Well of Life Center for Holistic Healthcare

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Facials

What can I expect at my facial appointment?
Plan to arrive to your first appointment about 15 minutes early. You will need to fill out a form listing contact information, allergies, and any medications that you are currently taking. Then your esthetician will evaluate your skin using a magnify lamp, ask you about your goals for your skin, and make a recommendation for skincare products and treatments to help you reach those goals. A facial generally consists of a cleansing, exfoliation, steam (in the form of warm towels or a steamer), massage, a treatment mask, and a moisturizer.
What should I do to prepare for my facial?
Since our facials are designed to work on your skin from the neck up, you are to do nothing; we do it all. Cosmetics can be reapplied after the service; feel free to bring them with you, or ask about our make-up application services. Men should shave 12 hours before, if possible, unless bearded. Other than these few easy steps, simply be ready to relax and enjoy yourself in our private, comfortable facial room.
Will the facial hurt or be uncomfortable?
You should never feel irritation, burning, or discomfort during your facial. All products we use are created to be non-irritating, and your esthetician is trained to use the best products for your skin type. If for some reason you should feel discomfort, please tell your esthetician immediately.
How often should I get a facial?
Generally, facials are recommended seasonally. However, you can discuss your specific needs, desired outcomes, and schedule with your esthetician.
If I get a facial, do I have to buy products to use at home?
No, but talk to your esthetician about what products you are using. Many products from drug stores or beauty counters contain ingredients that cause or contribute to skin issues such as dryness, oiliness, and redness.
Why do I need facials?
A regular facial routine is more about skin health and maintenance than it is about luxury or pampering, although many do find it to be a relaxing, enjoyable experience. Facial services help increase circulation and stimulate the skin, strengthen the elastin and collagen, hydrate, and decrease fine lines and wrinkles. They can also help slow down premature aging and drastically improve conditions such as acne, redness, and rosacea. Facials are a great preventative treatment to help you beat wrinkles before they occur, and can also help you achieve lighter, brighter, younger-looking skin. In addition to healthier skin, many men enjoy regular facials to help minimize irritation, redness, ingrown hairs, and razor burn associated with shaving.
Why do I need a professional skin therapist?
For the same reason doctor and dentist check-ups are necessary: for better health! Skin is a living part of your body (your largest organ, in fact), that defends against environmental assaults and extreme temperatures. It helps eliminate toxins from the body, and it is continually renewing and protecting. To look and feel its best, your skin needs personal attention from a professional. We feature licensed estheticians, who are intensely educated skin-health experts. They have the answers to your most pressing skin-care concerns. They know how to deliver real, visible results. They are trained to deliver the specific professional skin treatments that will target your specific needs, and prescribe the products that will help maintain your optimum skin health at home in between facials.
How soon will I start seeing results from my facial?
Some people see results immediately, and your skin should feel different right away. The skin feels clean, smooth, and hydrated, and reflects a new level of health that’s visibly noticeable. If the skin has more advanced, long-term needs, such as treatment of skin aging, acne, or hyper-pigmentation caused by hormonal fluctuations, lifestyle choices, supplements and medications, or sun damage, results may not be immediately visible; however, skin health will continue to improve as you follow the advice of your professional skin therapist, and continue your home-care regimen.
What are the long-term benefits of getting regular facials?
Plain and simple: healthy skin! And healthy skin is better-looking skin. The products used are designed to help keep skin at an optimal level, not just cover up with cosmetic results. In addition, when skin is at an optimal level, your professional skin therapist can more effectively address issues that may arise from time to time, as your skin’s needs are constantly changing.
How can seasonal changes affect my skin?
Similar to the seasons, skin goes through its own fluctuations. Combine nature’s weather cycle with air conditioning and forced-air heating, and you have skin that’s constantly under assault. Cold winds and low temperatures can dry out skin, depriving it of balanced levels of waters and oils, contributing to dryness, dehydration, sensitivity, and premature aging. Prolonged exposure to the sun causes water to evaporate from skin, which is why skin that has recently been burned or tanned requires more moisturization and hydration than unexposed areas. Any heated air also dries out skin; warm, dry air acts like a sponge, soaking up water from everything it touches. To help skin stay healthy with the seasons, speak with your esthetician about modifying your skin care regimen accordingly. Chances are that with a few product updates seasonally, you can keep skin healthy year-round.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chemical Peels

How many treatments are required?
This depends on the person and the goals you are looking to accomplish. Your esthetician will discuss this with you in person once they assess your skin.
Can I go back to work after a chemical peel?
YES! A few patients do notice their skin feeling tight immediately after the treatment, as if the skin has been exposed to the sun or wind. You might experience a slight dryness of the skin, depending upon your skin type. An effective moisturizer is applied after the treatment to prevent this drying of the skin. The skin might appear slightly red for the remainder of the day. Additionally, you will be asked to refrain from using makeup on the day of the treatment to give the skin the chance to breathe and regenerate itself.
How soon will results appear?
Depending on the person and their damage, most people will see results within one day; however, again, this depends on each individual’s skin.
Who are candidates for chemical peels?
The ideal candidates for chemical peels are healthy adults who have relatively minor skin conditions or imperfections and realistic expectations about what chemical peels can and cannot do. Chemical peels work well for damaged skin, whether affected by acne, sun damage, or aging, as well as for skin of any type or color.
Who should avoid chemical peels?
Chemical peels are not recommended for people who have deep scars, active keloids, undiagnosed lesions, a recent herpes outbreak, warts on the face, skin cancer, active acne (stages 3 and 4), sunburns, active rosacea, eczema, and auto-immune system disorder, unstable diabetes, or people with broken capillaries or saggy skin. Pregnant women should not undergo chemical peels.
How does the treatment feel?
Chemical peels do not require anesthesia, although it may be mildly uncomfortable. Heat sensations are common effects, and quickly fade.
How long do the results last?
Lasting effects are dependent on proper skin care. Additional treatments will renew your youthful appearance.
What are the limitations of chemical peels?
Chemical peels are designed for minor imperfections and general improvement. Those with very large or dark spots, moderate to deep wrinkles, and serious scars should seek an alternative treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Waxing

Why wax in the first place?
Waxing is one of the best ways to temporarily remove unwanted hair. It is more effective than shaving because it removes hair from the roots, not just from the skin’s surface. Over time, hair in waxed areas regrows lighter and sparser, or not at all. Even fine hair shadows the face, distorting and aging your features. Waxing the brows opens up the eyes, providing a non-surgical facelift. Other benefits include…

  • Skin Health – Not only does waxing remove hair, it’s a physical exfoliation that removes lifeless surface skin cells, which means you’re receiving hair removal and skincare all in one.
  • Smoother Skin – Because you are removing hair from the root and exfoliating the skin, after a wax, you’ll probably find that your skin is now smoother than ever!
  • Longer Lasting Results – Since your hair is being removed by the root, it will take much longer to grow back than with shaving.
  • Thinner and Finer Hair – When your hair does grow back after waxing, it will grow back weaker, making it finer, softer, and sparser.
  • Minimal Irritation – Many people find hair removal methods like epilation and hair removal creams irritating to the skin. However, waxing rarely causes this problem if it’s done by an experienced professional.
How long should the hair be for waxing?
We recommend getting waxed once your hair has grown to be at least a quarter inch long. Usually, you wax will last from three to four weeks, but everyone’s rate of re-growth is different, so results will vary between guests. New to waxing? Be sure to not shave for a minimum of 3 weeks prior to waxing.
What areas of the body can be waxed?
The wax can be used on almost any part of the body as needed.  It is wise to test a small area first for sensitivity.  Some frequently waxed areas for women are legs, underarms, bikini line, eyebrows, and face. Men most often wax the chest, legs, arms, and back.  The exceptions for waxing are beards and inside the ears.
Does waxing have to hurt?
Many of our clients use a product called Plumb Numb (which we sell in our boutique) to ease the pain/discomfort up to 80%. It is a topical anesthetic that absorbs into the skin and will not interfere with your waxing service. Apply 30 to 45 minutes prior to your waxing and relax. It is not messy or greasy, nor will it harm your clothing.
How long will the results last?
After a client’s first waxing, the results can last 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the individual’s hair re-growth. In most cases, hair growth is minimal during the first week or two, and noticeably increases in the third and fourth week. Heat stimulates hair growth, therefore hair grows quicker in the summer than in the winter. With regular waxing, the length of time between treatments will increase. Continued waxing results in sparse hair re-growth.
Will the hair grow back thicker?
Absolutely not. It might seem so because you will be accustomed to a hairless zone, and new hair will be intolerable. Usually, regrowth will be finer, thinner, and slower. Eventually, hair growth may stop altogether. Consistency pays off. Once your first wax is out of the way, every reservation gets easier and easier, as long as you don’t shave. If you shave, the next wax will likely feel just like the first. Additionally, shaving between waxes can make you susceptible to itching, or worse — ingrown hairs.
Are there any health precautions to keep in mind?
VERY IMPORTANT: Some physicians do not recommend waxing for persons suffering from diabetes or who have varicose veins or poor circulation, as they are more susceptible to infection.

Please inform your esthetician of any medications you are taking, such as antibiotics or Accutane, or topical creams you’re using, such as Retin-A, which may not be compatible with waxing. Waxing is never done on clients taking Accutane and is not recommended for clients using Retin A, Renova, Differin, or other types of skin-thinning acne medications. Please read the label carefully and consult your dermatologist if you are taking any medication or using any topical cream that contains these medications. Individuals do react differently to these medications and sometimes waxing can be done if proper patch testing is completed. Also, please advise your esthetician if you are allergic to any foods – because if you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t put the extracts on your skin. Please be completely honest with your skin care therapist about all allergies and medications you are taking – it is for your protection.

What are the possible side effects of waxing and how can they be minimized?
Although we cannot predict or guarantee who may react, most clients do not experience reactions beyond redness and minor irritation. Hair may break at the root during waxing, causing some hairs to grow out faster. Please follow these guidelines to minimize irritation and possible break outs:

Before your waxing services

  • Do not tan the area you plan to wax 24 – 48 hours before your reservation.
  • Do not drink alcohol or significant amounts of caffeine before your reservation. Both can cause your pores to tighten, resulting in a more uncomfortable experience. Save the partying for afterwards.
  • Do not shave up to 3 weeks prior to your waxing. Hair must be 1/4″ long for waxing services.

After your waxing services

  • Avoid the sun immediately after waxing, and wear sun screen; recently waxed areas are prone to hyperpigmentation (permanent darkening of the skin) if exposed to the sun.
  • Avoid heavy exercise for at least 10 hours after waxing.
  • Avoid saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, and other heated sources for at least 48 hours.
  • Do not use exfoliating products (AHAs, scrubs, etc.) and loofahs until at least 24 hours after waxing.
  • Avoid tight clothing after waxing, especially in the waxed areas. Tight clothing may result in irritation and ingrown hairs.
  • Do not shower or receive oral sex for 10 hours after a Brazilian wax.
How long does waxing take?
Depending on the body part and the density of the hair growth, your waxing appointment will take between fifteen minutes and one hour.
What are my choices for waxing my bikini area?
Bikini Line is a basic tidying; we wax the sides (called your panty line) and across the top. If you’re wearing a bikini, this will prevent any hairs from “peeking out.”

Bikini Full is the next step, and allows you to take off as much or as little hair as you like from the front. Let your therapist know if you want to leave a small strip, triangle, square, or nothing at all.

Brazilian goes from the front all the way to the back with an added butt strip. This is perfect for a completely nude look, or you can leave a neat triangle, strip, or square on the front.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lash and Brow Tinting

What is eyelash tinting?
Eyelash tinting is a process where your eyelashes are dyed to make them look darker. Depending on your skin type and hair color, you can achieve eyelash colors, including black, blue, shades of brown, grey, or whatever color best fits your complexion. It’s great for women who lead a very active life but can’t live without mascara or want that made up look before even getting out of bed! It’s a perfect solution to giving you dark, tantalizing eyes without having to apply layers of mascara.
Who is eyelash tinting for?
Eyelash tinting will benefit people that are sensitive to make-up, people who are active in sports (especially swimming), and people who have no time to apply make-up daily. This process is also ideal for people who wear contact lenses, because they don’t have to suffer putting on mascara any longer.
How does eyelash tinting work?
The process involves a quick and non-surgical procedure using vegetable dye as tint. Compared to putting on mascara, the effects of eyelash tinting are very natural.
Is eyelash tinting dangerous?
This is the most common question among clients interested in tinting their eyelashes. Since eyelashes are close to the eyes, it is important to ensure that every procedure done around the eyes are safe.
What happens during an eyelash tinting treatment?
A typical eyelash tinting takes around fifteen minutes. Because of this, tinting your eyelash can fit into the busiest of schedules. Once you arrive at the salon, the therapist will place cotton under your closed eyes and then apply a small amount of vegetable dye onto your eyelashes. After ten minutes, the dye is removed with water. The results could last around four to six weeks.
Why would I want to tint my eyebrows?
Eyebrow tinting is a great option if you have radically changed your hair color, you have noticed gray hairs in your eyebrows, you want thicker-looking eyebrows, or you want to add definition to your face. Luckily, our professional will be able to recommend the most suitable shade for your eyebrows, while taking your own preferences into account. If you want to achieve as natural a look as possible, you are advised to only every lighten or darken your eyebrows by one or two shades.
Is eyebrow tinting safe?
Eyebrow tinting is a lot safer than attempting to dye your eyebrows at home with hair dye, which is something many women do. Putting any sort of chemical near the eyes is extremely hazardous and inadvisable. Visiting a qualified professional minimizes the risk of anything going wrong because they have to comply with certain safety measures.
What happens during an eyebrow tinting treatment?
Your beauty professional will rub the area around your eyebrows with petroleum jelly to prevent the dye from staining the skin. He or she will then comb the tint from the inside corners of the eyebrows to the out, using a disposable applicator. The tint will then need about 5-10 minutes to develop, after which it will be removed using a cotton wipe.

The tint is likely to stain the skin between the brow hairs initially, making them appear darker in the first day or so than they really are. Don’t panic if your brows look strange to you at first – the difference is bound to feel a little odd initially, but you’ll soon get used to it.

How long should an eyebrow tint last?
Eyebrow tint is described as semi-permanent dye, not because the color fades, but because eyebrow hairs have a very short growth cycle. Eyebrow hairs tend to fall out within 6-8 weeks, taking the tint with them.

Frequently Asked Questions About High Frequency

What is a High Frequency Facial?

The high frequency facial is a skin care treatment used by professionals to help treat and prevent stubborn acne, shrink enlarged pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, decongest puffy eyes, fade dark eye circles, rejuvenate the condition of the scalp, and nourish hair follicles for healthier hair growth. Considered a timeless and essential skin rejuvenating treatment by those in the skin care industry, high frequency has been shown to stimulate cell renewal and improve skin care product penetration and absorption by gently warming the tissues of the skin. The safe, gentle oscillating and oxygenating power of high frequency electrical current has been shown to enhance blood circulation, increase collagen and elastin production, eliminate toxins and acne-causing bacteria, encourage lymphatic drainage, exfoliate dead skin cells, and improve skin care product absorption. The primary action of high frequency current is thermal (heat producing) and is characterized by a high rate of oscillation. Due to its rapid rate of oscillation, high frequency does not cause muscular contractions – instead, it works on the principle of skin toning. High frequency facial machines and devices (traditionally referred to as “violet rays”) vary in design and appearance; however, the underlying principle, technology, and operational functions are virtually the same.

How does the High Frequency Facial work?

High frequency facial machines work in conjunction with high frequency electrodes, which are made of clear tempered glass, and come in a variety different shapes and sizes to facilitate the treatment of various contours of the face and body. When the high frequency electrode is firmly inserted into the high frequency hand piece, a gentle alternating electrical current is generated by the high frequency machine, which then passes through the attached glass electrode upon contact with the skin. This contact ignites the inert gas within the electrode, which produces healing electrical light energy and unstable oxygen, which instantly converts into purifying ozone. In other words, when mixed with the air outside of the electrode, the electrical current infuses the skin with rejuvenating oxygen molecules and a therapeutic zapping or tingling sensation is experienced. In treating aging skin, high frequency current firms and tones by causing an immediate circulation rush to the skin in addition to subtle tissue warming. These functions cause a very safe and natural contraction of the underlying blood vessels and tiny muscle groups. The dilation of the underlying vessels pushes away toxins, while the cells enjoy a feast of increased nutrients and hydrating volume. This result is in an increase in blood circulation and cell renewal as well as increased production levels of collagen and elastin, which soften and smooth away wrinkles, reduce pore size, and improve overall skin texture. The application of high frequency current to the skin also promotes a natural cleansing and antibacterial action that helps treat existing acne and prevents the onset of new acne. Clients experiencing cystic acne will benefit greatly from the deep penetrating germicidal action of high frequency. The skin is left feeling instantly energized, rosy, firm, refreshed, and noticeably softer – even after just one treatment. The enriched oxygen molecules produced by high frequency machines are safe and have been proven to be effective in helping to heal and restore the skin’s health. High frequency is used to treat a range of concerns, from skin lesions, acne, waxing procedures and cold sores to fine lines, sagging skin, and puffy eyes. Common areas of treatment include the face, neck, and scalp, but high frequency can be used on the entire body, including the back.

Frequently Asked Questions About Microdermabrasion

How many treatments are required?
Initially, 5 to 8 treatments, spaced 7 to 10 days apart, are recommended for most people. Acne scars and/or discolorations may require more treatments. Monthly maintenance treatments every 2 or 3 months may be necessary to maintain results.
Will there be any downtime?
One of the advantages of microdermabrasion is that it has no downtime. You can return to your normal routine and apply cosmetics directly after the treatment.
What are the results?
Our medical-grade microdermabrasion equipment provides a gentle alternative in facial rejuvenation. It has proven to be effective in the treatment of the following conditions: fine lines, enlarged or clogged pores, mild acne and complexion issues, sun damage, superficial age spots, scaly skin lesions (also called keratoses), hyper-pigmentation, uneven skin tone, oily skin, dry/patchy skin, acne scarring, black/white heads, stretch marks, and dull, lifeless skin. In addition, most patients experience dramatic improvements in the color, tone, and texture of treated areas.

In general, microdermabrasion results in thicker, healthier, more youthful looking skin. Over the course of a full set of treatments, the body will produce new layers of skin containing higher levels of elastin and collagen. This, in turn, improves the complexion and gives the skin a more radiant, vibrant glow.

How soon will results appear?
Microdermabrasion results are usually immediate and noticeable. Results improve with multiple treatments and vary depending on your individual skin quality.
How long does a microdermabrasion treatment last?
A microdermabrasion facial treatment lasts approximately half an hour. Additional time is required for added areas.
Who are candidates for microdermabrasion?
The ideal candidates for microdermabrasion are healthy adults who have relatively minor skin conditions or imperfections and realistic expectations about what microdermabrasion can and cannot do. Microdermabrasion works well for damaged skin, whether affected by acne, sun damage, or aging, as well as for skin of any type or color.
Who should avoid microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is not recommended for people who have deep scars, active keloids, undiagnosed lesions, a recent herpes outbreak, warts on the face, skin cancer, active acne (stages 3 and 4), sunburns, active rosacea, eczema, and auto-immune system disorder, or unstable diabetes. Pregnant women should not undergo microdermabrasion.
How does the treatment feel?
Microdermabrasion does not require anesthesia, although it may be mildly uncomfortable. Tightness and heat are common effects, and quickly fade. The feeling is often compared to a cat’s tongue licking your face.
How long do the results last?
Lasting effects are dependent on proper skin care. Additional treatments will renew your youthful appearance. A series of six treatments over a few months is recommended for best results, followed by regular maintenance treatments.
What are the limitations of microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is designed for minor imperfections and general improvement. Those with very large or dark spots, moderate to deep wrinkles, and serious scars should seek an alternative treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Massages

What should I expect when I arrive for my first visit?
Our front desk receptionist will greet you and ask you to complete some paperwork if you have not brought it with you. It is very important that you arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of your first appointment. Once your paperwork is complete, you will sit down for an interview with your therapist, during which time your therapist will review your intake form, discuss any medical conditions you may have, and find out what you are looking for in your massage, what your expectations are, and how you want to feel after your massage. Finally, your therapist will explain what will take place during your massage, before leaving so that you may prepare for the massage itself.


What takes place during a massage?
Before your massage begins, you will have the room to yourself so that you may undress to your level of comfort and get situated on the massage table, covered by the sheet.  Seated chair massages are done while you are completely dressed. 30-minute back and leg massages are available fully dressed as well.

During a full body massage, we will work your back, shoulders, hips/glutes (through the sheet), and legs. You will then turn over on the table, under the sheet, so we can work the front of the legs, feet, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, head, and face.  We undrape only the area we are working at the time. All glute work will be completed through the sheet.

Do I need to make an appointment?
Generally speaking, yes. However, there are times that we are able to accommodate clients that walk-in without an appointment.  Most often, because of our full staff of therapists, you can make your appointment for the same day you call.
May I choose my own therapist?
Yes, you may choose your therapist, but you may have to wait for an appointment, depending on the therapist’s schedule, availability, and popularity.  If you need an appointment that day, we can almost always find an opening on someone’s schedule. You may also request your preference in male or female therapist.  Our philosophy is to help you find your fit with the therapist and treatment style that best serves you.  You may choose to change therapists at any time during your treatment plan, establish a primary therapist, and/or utilize each therapist at different points in time. We understand the need for consistency, change, and spontaneity, and we can offer all of those things to you and more. We want you to feel welcome to try any of our wonderful staff members.
Am I expected to tip my massage therapist?
Tips are never expected, but always appreciated. If you have received exceptional service and would like to show your appreciation to your therapist, the average tip ranges between 10-25%. If you are paying with a credit card or check, the tip can be added to the total. Your therapist will receive 100% of their tip.
What do I need to bring for my session?
Typically, you do not need to bring anything to your session. However, there could be instances in which you are instructed by your therapist to bring shorts and/or a sports bra for the specific intention of including muscle activation, stretching, and/or joint mobilization in the pre-planned massage and bodywork session.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require a 24-hour cancellation notice. If you would like to change your appointment, please call us at 484-833-1080 no later than 24 hours prior to your appointment in order to avoid being charged for your appointment.
Why do you charge a cancellation fee for less than 24 hours?
We try, in every circumstance, to be understanding of how life can throw a curve ball. However, our revenue is directly tied to billable hours. A large part of our success is the committed, exceptional therapists we employ. What sets us apart from other practices and what gives us the ability to attract and retain great therapists is the way we compensate. If you do not show up for your appointment, our therapist is still paid their full hourly salary, but they miss out on maximizing their potential earnings.  Another client may miss out on that spot as well.

We like to use the analogy of food. When you book a massage appointment with us, it is like booking a catering event (without the deposit). The room is reserved, the food is ordered and prepared, and the staff is hired. When you don’t show up, the room was still reserved, but is not being used. The linen was ordered and paid for, but is not being used. The therapist was scheduled and paid, but is not working.

It is customary in the healthcare industry to enforce a 24-hour cancellation notice to avoid being charged for any service. All “no shows and last-minute cancellations are charged at full value. We believe we give you every opportunity to cancel your appointment in advance of 24 hours, including a reminder email of your appointment. In the event you are working from a massage package, a single session can be deducted from your account. With enough notice, we are able to release your room and your therapist, and rebook the time slot. If you miss an appointment without prior notification due to exceptional, emergency circumstances, feel free to discuss the matter with us. Likewise, we make a similar promise to you; if we aren’t able to give you at least 24 hour’s notice of our cancelling your appointment, you will not pay for the missed session and we will give you an additional free session.

Frequently Asked Questions About Prenatal Massage

What are the benefits of prenatal massage?
Prenatal massage is an excellent resource for expectant mothers because it…

  • Decreases stress and tension
  • Relieves pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, and headaches
  • Decreases swelling of the hands and feet
  • Reduces stress on weight-bearing joints
  • Increases blood and lymphatic circulation
  • Improves internal respiration
  • Helps to relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes
  • Assists in shorter, easier labor
  • Shortens hospital stays
  • Promotes tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks

Among these great benefits, should you pass your due date, prenatal massage can be used to stimulate and induce labor! Click here for more information on prenatal massage.

Is prenatal massage safe during the first trimester?
Absolutely! There are lots of rumors out there that massage is to be avoided during the first trimester. The policies of some therapists and day spas actually restrict massage to the second and third trimesters, simply because of the high miscarriage risks (not massage-related) of the first trimester. This, however, is a restriction based on potential liability issues in an extremely litigious society, not on the safety of massage. Massage by a properly trained therapist can be extremely supportive to you and your developing baby throughout your entire pregnancy. For a woman who has a particularly high risk of miscarrying and/or has experienced previous miscarriages, she may want to be careful about adding lots of new activities, including massage. Others may want to add the relaxation and stress-relieving benefits of massage to their routines. If you are considering massage during your first trimester and are concerned about its safety during your specific situation, feel free to give us a call to learn more about exactly what might be involved, and then have a conversation with your doctor or midwife.
Is it okay to get a massage as I approach my due date?
Not only is it okay, it is recommended! The end of the third trimester is likely the time that you will be the MOST uncomfortable and in need of a massage. It is perfectly safe to get a massage during this time, even in the early stages of labor! The techniques we use can help with your low back/sacrum pain and reduce swelling in your legs and feet. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, double check with your doctor before coming in for an appointment. If you have been put on bed rest, it will be best to wait to schedule a massage after you deliver, or wait until your condition changes and bed rest restrictions are lifted.
How will I be positioned during my massage?
Accommodations can be made if you are experiencing any early pregnancy symptoms that might make you uncomfortable (such as breast tenderness or nausea). In that case, we may work on you from a side-lying position, or simply place a pillow under your stomach to take pressure off of the chest. Once you are into your second trimester, the safest way to be positioned is on your side, bolstered with pillows to make you more comfortable. This will be the position used throughout the rest of your pregnancy as well, as it is the safest way to get to your back and legs. We may also put you face up in a semi-reclined position. We will use pillows to keep you propped up, as you cannot lay flat on your back anymore. Some therapists use a special pad for the table with a hole cut out for the belly. We do NOT recommend this, as it places more strain on the uterine ligaments and, likely, the low back as well. Plus, bellies are not one size fits all, so it is hard to imagine a hole that would be comfortable for every woman!
Do I need to get a note from my doctor?
In general, no. Massage done by a certified massage therapist is safe, and a doctor’s approval is not necessary. However, if you have been labeled as high-risk for any reason, or you have an underlying heart problem, uncontrolled or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, or gestational diabetes, we will need a green light from your doctor before proceeding with a massage.
How often should I receive a massage when pregnant?
As often as possible! In terms of coming in to our office, it really depends on your schedule and budget. Massage is intended as a support for you throughout and following your pregnancy, so you should aim to schedule appointments as you need them to help manage the stress and discomforts. Typically, if massage therapy is going to be an integral part of your prenatal care, you will probably benefit from sessions once or twice a month in the first trimester, and two to three times a month in the second and third, more frequently as you approach you due date. If you are experiencing intense discomforts, you may want to schedule more frequent or longer sessions. We now have shorter 30-minute massages on our schedule for those who have greater time and/or budget constraints.
What kind of massage is best during pregnancy?
It depends on where you are in your pregnancy. After discussing your situation, your therapist might recommend specialties like Reflexology, Swedish massage, or other techniques to meet your individual needs — and those of your baby.

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