Massage

What massage should I choose?
Not sure which massage is right for you? That's ok. We are happy to listen to your issues and suggest something for you. We can even mix and match massage techniques to best address your issues. Just go to online booking and pick any selection with the amount of time you'd like to spend. Upon your arrival, we'll have a quick chat about what you are experiencing, and create something that's right for you.

I'm new to massage. What should I expect?

  1. Meet and Greet. When you arrive, your massage therapist will greet you and ask you to fill out a quick medical history form. This is where you record any past or present injuries, and other physical conditions we should be made aware of. Your massage therapist will inquire about the reasons you are coming in for a massage, and about any specific areas in which you are experiencing pain or would like to address during your massage. Pro tip: Arrive 5 minutes early for your first appointment, to give you time to complete your paperwork. And this is a great time to put your cell phone in silent mode.
  2. Starting Your Session. Your massage will be done in a peaceful treatment room where a comfortable massage table dressed with crisp clean sheets awaits. There’s also a small table for your personal belongings and a chair for you. Your massage therapist will leave the room and wait outside while you disrobe to your level of comfort. The massage etiquette varies for clients. Some clients prefer to completely disrobe, while some will remain partially clothed. Either option is fine. Once disrobed, you will lie on the massage table, under the top sheet. Your massage therapist will give you a few minutes for this process and will knock on the door to ask if you are ready before entering your room. You will always be draped with the top sheet during your massage session. The etiquette your massage therapist will follow is to only uncover the part of the body they are working on, ensuring that your modesty is respected at all times. The massage table is padded and there’s a heated blanket beneath the sheet, which you can have adjusted to your preference. There will be relaxing music playing, unless you request otherwise, and the room should be quiet, with no outside distractions. Pro tip: Some people like to talk during a massage. Some prefer to relax without conversation. Do what feels best, and we'll follow your lead.
  3. During Your Massage. Before beginning the session, your therapist will ask you to alert them if, at any time during the session, a technique or stroke they are using is uncomfortable. Depending on your specific needs or requests, your massage therapist will either perform a customized full-body massage (for general relaxation and stress reduction) or focus on the specific parts of your body that you have requested. We use only the highest quality, organic, hypoallergenic massage lotions and oils for your massage.
    Pro Tip: Communicate. This is your customized massage. If you have feedback on pressure, room temperature, lighting… let us know!
  4. After Care. Once your massage therapy session is complete, your massage therapist will leave the room so you may re-dress. You may come out when you're ready. Our massage therapy sessions vary from 1-hour to 1 ½-hour to 2 hours in length. Each session includes a 5 minute pre-interview and 5 minutes at the end for you to re-dress. We look forward to seeing you for your first visit!  Pro Tip: Are you sore? If you requested a deep massage, you may be sore up to 72 hours later. To alleviate discomfort, apply an ice pack to the area.  Please let your massage therapist know about the discomfort you experienced, and consider requesting less pressure during your next session.

How often should I get a massage?
This depends upon your condition, and your goals for massage. Here are some general guidelines.

  • Manage Stress. Are you using massage to manage stress, or just to treat yourself? Are you going through a particularly stressful period of life? You might start at 1 or 2 times a month. Then, note how many stress symptoms you feel between sessions, and adjust accordingly.
  • Resolve A Pain Issue. Are you using massage to resolve an acute (short term) pain issue? We recommend 2 sessions a week so that each session can build upon the previous one. This dramatically improves client outcomes, and allows us to address painful problems in a shorter timeframe. (Source: Massage Therapy Journal, "Treatment Planning and Client Education" by Dr. Joe Muscolino.)
  • Manage A Chronic Condition. Are you using massage to lessen the effects of a chronic (long term) pain issue? We recommend starting with 1 or 2 sessions a month, depending upon the severity of your symptoms. Then, adjust the frequency depending upon how you feel between sessions.

Can massage help my specific condition?
Massage has scientifically-proven effects for many kinds of muscular issues, has significant impacts for things like depression and headaches, and is a great way to manage stress. Please email us about your specific condition, and to see how massage might help you.

One caveat: If you haven't been in before, the answer we can provide at this stage is pretty general. Every person we see has a unique mix of issues - and therefore, a unique response to massage. Because of this, we can't always predict your outcomes with certainty, or know  how many sessions it might take to get you to where you want to be. On your first visit, we will get a medical history, do assessments, and hands-on work. Over your first couple of sessions, we will monitor the impacts of massage for you, and make adjustments accordingly. All of these things will help us give more specific, informed answers that are relevant to your exact situation.

I think I'm coming down with a cold; will getting a massage help me to fight it off?
No. Massage can be taxing to an over-burdened immune system. Massage causes body-wide changes. And it requires your immune system to expend energy to adapt to those changes, even though they are positive ones. Getting a massage at a pivotal time like this is likely to result in a more severe and long-lasting cold. If you are fighting a cold, a better strategy would be extra rest, and gentle de-stressing (ex. stretching and meditation.)

Equally as important is the safety and well-being of your massage practitioner and our other clients. Many of our other clients have compromised immune systems from long-term health issues. Meaning, what is a small cold for you, can quickly become a serious and life threatening issue for them. A good rule of thumb: people are typically contagious 24 hours before symptoms begin, and remain that way until 5-7 days after onset.

If you think you might be getting sick and already have an appointment, PLEASE CANCEL at any time prior to your appointment, free of charge. We’ll reschedule later, at your convenience. If it's less than 24 hours before your appointment, just email or call 510-268-0443. If it's more than 24 hours before your appointment, you also have the option of cancelling online. Log in, go to Appointments> Upcoming Appointments. Select Reschedule or Cancel. 

I'm feeling sore after my massage. Did something go wrong? What can I do about it?
Sometimes people are sore for a day or two after their massage, or in rare cases, they may even feel worse for a short period of adjustment. Typically the soreness fades in 1 to 2 days, and they'll find that their issue is improved. Icing the sore area can reduce the symptoms and their duration. Be sure to tell your massage therapist about this issue at your next session. It's something we can take into consideration as we work with you to create your treatment plan. And if the level of soreness has you thinking twice about massage therapy, then consider asking for a lighter-pressure massage.

 

Online Booking

Why isn't the day/time I want available?
If you aren't being offered your preferred day/time, there may be a few different reasons.

  • We may be fully booked for that day. High demand appointments (weeknights, weekends, and holidays like Mother's Day) tend to fill more quickly than other times, usually about a week in advance. To inquire about cancellations, please call 510-268-0443.
  • Is your preferred day today? Online booking accepts appointments a minimum of 12 hours in advance, and so depending upon the time of day you are checking, it may not show you same-day availability. To inquire about same-day availability, please call 510-268-0443.
  • Is your preferred day a Sunday or a Monday? The massage studio is closed on those days.

If there's a particular day and time that you want, like a massage on your birthday, we recommend scheduling as far in advance as you can.

I'm having trouble logging in to online booking or to purchase a gift certificate online.
Are you a new client? Return to online booking or gift certificates, and follow the instructions to create an account. If the system is down, (it's rare, but possible) please wait a few minutes and try again.

Are you a returning client? The massage studio switched to a new online booking system in May 2016. If the last time you made an appointment or purchased a gift certificate was before then, you'll need to create a new account. Return to online booking or gift certificates, and simply follow the instructions to create a new account. 

Forgot your password? Go here and select "Forgot Your Password?" to reset it. Once it's reset, return to online booking or gift certificates.

I used my email to book an appointment for someone else; now online booking says I can’t use that email again for myself.
The online booking system requires one unique identifier for each client, and that’s your email. Emails cannot be shared among clients, even if you’re a couple who typically shares an email or a parent booking for a child. Once you have used an email address, it cannot be used again. Please use an alternate email address to make your own appointment and make a note of it for future appointments. (Sorry for any inconvenience!)  Return to online booking here.

I want to schedule a massage more than a month in advance, but can't select those dates.
The online booking system allows you to book no more than one month in advance. Once you book it, we honor your appointment, with only a very few exceptions, like illness or emergencies. That means we commit to our working hours a month in advance - and committing farther out can be tricky. To inquire about dates more than a month in advance, either email us or inquire in person after your next massage appointment.

I can't find a code on my gift certificate. How do I redeem it? 
Your gift certificate is perfectly valid, and we want you to redeem it! At the start of 2016, we switched to a new gift certificate and online booking system. The new system allows you to redeem your gift certificate right when you make your appointment. Pretty neat, huh? However, if you have a gift certificate issued before Jan 2016, your gift certificate does not have a code. You can still use online booking, and simply hand over your gift certificate in person, at the time of your appointment. Here’s how: when you get to the Payment Options step in online booking, instead of selecting “Gift Certificate”, instead select, “Pay In Person.” We will happily accept your gift certificate as payment, in person, at the time of your appointment. Return to online booking here.

How do I cancel my appointment? 

If it's more than 24 hours before your appointment, you can cancel online. Log in, go to Appointments> Upcoming Appointments. Select Reschedule or Cancel. If it's less than 24 hours before your appointment (or if you have trouble doing so online), email or call 510-268-0443. Please note that full fees are due for cancellations and changes made with less than 24 hours' advance notice.

 

Payment

Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. We accept all major credit cards.

Do you bill directly to insurance, an accident claim, or work on lien?
For clients working with insurance companies or legal proceedings, we can provide receipts with the required medical codes for massage, and case notes, so that you can be reimbursed. Payment will be due at the time of your massage. Important: Please let us know before your first appointment! Due to the extra thought and detail needed for this type of case notes, we can only take a few of these cases at a time. We want to do a great job, so you have the best chance of getting fully reimbursed! Book your massage.

Can I use my FSA or HSA (Flexible Spending or Health Savings Account) to pay for massage?
Your Flexible Spending and Health Savings plans allow for reimbursement of many items and services that are necessary for overall health and well-being. Massage therapy is, more often than not, one of the items covered by most FSA and HSA providers. Check with your provider to see if you can get your massage therapy reimbursed. And be sure to make good use of the money in your FSA and HSA accounts by scheduling your next session online. We are here to make you feel better!

How do I pre-pay for someone else's appointment?
There's two easy ways to pre-pay for someone else's appointment. 

  • Know when they want to come in for their massage? Schedule an appointment for them online and you'll be given the option to pre-pay for their appointment. Important: Please enter THEIR name, so we are ready to go for the right person's session when they arrive. If you don't want them to be emailed beforehand, you can keep the massage a secret until the last minute by entering your own email - just don't use your primary email. The online booking system uses your email as a unique identifier for you and you alone.

 

  • Not sure when they want to come in for their massage? Or want to give the massage as a gift? Purchase a gift certificate for them, online. Gift certificates are emailed to the address of your choosing. Enter their email to have it delivered direct to their inbox. Or, you can have the gift certificate delivered to your own email to print and give to them in person. Just don't use your primary email - the online booking system uses your email as a unique identifier for you and you alone.

I can't find a code on my gift certificate. How do I redeem it? 
Your gift certificate is perfectly valid, and we want you to redeem it! At the start of 2016, we switched to a new gift certificate and online booking system. The new system allows you to redeem your gift certificate right when you make your appointment. Pretty neat, huh? However, if you have a gift certificate issued before Jan 2016, your gift certificate does not have a code. You can still use online booking, and simply hand over your gift certificate in person, at the time of your appointment. Here’s how: when you get to the Payment Options step in online booking, instead of selecting “Gift Certificate”, instead select, “Pay In Person.” We will happily accept your gift certificate as payment, in person, at the time of your appointment. Return to online booking here.

 

GENERAL

What are your hours? 
We are open 5 days a week, Tuesday through Saturday. See our hours here.

Where are you located? 
The massage studio is at 585 Mandana Blvd #3, Oakland CA. See a map, and learn more about our location here

How much do you charge for a massage? 
Rates start at $110 for an hour massage. See all massage options and rates here.