Massage Therapy & Bodywork - Frequently Asked Questions

 

You talk a lot about mind-body connection - what if I just want a massage?

That's totally up to you.  It's your time on the table, so you get to call the shots.  I work with many clients who just want to relax on the massage table without engaging in any kind of mind-body dialog.  It depends on what you are looking for. 

 

However, if you are coming to me with a serious or chronic condition, it is likely that a mind-body dialog will be useful.  If you are facing serious chronic pain, stress, or injury, I may encourage you to engage more deeply with your own experience and tell me more about it, or offer you other techniques and resources for healing.

 

I like to be massaged in silence - do you talk during sessions?

For the most part, I leave this up to you.  A little bit of conversation in the beginning helps me tune in to your body and your needs, but for the most part, I don't initiate conversation unless you want me to.  Some clients like to talk through much of the session, others prefer silence.

 

The only exception to this is when we start to get into intense deep tissue therapy.  As I start to go deeper in a new area, I will check in to make sure the pressure feels right.  Doing so allows me to offer you a safe and optimal experience.  Intense deep tissue therapy for injury or chronic conditions requires good communication to be effective.

 

Are your clients nude under the draping?

Again, it's up to you.  Most clients choose to be fully nude under the sheets, and are securely draped at all times.  Some clients prefer to keep their underwear on, and that's fine. If you would prefer to remain partially clothed, I encourage you to do so, because it means you will feel more comfortable and thus enjoy the massage more!  If you are completely uncomfortable with nudity of any kind, you might enjoy a traditional Thai massage, in which the client remains fully clothed.

 

Do you belong to a professional certifying body that can vouch for you?

I am state certified through the California Massage Therapy Council (#22344), and they do background checks and livescan fingerprinting as part of their certification standards.  I'm also always happy to offer references from other clients.  If you feel nervous about working with a new massage therapist, please tell me about your concerns and how you would prefer to be massaged.  Your comfort is my number one priority!

 

I have a history of trauma or sexual abuse - can you help me?

It's best if we have a conversation about this in person before deciding to work together.  In some cases, massage therapy can provide a safe healing space for trauma survivors.  In others, it can be triggering and may feel uncomfortable.  In acute cases of unresolved trauma, I might ask that you work with a psychotherapist in conjunction with our sessions.  If this is a concern for you, please get in touch, and we can talk about how I can best be  of service to you.

 

Don't you have a masters degree in psychology?

I have a masters degree in somatic psychology - it is a research degree, meaning I have researched the mind-body connection extensively.  It is NOT a counseling degree or a degree in clinical psychology.  This means that while I have expertise and wisdom to share in the field of mind-body wellness, I am not a licensed psychologist.  If you feel you need professional psychotherapy or psychiatric care, I am happy to refer you to a qualified licensed psychologist or medical doctor.

 

Further questions?

 

Jonathan Whittle-Utter is a certified massage therapist through the state of California

License #22344

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