, there is no more germ contact threat when receiving a massage than there is in our other everyday activities.

Is it all right to lift weights before a massage?
Most sports and workout enthusiasts enjoy receiving a massage after lifting weights. Your muscles may be extremely overworked and painful if you follow up directly after engaging in weight lifting, so be sure to communicate with me if you need less pressure.
Can massage improve my range of motion?
Yes, it can. So does regular stretching. Both help stimulate your blood flow and increase your flexibility. When your muscles are relaxed and elongated, you’re less likely to strain them and more likely to see additional flexibility in your joints.
Is it better to get a massage before or after my workout?
After is better. It’s a wonderful way to relax and reward yourself for all the hard, healthy work you just did.
I work out and keep in shape. What massage is best for me?
You might want to consider Sports massage, particularly after a workout. Also keep in mind that as we age, joints tend to tighten. By working muscles, connective tissues and tendons, massage therapy will help improve flexibility and range of motion, helping make you less prone to injury.

Possible After-Effects
Could massage bring out problems that were lying dormant before?
There is no research that shows massage brings dormant problems to the surface.
Is it normal to feel tired, shaky or hurt after a massage?
Feeling pleasantly tired and relaxed is very common after a massage. You might feel some tremors in muscles that haven’t felt stimulated in a while, because massage wakes them up with freshly oxygenated blood.
However, it is NOT normal to feel pain after a massage. There may be some mild discomfort or soreness when I work on a particularly tight area, but that shouldn’t linger. Make sure to tell me if you feel any pain at any time.
If you’ve ever experienced pain during a massage before visiting Beni Massage, mention that to me before your session begins. This will alert me to be especially attentive to the sensitive area.
Can Deep Tissue massage release harmful toxins?
A healthy body is efficient when dealing with its metabolic wastes. The wastes or toxins get reused and repurposed, stored away safely, or eliminated through natural body functions. Massage alone does not release toxins.

How soon can I get a massage after I get a tattoo?
New tattoos can cause pain and itching so it’s best to wait a few weeks until all pain and itching is gone.
What is the purpose of having my toes flexed during a foot massage?
Typically this is done to stretch the muscle groups the therapist is working on.
Is it safe to use a muscle relaxant when doing a massage?
It’s best not to be impaired in any way when receiving a massage.
What massages can a very thin person get?
Thin people still have muscles that get tight and cause pain. Your professional massage therapist is well versed in working with clients of all shapes and sizes.
Do I need to make an appointment?
Yes, I am only in the office when I have appointments.
What are your late, cancellation, and sick policies?
You can check out our policies on all these by clicking here.

What is Cupping Therapy?

It’s a negative pressure therapy using suction with a “cup”. Negative pressure, rather than tissue compression is superior for bodywork for pain, stubborn conditions, repetitive strains, inflammation, toxicity, chronic fatigue, digestive problems and a slough of other issues we confront as we grow older. Check out more on this here.

What is Eating Psychology Coaching?

Eating Psychology Coaching is an exciting and cutting edge approach developed by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. It effectively addresses weight concerns, binge eating, overeating, body image challenges, and various nutrition related health concerns. As an Eating Psychology Coach, my approach is positive and empowering. Learn more about taking a different approach to your health by clicking here.