Massage Therapy

WW Coronavirus Closure – UPDATED 3/27/20

 

To our Watershed Wellness community,

It is with profound regret that we have made the decision to temporary close all Watershed Wellness clinics to in-person appointments effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 until at least MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2020.

This decision was not made lightly, as it will have profound ramifications for everyone who has contact with WW. However, with the Coronavirus pandemic continuing to intensify, and without any way for us to verify who is infected and who is not, we have made this decision to help “flatten the curve.”

Note that yoga classes were previously cancelled temporarily, and continue to be. If you wonder whether classes are happening again, you can always head over to our schedule page to learn more.

This will help our country’s medical system keep up with the demand we will soon see for intensive care and limit severe complications and deaths from the virus. For more information on the concept of “flattening the curve” visit this free resource from the Washington Post (free to everyone, regardless of subscription).

If you have an appointment during the closure period, you will be receiving communication from us if you haven’t already.

We will not be rescheduling these immediately, given that we don’t know for certain when operations will begin again. Instead, we will be keeping track of everyone and calling you back the moment we know when the closure will end.

Each week, we are monitoring the situation and receiving information from legal and professional situations, we will determine whether the closure needs to be extended or not, and will call affected patients at that time.

If you are interested in support with Chinese herbs during this period, there is an online consult option available.

Eric Grey, MS, LAc is conducting video consultations for the community. Consults are 30 minutes, done using a privacy protected tool, and herbs will be delivered via USPS or delivered within Astoria city limits. We use the most stringent guidelines to eliminate the possibility of any viral contamination on our end of your package.

If you'd like to read more about the consultations and sign up, please click here.

There is no doubt, this situation is going to be very difficult on all of us.

We encourage you to reach out to members of your community that may need additional support, and to reach out yourself if you are in need. While we don’t know what will be happening in the future, or how our world will change as a result of the pandemic, we do know that our community is filled with kind, compassionate and skillful people. We can get through this together!

With sincere hopes for your ongoing health & joy,

Eric & Amanda

Co-owners

Watershed Wellness

Free yoga for all furloughed federal workers at the Watershed Wellness movement studio

UPDATE: While it seems the shutdown is over for now, we all know the impacts of stress go far beyond the ending of any given stressful event. So we are extending this offer through the end of February. 👍🏼🇺🇸❤️

 

 

Astoria is a Coast Guard city.

Further, Oregon and Washington are home to many federal workers in the sciences, in the park system and in many other important areas of American life. All of these people and their families are being impacted by the unprecedented government shutdown battle currently playing out in Washington D.C.

The shutdown is ugly, and absolutely unneeded. Fortunately, there is some beauty emerging, particularly in our community, that is helping things be a little easier on those impacted by furlough.

There's so much more we're missing in this brief blog post – but the outpouring of support is truly inspiring.

We want to do our part to help.

Until the shutdown ends, we are offering free classes at our movement studio to all federal employees impacted by the shutdown. Stress is one of the hidden impacts of loss of income security, and while yoga isn't going to put food on the table or help you with childcare, hopefully it provides some respite in a world that seems bent on putting burdens on those who can least afford them. All you have to do is show up.

For all of our existing WW movement studio regulars…

It's possible that class sizes will be a little big during this time, and we might end up reaching capacity during the more popular classes. We'll accommodate everyone we safely can, and ask your patience as we try to help your neighbors and friends have some time for reflection, movement and connection.

Please share with anyone you think might benefit, and thank you.

 

 

September Shoulder Love

 

At the beginning of a yoga class, sometimes I’ll posit the question: Anyone have anything that they want to work on today? Invariably someone will say: SHOULDERS!

What I understand this to mean, in most people’s bodies, is that area between the shoulder blades that often gets mucked up and crunchy, as well as the junction between the upper back and the neck. These two areas, the upper thoracic area and the upper trapezius area, are two common places that most people I know hold some tension. It’s also a common pain area for folks coming in for massage therapy.

In my massage practice, my clients often ask if everyone has tension in this area, or if theirs happens to be particularly bad. In general, most everyone I’ve massaged has some level of tension here.

Let’s look at the anatomy of the shoulder:

The shoulder is made up of three bones:

  • Clavicle (collarbone)
  • Humerus (upper arm bone)
  • Scapula (shoulder blade)

The shoulder blade, collarbone and arm are all part of the appendicular skeleton which rests on the axial skeleton. The clavicle provides a fairly stable strut, while the humerus maintains the widest variation of movement possibility. The scapula helps to keep the peace between the two structures by providing extra stability for the clavicle and support by way of the glenoid socket (where the upper arm bone and the scapula meet) in order to manage the shifting of the humerus. This whole structure helps to provide some stability in movement of the arm on the torso (the axial skeleton).

The shoulder is a complex ball and socket joint that moves in a variety of planes. The muscles of the shoulder and arm are amazingly diverse – they span across the width of the back attaching the scapula to the rib cage, neck, head and arms.

The primary movements of the shoulder joint and scapula are:

Shoulder (glenohumeral joint)

  • Flexion
  • Extension
  • Abduction (bringing your arm away from you)
  • Adduction (brining your arm toward you
  • Horizontal Abduction
  • Horizontal Adduction
  • External Rotation
  • Internal Rotation

Scapula (shoulder blade)

  • Elevation
  • Depression
  • Retraction (shoulder blades towardone another)
  • Protraction (shoulder blades away from one another)
  • Upward rotation
  • Downward rotation

There are 17 muscles that articulate with the shoulder blade

Muscles that articulate with the shoulder blade
  • Serratus Anterior
  • Supraspinatus
  • Subscapularis
  • Trapezius
  • Teres Major
  • Teres Minor
  • Triceps Brachii long head
  • Biceps Brachii
  • Rhomboid Major
  • Rhomboid Minor
  • Coracobrachialis
  • Omohyoid inferior belly
  • Lattisimus Dorsi
  • Deltoid
  • Levator Scapula
  • Infraspinatus
  • Pectoralis Minor

 

 

Vectors of pull on the shoulder blade.

An imbalance in any of these structures can cause pain and decreased mobility in your shoulder and scapula mobility.

The shoulder blade wants to be in a balanced position, but when one muscle or group of muscles gets chronically shortened or lengthened, the placement of the shoulder blade on your body can be impacted.

In a yoga class, having integrated shoulders is an essential part of your practice. What do we mean by integrated shoulders?

  • Shoulders that have strength, flexibility and MOBILITY that allow you to do the poses that you want when you want.
  • Shoulders that are well balanced both muscularly and structurally.
  • Shoulders that support you with integrity while putting weight on your hands.
  • Shoulders that work well for you in your daily activities, such as reaching for things over your head, or supporting yourself while mopping the floor on your hands and knees (does anyone else do this?!).

Let's look at a few yoga poses that integrate the shoulders. You can see in the images below that poses such as backbends, arm balances and poses that have arms overhead can all incorporate some good honest shoulder awareness.

Interested in feeling better in your shoulders as well as learning more about the anatomy and function of the shoulders? Come to any class during September for some shoulder love.

We've also recorded a few videos of some shoulder exercises that you can view here. Try these out at home and let us know what you think!

See you on the mat soon!

 

New Monthly Focus: Forward Folds, and a reintro to our Astoria yoga studio

 

This month, at the Watershed Wellness Astoria yoga studio, we’re going to be trying out a new focus for our yoga classes. Throughout the month the teachers at Watershed Wellness are going to be focusing on a unified theme. Each teacher will incorporate the theme into their classes in a unique way including discussing anatomy, yoga philosophy and utilizing gentle breath work.

We’ll also be providing some at-home materials for you to deepen your practice and understanding of of our monthly focus that will include:

  • Blog posts and resources that help to explain the monthly focus
  • A fundamentals level video practice that you can do at home
  • A intermediate level flow practice that you can do at home
  • On occasion, monthly workshops and classes to deepen your practice

So, what's on tap this month?

March Astoria yoga studio focus: forward folds

Forward folds are a great way to get to know the back of your body better. We spend much of our day in a forward folded position. Are you sitting while reading this? You’re in a forward fold! Creasing forward at the hips and rounding through the spine while sitting lengthens out the muscles of your back and hips, while shortening the hamstrings and psoas muscles.

We all spend much of our days in this position, but what if we were able to find some balance between the front and the back of the body in a way that feels supportive and sustainable for the health of our lower backs and hamstrings? Let’s look at the anatomy of the soft tissues along the back of the body

One of the technical terms for this part of our bodies is : The Superficial Back Line (SBL)

The Superficial Back Line connects the posterior body from the base of the foot to the top of the brow line. The SBL connects in two pieces: from foot to knee, and from knee to head. When standing the SBL acts as a continuous line of supported muscles and connective tissue.

The myofascial tissues involved in the SBL are:

  • Plantar fascia
  • Calf muscles:
    • Gastrocnemius
    • Soleus
  • Hamstring muscles
    • Biceps Femoris
    • Semimembranosis
    • Semitendonosis
  • Sacrotuberous ligament
  • Erector Spinae muscles of the back
  • Epicranial fascia

The myofascial tissues of the body follow the law of tensegrity.

Tensegrity (a combination of the words tension and integrity) is a the interplay between balance and tension in the body. For example, if you constantly stand on your left foot and lean your weight over into your left hip, the myofascial tissues of your body are going to start to adapt to this imbalance and create patterns in the body that will reinforce this weight transfer. Some tissues will get longer, and some shorter, to try to maintain this pull toward the left side of your body.

Another easy example to understand is someone who often wears high heels. The plantar fascia and the calf muscles are chronically being shortened, and the pelvis has to do a balancing act to keep you upright. The lower back sways out, shortening the musculature here because your upper back is trying to maintain balance by leaning back. The body has amazing compensatory reactions, but at a cost that might implicate long term lower back pain or knee pain in this instance.

Back to our WW Astoria yoga studio monthly focus: Forward folds

Learning about the musculature of the Superficial Back Line as well as learning how to lengthen and strengthen this connective tissue chain in a balanced and intentful way can help you understand why your lower back always hurts, or why the shoes you are wearing might not be great for your posture. Is it hard for you to reach down and touch your toes? Does this exacerbate your lower back pain? Do you have foot pain or neck pain? The myofascial tissues of the SBL might be part of the problem!

We’ve put together a few examples of forward folds that can help to lengthen out the back of your body. Give them a try at home or come to any class during March to explore these poses in your body.

These poses are also very helpful for finding a gentle inward focus

As we move toward the busy-ness of spring and summer it's nice to cultivate our inner seeds before they come forth into their spring blossoms. This is a chance for you to deepen your understanding of your inner self in a way that feels very grounded as we move toward the Spring Equinox.

We appreciate any comments or feedback about how these poses work for you, or any questions you may have about how to do these poses safely. We'll see you in class at the WW Astoria yoga studio!

WW Podcast episode 13 – Eric & Amanda talk about non-judgment in holistic healthcare

Our podcast schedule got a bit gnarled with the holiday season and the bustle of the New Year – but we're back! In this episode, I sat down with Amanda to talk about judgment, and non-judgment, in the holistic healthcare environment.

In particular, we examine some of the things that commonly hold people back from getting care due to worries about judgment around:

  • Body image, such as body hair, body odor or weight gain
  • Social factors, such as identification as gay or trans, or having low income and so being unable to wear “fancy” clothes
  • Political and intellectual factors, such as having a very conservative viewpoint when you believe your practitioner to be quite liberal

It's just a quick 20 minutes, and we hope it will provoke questions – check out the form on the main podcast page to share your thoughts.

You can access the episode here.

A little tour of our new yoga and natural medicine space in Astoria, Oregon

Today was such a beautiful spring day, after such a relentless winter, that I couldn't help but walk around our new place in amazement. One thing I can say about Amanda and I – the owners of Watershed Wellness – is that we tend to find beautiful spaces to live and work in. Our space nestled into the elm avenues of Ladd's Addition in Portland is resplendent – and this newest space equals it in beauty, energy and enjoyment.

Instead of describe all the great spaces in our clinic, I thought I'd shoot you a quick video with a mildly silly voiceover. I'm no videographer, and our spaces probably deserve a more professional presentation – but I hope you will feel the enthusiasm and wonder in my voice as I show you around.

I hope we'll be shooting more videos around our new home – Astoria, Oregon – to show you all the myriad ways your own local environment, and the nature you see all around, can be a free source of healing and relaxation. In the meantime, check out the page we're building to introduce you to our favorite spots in and around this remarkable town.

Check it out, share it, and by all means – come in for a yoga class, an acupuncture appointment or an ultra stress busting massage. We're ready to help you on your next steps to wellness.

New to Massage at Watershed Wellness in Astoria?

Looking for a massage therapist in Astoria, OR?
massage therapist astoria oregon

Finding the right massage therapist can be a frustrating process. There are only so many to go around! Maybe you used to have someone that you really loved that you no longer are able to see. Yep – we know how it is – you feel that every massage therapist after her has paled in comparison!

…Or, maybe you haven’t ever had massage before. But, you thought you’d try it out for your lower back pain after your doctor recommended it. You don’t really know if it will work, and you don’t want to waste your time. How do you discover the right massage therapist for you?

…Or, maybe something has changed about your body and you are feeling nervous about coming in for a massage. Pregnancy, weight gain, age; all can change the way you feel about showing your body to a medical practitioner, or being touched for any reason.

…Or, perhaps you are a member of a group of people who have traditionally not been treated with respect or care by medical professionals, and you don't know how to find someone who can keep you safe while you're vulnerable on the massage table.

There's no question, even in wonderful places like Astoria, OR, it can be tough to find a massage therapist that is right for you. We hope our website – including this and future follow-up articles – can help you learn how to find a person that works for you. Whether you choose to go with Watershed Wellness, or find another perfect massage therapist, we're glad you're here to learn!

Here are 5 special things about our massage therapists that will help you decide if getting a massage at Watershed Wellness in Astoria Oregon is right for you.

We're non-judgmental and actively cultivate safe space

Our massage therapists have seen a lot of bodies. When we look at your body we are assessing for lots of things in a manner that is non-judgmental about how you look. We look for postural patterns, tension holding, breath patterns and lots of other things that help inform the work we do. Here’s what we don’t look at: wrinkles, fat, unshaven legs, or pedicures. If any of those things are holding you back from getting a massage, know that none of those things is a concern of ours during the massage.

We are also focused on continuing to educate ourselves about the full diversity of human experience so we can be of service to our whole community. We're listed on the the Resources PDX site for trans-informed practitioners (listing currently being updated), and consider ourselves strong allies of the LGBT community. We are consistently educating ourselves about the different economic, ethnic, religious and other facets the Astoria community has – and lending our time and money to causes that make sure that the most vulnerable in the North Coast area are taken care of.

In other words – the massage appointment is a safe space for all bodies, in all states, at all times. You can relax with us – all of you.

We're knowledgable

We like to know how the body works. If you're interested – let us know – we LOVE to share what we know with you. We’ll suggest stretches, show you the bones and musculature, and recommend things that you can do at home or at work that will help you feel better. Our knowledge – and our lifelong learning habits – mean that you're always getting the best of the science and art of massage therapy.

We're experienced

We’ve got a lot of experience under our belts. Our hands know where to find your tension, and we’ve been able to help lots of people with common concerns that massage can address. To name a few: headaches, neck pain, back pain, sciatica pain and stress. When you come in to see any of our practitioners, you will notice how we are able to find the source of your pain and take care of it. Knowledge is great – but it is experience that allows us to adapt what we know to your specific concerns.

We're comfort-oriented

We ask many questions before the massage that will help us provide the massage session that you are looking for – and needing. Along with details about what has worked for you in past massages, we'll work to understand your goals for treatment, and check in with you about any parallel health concerns you have – and anything else we need to know. We like to create an open, communicative environment for massage. Also, we want your feedback about your massage experience in Astoria. We will use that feedback to make sure everyone's experiences with Watershed Wellness are sublime.

We're skillful

One thing is certain – we've got the skill you need for what ails you. We've given thousands of massages of all different types. First timers as well as seasoned massage therapy veterans. We've seen people only once or twice and can adapt to whatever comes our way. Yet, we're also comfortable nurturing lifelong regular treatment relationships. We've seen all types of pathologies, and talked with countless different types of people with dramatically different goals for treatment. Many, many hours in a massage room have given us some great tools that help us to decide how to best approach your massage session.

Most of all, we work hard to make sure that you are getting the massage that you need in a comfortable, non-judgmental way.

We meet you where you are, and address your concerns as best we can. And, if you are open to it, we offer some education that might be helpful to you and your body. We love to answer your questions – if there's anything that you have specific questions about, please reach out at info@nullwatershedwellnessastoria.com. Watch for more expansions on these aspects of Watershed in future articles.

Don't hesitate to sign up for our newsletter – packed with North Coast adventure tips, education about your body and our medicine, and special deals!

If you are ready to schedule your first appointment, you can do so here. We look forward to working with you!

Watershed Wellness has a new home for healthcare in Astoria Oregon

As we've discussed on our Portland website, on our Facebook account and via our new Watershed Astoria newsletter, we're opening a new clinic here in Astoria! We will be inviting the first appointments and classes in starting January 17 – assuming everything goes more or less according to plan.

But how did we end up opening a second clinic focused on health and wellness in Astoria?

Good question! We'll hope to tell more of the story of how the clinic opening has been here on the blog and on the newsletter in the coming months. But the shortest possible story is simple. In March of 2016, we (Eric and Amanda) manifested our vision of moving our home base to Astoria, OR from Portland. But, instead of closing up shop in Portland – a place we still dearly love – we decided to expand! Thus you have Watershed Astoria.

The two locations will have different modalities, different foci, and yet maintain the same commitment to customer service, quality work done by intentful experts and a spirit of joy and fun in everything we do.

One of the most notable differences between the two clinics is in what we're offering. In Portland, of course, we offer Chinese medicine, Naturopathic medicine, skin therapy and massage therapy. In Astoria, we will be focusing on Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and massage therapy as far as medical modalities are concerned. While we may expand from those initial healthcare offerings, we are hoping to first focus on providing the best possible acupuncture, Chinese herbs and massage as we can.

One of the most exciting things about the new location is that we will be offering Watershed Yoga to the Astoria community

Amanda Barp, co-founder and chief massage therapist at Watershed, completed yoga training at the Bhaktishop in Portand. While she started school at her favorite studio mostly to enhance her own practice, as she went, she discovered how what she was learning about yoga meshed with what she already knew about the human body through her 10+ year long massage career.

This sparked further study and a deep immersion in her studies which resulted in her being asked to teach a class at her alma mater studio! This honor has allowed her to learn so much about yoga in a short period of time – particularly how she can help new practitioners to do yoga safely, no matter their age or mobility impairments. This passion drives her today.

We will be writing a lot about Watershed Yoga on the blog and through expanding the main Yoga page on this site. To give us a chance to make sure the studio is perfect for you, we'll be delaying the start of classes until February 1. Those first classes are already available for you to register if you're excited to get started.

To help jumpstart a vibrant yoga community at Watershed, we're offering 50% single classes and 5 class packs through the entire month of February 2017.

To take advantage, just use the code ASTORIAOPEN if you pay for your class online, or mention the discount if you pay in person.

Sign up for your class by clicking this link

We'll be sharing more about what's new at Watershed over the next several days. Stay tuned – and if you would like to have the latest articles sent direct to your email – sign up here.

Massage for Stress Relief – It’s a Real Thing

Earlier this year, I realized that I needed a change in my life.

Portland, Oregon Waterfront

Portland has been getting busier and busier, and I was starting to realize that this busy-ness, the daily stress, was starting to have a cumulative effect on my body. In essence, I was shorting out. My nervous system couldn’t calm down and I’d developed an eye twitch. In my daily practices of yoga and meditation, I couldn’t let go all of the way. I knew that something had to change.

You may think that the life of a massage therapist has to be stress free, right? We spend long hours in dark rooms with relaxing music facilitating an environment that promotes stress relief, pain reduction and a possibility of letting go. But my life, like any Portlander’s life, is filled with complications, challenges, stress and the realities of living in a burgeoning city. I realized that I needed a change in my life. I realized that stress was starting to creep into my life, and into my body, in a way that was unexpected and that felt potentially harmful in the long term. What I needed was some serious stress management.

The more I learn about the negative effects of stress on the body, the more solid I get in why I chose massage therapy as a profession.

I talk to my clients all of the time about the effects of stress on their bodies, and I was starting to feel those effects in my own body in a real, and serious way. Heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression, anxiety, gut problems – stress is a major contributor to all of these common health problems. Common health problems that we can, hopefully, prevent by managing our stress!

Massage for relaxation and stress reduction is often less valued than deep tissue or therapeutic massage. I often have clients who tell me that they don’t feel like they’ve had a massage if they don’t feel like you’ve “worked it out”. Sure, I’m all for getting into those points of pain and tension that we all feel, but I’m going to do it in a relaxing context. I’m going to facilitate and promote a sense of letting the body sink in and let go.

How does massage relieve stress?

Massage induces a relaxation state that slows your heart rate and breathing rate, your blood pressure goes down and your muscles relax. Massage also releases oxytocin into the body. Oxytocin is a hormone that is produced by the hypothalamus and is, interestingly, a stress hormone that is pumped into your body as part of the stress response. It motivates you to seek support in times of stress. Oxytocin is a natural anti-inflammatory and helps blood vessels stay relaxed during stress. It is enhanced by social contact and is known as the “cuddle hormone”. When you choose to connect with others when under stress, you become more resilient to stress. Oxytocin release lowers anxiety, facilitates healing, enhances digestion and increases trust.

Massage is one of the best ways to get oxytocin release into the body.

High Resolution -103Seeking out massage for stress reduction is a safe way to connect with another person. Massage therapy is one of the few ways that we are allowed safe, non-agenda touch from another human. Even light touch has been shown to be helpful in releasing oxytocin.

Massage (even relaxation massage!) is not a luxury but rather a natural and enjoyable way to get some much needed stress relief in this world that seems to be moving very fast.

The massage therapists at Watershed Wellness are committed to providing therapeutic massages in a relaxing context. We love to work out the aches and pains, but we also realize that we provide a much needed reprieve and repair from the stressful things in life. We love what we do, and it comes through in our work. In fact, we get a similar oxytocin release by giving massages!

If you want to know more about how we can help, please reach out to us at info@nullwatershedwellnesspdx.com and we're happy to answer any questions you may have. If you are ready to schedule, you may do so online here.

P.S. There's a great TED talk that changes perspective on stress that we found to be helpful for this article.

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How to Get a Great Massage

I’ve had a couple of conversations with friends and colleagues about recent massages that they’ve received. Some of the feedback I heard about their massages with other practitioners was problematic, if not a little alarming.

A few things that I consistently hear about massages that weren’t the best include:

  • the massage therapist talked too much
  • pressure was off – either way too much or too little
  • care was not taken to make sure you were comfortable – from the temperature being off, to the therapist leaving the room or not providing any closure to the session, to draping issues (it’s Oregon law to drape appropriately, by the way)
  • being massaged in places/ways that you weren't comfortable with.

There’s certainly work that goes in to creating a comprehensive massage session. An artful massage will not only include skillful techniques that are effective and relaxing, but will also combine education about what the therapist is seeing in your body, as well as make sure you are comfortable with what’s happening in the room at all times.

Here’s the Watershed Wellness primer on how to get the massage you need:LowResolution-99

First and foremost, make sure that the therapist understands why you are coming in for a massage.

I’m usually overt about this, asking “what were you hoping I could do for you today?” If your therapist doesn’t ask right out, make sure that you let them know. Maybe you’ve been extra stressed and just need some relaxation time. Maybe you’re training for a marathon and need some muscular tension relief in specific areas. Whatever it is for you on that day, make sure that your therapist knows why you are coming in.

Let your massage therapist know what kind of pressure you like.

Again, a good therapist will address this in the intake, but if they don’t ask please let them know. Also, if during the massage the pressure is off either way, be sure to ask for an adjustment. Don't feel like you have to grin and bear a painful pressure, and conversely don’t feel like you have to withstand the irritation of pressure that is too light and not quite getting to the problem spots.

If you feel uncomfortable at any time, let your massage therapist know.

If the temperature is too hot or too cold, if you hate the music, or if something is distracting you from completely letting go. Your massage therapist won’t be irritated or give you a hard time about this – they’ll just adjust to suit your needs.

Feeling chatty?

The number one complaint I hear from clients is that their massage therapist was too chatty. It's awkward to tell your massage therapist that you don't want them to talk so you can relax. An easy way to deal with this is during the intake. Let your massage therapist know that you prefer a quieter massage, as this helps you relax. Remember: your massage session is not your massage therapist's social time, it's time for you to unwind and get great bodywork. Setting the framework from the beginning about your expectations are will go a long way – hopefully resulting in getting the quiet time that you are looking forward to.

Draping is not an option. Period.

MassageTxRoomIn Oregon, we’re legally bound to cover our clients in a way that protects their modesty. To put it frankly, if your breasts or butt crack are showing, that is not ok. If you feel uncomfortable with your glutes being massaged, for instance (and there wasn’t a question about what you would prefer not to have massaged on the intake form) tell your massage therapist. There are ways to address areas like the gluteals and the stomach without compromising your own comfort. And always, if these are places that you’d rather not have your massage therapist work on, let them know!

Massage works best if you can to find a massage therapist that can work with you consistently.

Your massage therapist will get to know your body, your tension patterns, your comfort around pressure, music, temperature etc. You’ll have less of the “getting to know you” part of the session each time you come. Your LMT will be able to start to tailor the sessions to your needs with even more detail after a few sessions.

Your massage therapist will want to know if you had any adverse reactions to the massage.

One friend I spoke to had recently had a massage that caused her neck to spasm shortly afterwards. She felt that the massage therapist had not taken enough care when massaging in this area and had gone too deeply. Even though your massage therapist may have touched hundreds, if not thousands, of bodies, they don’t know your body more than you do. If you are feeling any discomfort during or after the massage, we want to know!

P.S. As a side note, we also like to know if things were awesome. If you feel better, that’s great feedback!

Our massage therapists at Watershed Wellness are all very adept at making sure that you have a great experience and leave feeling better in your body. It is our goal to understand what brings you in for massage, and to meet those needs in a way that is thoughtful and comfortable to you. If you are interested in scheduling with one of our excellent massage therapists, you can check out our online schedule. We hope that you'll have an excellent experience and let others know. If there are ever ways that we can improve, I sincerely hope that you'll let US know!