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FAQs

lotionYour appointment

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 don’t get too many last minute cancellations and send an average of less than one email a month on this list, just FYI.

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. If you loved your massage, what I would like even more than a tip is a great Yelp review! 🙂  (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 (myself included) 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?

In 2016 I switched to using 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)

Do you change the sheets between clients?

YES!!!

Can I bring my own music?

Sure! I have a CD player, iPod dock (with the old big plug), and a speaker with one of those headphone plugs in the office. I’ve been listening to the same albums over and over for years and always enjoy hearing something new 🙂

What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept cash, check, and the major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AmEx). As of November 2013 I also accept HSA/flex spending cards (check with your HR first to see if you need a prescription or something first).

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 do 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 one year expiration date and are non-refundable.

I have a gift certificate, but there’s no code on it.

When people purchase gift certificates through the website they come with a 12 digit code, which is what the website is asking for. If you received a hard copy gift card there is no code, so you can ignore it and schedule a session as you would normally- you can just mention in the notes section that you have a gift card. If you’re a first-time client you’ll still have to put in your credit card info- unfortunately there’s no way around that if booking online. If you’d like to avoid that you can contact me directly to set up the appointment.

Do you offer a discount for new clients?

No.

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

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

Do you provide prenatal massage?

As of April 2015, yes! 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.

Are you Croatian?

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

General massage questions

How often should I get a massage?

In a perfect world, we’d all be getting massages once a week. Unfortunately most of us don’t have the time or money to be able to do so! Personally, I try to get one a month and that is what I suggest my clients shoot for 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. That’s why you get people sometimes who WANT you to stick their elbows through you- they’ve been getting that kind of massage for so long that they’ve actually gotten tighter as time goes by. The massages they think has been loosening them up have actually been making the situation worse over time. I aim to use pressure that is firm but not painful, and I ask my clients 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 some soreness the day following a deep tissue massage. If 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 let me know.

Can I exercise after my massage?

I wouldn’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 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 don’t 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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