THE COSMIC ATHLETE LLC

Muscle-renewal massage for athletes, weekend warriors, and everyone becoming the best they can be

FAQs

What type of massage should I schedule? Thai? Swedish? Deep?

All of the massages I offer are generally excellent choices for active folks, so it's hard to make a wrong choice. If you are looking for a very light, "oil rub" massage that you would typically find in a spa setting, you would be happier with a different practitioner. My massage strokes and stretching are intended to penetrate relatively deeply into the bellies of the muscles and to address flexibility and range of motion concerns that are valuable to people who are very active in their work, exercise, or athletic training. Sometimes this deeper work can involve a bit of pain -- I hear the phrase "but it's a good hurt" A LOT! -- but the overall effect is deeply relaxing even in my most "put the hurt on" styles. That's because I couple more painful movements with enough relaxing movements to ensure that the total massage is at once a highly enjoyable and a highly therapeutic experience.

  • Most newcomers opt for a deep tissue/Swedish massage, performed on a table and employing an appropriate massage oil or lotion. The client is nude underneath the desired level of draping. The massage oil or lotion is applied to the parts of the body being worked on as the massage progresses.
  • A Thai massage, by contrast, is conducted on a mat on the floor to provide a wider space in which to perform the many stretches and compressions, many of which involve my using my full body weight in the movement. A traditional Thai massage can be performed while the client is fully clothed in loose-fitting clothing, with no oil or lotion used. Or the client can be nude underneath the desired level of draping, so that some Swedish style strokes using oil or lotion can be incorporated.
  • Ashiatsu is a wonderful style of massage in which I use my feet to perform many of the compressions, with and without oil, by standing on, stepping on, or gliding across the client in highly controlled movements. It is a very safe style because I hold onto secured railings to ensure I keep my balance.
  • My specialty massages for athletes can incorporate elements from several massage styles, tailored for each client's needs.

Again, all of my massages will typically involve a higher degree of sustained pressure in the compressions, along with one or more stretches and some heat or cold, to produce the benefits sought for active bodies.

What should I wear? What is draping?

For a traditional Thai massage, wear loose-fitting clothes such as light sweats, or yoga-type clothes. For mixed Thai and all other types of massages, I recommend that you remove all clothing, so that you are nude, so that oil or lotion may be applied to bare skin during the gliding compressions. Draping is the practice of covering the body with a sheet or towel to ensure warmth and/or accommodate modesty concerns. When draping is used, the client's genitals (and women's breasts) remain covered at all times, and only the part of the body being massaged is uncovered. Draping is generally not required, and I typically leave the use of draping to my clients' discretion, as the practice is intended to ensure each client's comfort. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please ask me prior to the beginning of a session. My aim is to ensure that my clients are comfortable and secure during their massage sessions.

How often should I get massages?

Every chance you get! Specifically, as frequently as your interest, budget, and schedule allow. If I had the time, I would have two 120-minute massages per week, one mixed Thai-style and one deep tissue/Swedish, with a lomi lomi massage thrown in there every once in a while, and shorter focused sessions as needed to address isolated issues from my crossfitting/desk-job sitting/massaging -- but unfortunately my schedule rarely permits massages this often. Many massage enthusiasts set up routines of once a month or once every two weeks. If you incorporate massage as a part of your athletic training, exercise, or sporting event recovery routines, let's discuss your objectives and I will suggest a routine in line with your budget. For those seeking a specific, isolated objective (e.g., "I want to prepare for a track meet." "I want to loosen up my back and my core prior to the CrossFit Open."), let's discuss -- I can help!

Should I have more than one massage therapist? Am I "cheating" if I find another provider?

I recommend having a number of therapists, so as to utilize the full set of styles and techniques that you find valuable. Therapists' training, natural skills, interests, and experience all play a role in giving their massages uniqueness and individual styles. It is natural for clients to find some styles appealing and some less appealing. If you can find a set of therapists you like, you should utilize all of them. And your needs and tastes may vary over time.

May I call you a masseuse?

masseuse: A masseuse is a woman who practices massage and has none of the western medical training and is not licensed and may be associated with prostitution. In most states this is illegal. (www.urbandictionary.com)

I'm not too hung up on titles. The title massage therapist is common in the United States for practitioners who perform professional massage. The word "masseuse" is more common in other countries -- and it refers to a woman (and potentially other things as described in the definition above)! So if you insist on that term, please use the male variant, masseur.

My chakras are out of whack! I could use some reiki to harmonize my qi! Can you help me?

Not really. Just as you would benefit from finding a practitioner who specializes in lighter massage styles if that is what you enjoy, you will also need to find a different practitioner if you are looking for "energy" work.

Why do you keep telling me to breathe?

You may hear me recommend that you take "deep, dramatic breaths" or hear me breathing in this style myself during the course of the massage. Deep breathing -- deep "belly breathing" inhalation, and long, controlled exhalations -- will help ensure a good flow of oxygen to the tissues being worked during the massage. Just as importantly, this conscious style of breathing will help you relax during the massage, as well as help you focus on the benefits of some of the strokes that can involve some "good hurt." Don't be embarrassed to breath "loudly" -- it's all part of ensuring the most beneficial experience possible.