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FAQs

What are your hours? Do you take walk ins?
Do you take same-day appointments?
What is your lateness/cancellation policy?
What if I get sick less than 24 hours before my session?
Do you accept tips?
Can I talk/not talk during the session?
What kind of lotion do you use?
Do you change the sheets between clients?
Can I bring my own music?
What forms of payment do you accept?
What about insurance?
Do you sell gift certificates?
Why do you charge tax?
I have some mobility issues. Is your office handicap accessible?
I am not sure what type of massage to get. What do I do?
Do you provide prenatal massage?
Are you Croatian?
How often should I get a massage?
Should a massage hurt?
Will I be sore after?
Can I exercise after my massage?
What if I’m fat/skinny/hairy/need a pedicure/haven’t shaved my legs/am missing a limb/etc?
But I haven’t shaved my legs in like a week.
Why should I come to you instead of one of the cheap Chinese places?
Do you provide any kind of sexual services?




What are your hours? Do you take walk ins?

You can see my hours on my Availability and Contact page. I do not take walk in appointments. PLEASE make an appointment before coming in!

Do you take same-day appointments?

Yes, if they are available. Appointments can be booked up to 2 hours in advance. If you’re looking for an appointment more than 2 hours in advance and you don’t see it on the booking site, it’s already been taken!

If you’d like to be notified of last minute appointments, you can sign up for my last minute appointment email list here. I send out a couple of these a month.

What is your lateness/cancellation policy?

Please try to show up for your session on time. If you are late and I have time in my schedule to complete the entire session then we’ll do so, but if I don’t, then we will only go for as long as I can. You will be expected to pay for the full session.

Please let me know at least 24 hours in advance if you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment. Should you decide to cancel more than 24 hours in advance, I will be more than happy to reschedule your appointment at no charge. However, less than 24 hour notice will incur a 50% charge of the service; no notice will result in 100% charge for the amount of the service. This applies for appointments made the same day as well.

**If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment and one of us can find someone to take your appointment, you will not be charged.

What if I get sick less than 24 hours before my session?

Please don’t come in if you’re sick. Let me know as soon as you can and we’ll figure it out.

Do you accept tips?

I’ve debated for a long time whether or not to add this to the FAQ, because while it’s one of the questions I get most often, it’s an awkward topic. That said, I don’t want people on my table worrying about if they’re supposed to tip me after their massage, so I want to clear things up! The policy for self-employed massage therapists like myself is basically: tips are never required, but always appreciated.  (Please note that if you get a massage at a spa or any other place where the LMT is not self-employed, please tip them! They’re only getting a fraction of what you’re paying for the massage, and that fraction is probably smaller than you think!)

Can I talk/not talk during the session?

Sure! This is your time. Some people like to be massaged in silence so as to be able to fully relax. Others like to talk during the session. Don’t worry, this won’t distract me. If you want to talk, talk. If you don’t, don’t. I’ll follow your lead.

What kind of lotion do you use?

I use PurePro’s Hypoallergenic Massage Lotion. The ingredients are:

Purified water, cocos nucifera (coconut oil), carthamus
tinctorius (high oleic safflower oil), prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel oil), simmondsia chinensis (certified organic golden jojoba oil), stearic acid & cetyl alcohol (vegetable wax emulsifiers), dimethicone, vegetable glycerin, certified organic aloe vera gel, propanediol (derived from corn), silver citrate, citric acid, sodium hydroxide, tocopherol (natural vitamin E – gluten free)

I also have jojoba oil for those who prefer oil or have allergy issues.

Do you change the sheets between clients?

YES!!!

Can I bring my own music?

Sure! I have a CD player and a speaker with one of those headphone plugs in the office. I’ve been listening to a lot of the same music on repeat for years and years and always enjoy hearing something new 🙂 (And please don’t worry about whether or not I’ll like it- this is your time!)

What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept cash, check, and the major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AmEx). I also accept HSA and FSA cards – check with your HR first to see if you need a prescription or approval first. If you need to submit receipts I am happy to provide those.

What about insurance?

I do not take insurance, but am happy to provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. (To my knowledge, massage therapists in NY State are only able to bill no-fault and worker’s comp insurance. I don’t currently do this, and unfortunately I don’t know anyone else who does either so I don’t have any referrals for you.)

Do you sell gift certificates?

I sure do! Gift certificates can be purchased in person or online at my online booking site. Hard copy gift certificates are available as well, and can be mailed or picked up in person. Please note that gift certificates have a five year expiration date and are non-refundable.

Why do you charge tax?

NYC started levying a 4.5% miscellaneous services tax on massage therapy in 2011, despite the fact that we are licensed professionals. I’m not happy about it either, but them’s the breaks.

I have some mobility issues. Is your office handicap accessible?

Yes, there is an elevator entrance on the 31st Avenue side of the building.

I am not sure what type of massage to get. What do I do?

Don’t worry about it. Almost all “kinds” of massage are basically the same ideas applied in different ways depending on the client’s needs. Before we start the massage we’ll talk about what your goals for the session are and I will use whatever techniques I feel will work best for you!

Do you provide prenatal massage?

Yes! I completed my prenatal massage certification in April 2015. I even have a fancy Prego Pillow that gives women a safe and supportive way to receive massage while laying face down- even if you are super pregnant! I can also work in the traditional side lying method if that is your preference. (But I’ll just tell you that pretty much everyone LOVES the Prego Pillow!)

Are you Croatian/Serbian?

This is probably my actual #1 most frequently asked question! 🙂 No, I am not- I am of Ukrainian descent and was raised Russian-American.

How often should I get a massage?

We are all limited by time and finances, so the honest answer is: whenever you can swing it. Personally, I get one or two a month and that is what most of my regulars do as well. If you are receiving massage as part of a treatment for a chronic issue, pay attention to how long you are pain-free after a massage and try to schedule subsequent massages accordingly (ie don’t wait until you’re in pain again!).

Should a massage hurt?

Massage is an area where  the “no pain, no gain” model does not apply. Massages should not be like tenderizing meat! Think about it this way: if you’re experiencing pain during your massage, your muscles aren’t going to be like, “oh, isn’t that nice? Let’s relax!” Your muscles are going to think: “ALERT! We are under attack!” and tighten up further. You may feel some temporary relief if someone just spent an hour trying to stick their elbows through you just because the tissue has been manipulated, but ultimately your body is not going to process that kind of work as therapeutic or effective.

I tell all my new clients that what we’re aiming for is a pressure that feels helpful, like it’s doing something for you, but also allows them to comfortably relax through the entire session. I also ask them to communicate with me at any point during the session if I need to adjust my pressure at all in either direction.

Will I be sore after?

Sometimes you might feel a little bit of light soreness the day following a deep tissue massage. If you’re feeling more than that, or you’re still sore two or more days after the massage, that means the work you received was too deep. I do my best to keep the lines of communication open during your session and check in regarding the pressure. Please tell me if I need to adjust my pressure at all during the session! If you feel like you need to hold your breath or brace yourself against the pressure, then that’s too much and please let me know.

Can I exercise after my massage?

I generally don’t recommend it. Think of it this way- we just put time and money into getting you and your muscles to relax, and going to the gym after that is going to undo a lot of the work we just did! I recommend taking the rest of the day off from exercise after a massage. Exercise before a massage is totally fine.

What if I’m fat/skinny/hairy/need a pedicure/haven’t shaved my legs/am missing a limb/etc?

I don’t care! That’s one of my favorite things about bodies, they are all different! If you follow basic hygiene principles, we’re good. 🙂 Also you should read this great article written by another MT: What People Really Look Like

But I haven’t shaved my legs in like a week.

I honestly do not care. (and if your massage therapist does, I’d recommend finding a new one.)

Why should I come to you instead of one of the cheap Chinese places?

Oh, let me count the ways:

  • I have over 1800 hours of training- I lost track a while ago (this includes over 250 hours of continuing education). I would venture to guess this is over 1800 more hours than the masseuses at these places have
  • I have the ability to communicate with you regarding any issues you may be experiencing (this is really key!)
  • I have a working knowledge of the neuroscience of pain and know that a painful session is not a therapeutic or helpful session
  • I am practicing legally (doing any sort of massage without a license in NY is a felony!)
  • A lot of these places are fronts for prostitution (even here in Astoria!)
  • Remember this article about the people who work at nail salons? I wish they’d do a follow up article on the price of cheap massage, because I imagine you’d be reading a similar article.

    Do you provide any kind of sexual services?

    I am a New York State licensed massage therapist, not a sex worker: therefore, the answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT, under no circumstances. I do receive calls asking for these services from time to time. Because of this I ask all new clients to give me a brief description of what brings them in, so I can make sure people are coming in for the right reasons.


    Do you have any questions that weren’t addressed in this FAQ? Please feel free to ask any questions you may have prior to scheduling or coming in for your massage. And hey, I might even add it to this list!

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