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A Professional Massage in Your Own Home

Your shoulders are stiff and a couple of sore spots in your back are driving you crazy. A massage would be great but getting out the door isn't real convenient just now. Do any local massage therapists make house calls? Yes!

Pat Gordon, who lives near Ruch, will come to your home, bring her portable massage table, supportive cushions, lotions, eye pillow, CD player and related materials, and give you a professional massage. Some clients may prefer to lie on their own bed or even a recliner, which she says is OK.

And if you're a woman, Barbara Scott of Medford will do much the same thing. Not that she has anything against men. She just feels her hands are not strong enough to do a proper job on a male body. You can also get a less expensive neck and shoulder chair massage.

Some massage therapists see clients in their office and in the client's home or location. Paul Nash, owner of Ashland Mobile Massage, says that many of his on-site clients are tourists, "especially if they have been driving." He's found that driving a couple of hundred miles followed by sitting in a theater for three hours can make one feel the need for a massage.

Gordon, Scott and Nash are all massage therapists licensed by the state of Oregon, and they say that's a question you should ask before letting someone work on you. "Are you licensed? What's your Oregon license number?" And then look them up!

Some other questions Gordon suggests asking are: Does the therapist have liability insurance? What is his/her cancellation policy? How do you handle billing? What kinds of oils are used (to avert any allergic reaction)?

Also ask what kinds of massage are offered, says Scott. There are a growing number of specialties. Be sure to tell the therapist, before you hire him or her, what kind of massage you're looking for. A deep tissue massage is very different from a light massage that's designed to increase circulation and promote relaxation.

Some massages, like Gordon gives, include Reiki and Polarity, which have a chi - life force - or energy basis, according to her. If you're interested in the more eastern or oriental massage, which concentrates more on the principles of Chinese medicine and the flow of energy in the body, be sure and discuss that beforehand to make sure you get what you want.

If you are ordering a massage at home, do you need to supply anything? Depends. Some bring everything, even music. A few may charge less if you provide your own linens. All require a space large enough for the table and space around it to work. Most will ask you to warm the room to at least 75 degrees (which can be an issue in winter). Scott suggests that you arrange to play some of your favorite relaxing music.

Gordon and Scott ask potential clients to fill out medical history forms before they have a massage and also sign a paper agreeing that the massage is being given for relaxation, will be non-sexual and will not serve as a substitute for medical care, etc.

Since many of Nash's clients are tourists, people he sees just once, he doesn't require people to fill out a form. He explains, "Most people just want to get into the massage."

Isn't it great to know that the next time your shoulders are stiff or you bent over too long in the garden, you can get the kinks worked out without ever leaving your home!

A Professional Massage in Your Own Home