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The Balance Institute
1905 Sunset Blvd Suite C
West Columbia,

South Carolina


Phone: 803 796-4807 803 796-4807

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Massage Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should You Have Massages and How Often?

Limited range of motion in any joint, numbness or tingling of the hands, feet or skin, muscular tension, stress, headaches, or back pain may all be symptoms caused by medical conditions requiring attention by your physician. However, most often such symptoms are caused simply by tight muscles and connective tissues – those tissues holding muscles to skin, muscles to muscles, and muscles to bones. Most of these symptoms can be resolved completely or in part with massage and bodywork therapy. Massages can also help reduce the symptoms or severity of many medical conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fascitis, lymph edema, and back or neck pain. Many clients of massage also reduce their needs for medications—in consultation with their physicians.


As with any medical condition, the frequency of treatment with massage depends both on the complexity of the condition and how long you have had it. Acute conditions may completely resolve with one treatment, while chronic conditions may take several visits or several weeks. Education and self-care are the major factors in resolving a condition without it coming back. The more highly skilled your therapist is the more self-care information you will likely receive.


What Kind of Massage Is Right for You?

The many benefits of massage and bodywork therapy are being scientifically researched and documented in both medical and industry-specific journals. Massage therapy and bodywork benefits almost every aspect of the body at every stage of life. Working with your therapist you can decide what kind of massage is right for you now and as your life changes. Massage therapists can specialize in relaxing Swedish massage, pre-natal or infant massage, sports massage, Neuromuscular therapy, orthopedic massage, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, somatic therapy, geriatric massage, or other specialties.


Why Is It Important to Have a Licensed Massage Therapist?

Massage therapy is a well-recognized, specialized health practice. State licensure is your guarantee that your therapist has had quality professional training. In South Carolina, a massage practitioner must complete a minimum of 500 hours of professional training from an accredited school of massage, successfully pass a national board examination, and apply for and be awarded a state license to practice massage and bodywork. Licensed therapists must then complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their licenses. Being licensed and having been screened by The Balance Institute is your guarantee of quality service.


What to Expect?

Massage therapy is usually performed on a massage table in a private treatment room. You, the client, complete a medical intake form similar to one completed at a physician's office. After greeting you, your therapist will accompany you to the treatment room, review your intake form, ask questions, give you opportunity to ask questions, and explain her or his techniques. The therapist will then leave the room while you dress down to your comfort level or the level appropriate for the treatment agreed upon (e.g., from the waist up to treat back pain). A table massage can also be performed through clothes but is generally more limited in its effects.

Your therapist will knock before entering the room. She/he will then apply the treatment using oils or lotions. Most therapists play soft music during the session, and many burn lightly scented candles to help create a relaxed atmosphere.

Licensed therapeutic massage is non-sexual. A licensed therapist cannot legally touch the breast tissues or the genitals. Therapists can massage the chest muscles surrounding the breasts if agreed to by the client. Such treatment is beneficial to problems involving the shoulder girdle and breathing restrictions and is non-sexual. Therapists often treat the gluteus muscles of the buttocks and the upper thigh muscles around the front and sides of the hips. These treatments can be performed through the drapes or directly on the skin.

At all times you, the client, will remain appropriately draped with a sheet, blanket, and/or large towel. Your privacy and respect is maintained at all times. A massage therapist will never perform a chiropractic maneuver on your back or neck. She/he cannot diagnose medical conditions and may refer you to your physician for follow-up of any suspicious findings or symptoms reported by you.

At the end of the session, the therapist will notify you of the session's end and leave the room. You will get dressed and usually meet with the therapist outside of the room.

Payment may be made either before or after the session. Tips are appreciated but not required.



Are There Other Ways To Receive Massages?


Chair massage is a popular massage technique which is performed with the client completely clothed. These massages are usually 10-15 minutes in duration and are available at places like airports, sidewalk cafés, golf courses, special events, malls, and offices. 


Businesses and corporations often employ massage therapists to perform chair massage at their places of business as added employee benefits or an occasional perk.

Chair massage lowers blood pressure, lowers stress levels, and improves mood and worker productivity. Chair massage is convenient, mobile, quick and rejuvenating.


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