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This seems to be the ever ending dilemma of whether you should tip your therapist or not. It’s really a simple question to answer. It all depends on what type of service you are receiving. Usually in a spa environment it is expected for the client is to tip the therapist. In a medical setting when you are paying insurance tipping is not necessary. When uncertain do not be afraid to ask if gratuity is customary for that business. If service is satisfactory a tip may be in order.
In my business tipping is not necessary but appreciated. It is your choice to give gratuity or not. It should never be opposed or enforced in any establishment.
Sometimes the client does not know gratuity etiquette. The client may assume the gratuity is included in the service fee. Another reason could be the client may only afford the service but not the tip. They might be embarrassed because of the lack of funds for the tip. No explanation is ever needed in why you can not give one. If you received exceptional service, in lieu of a tip you can schedule another session or refer friends and family out to the therapist. I personally would rather for you to be a returning client. Save the tip for your next session.
When paying for your massage session by credit card, my processing company will give you options to leave a tip. This is normal procedure with all credit card companies. It gives you options to choose to tip or not.  The choice is yours to do so or not.
Gratitude is an exchange of energy. It manifests in many ways for both the client and the therapist. I am always grateful of the returning client. In appreciation I give up to 15 minutes to frequent clients (when I am not booked back to back in sessions). I give this freely. I do not expect anything in return for the extra session time nor a tip. It is my gratitude to you for selecting me as your massage therapist.
Suzan Walker, LMT
Connective Integration Massage Therapy
817-966-1020
3100 West Arkansas Lane
Suite 108
Arlington, Texas 76016

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“Is it best to take a shower before getting a massage?”

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My answer is always yes if you meet the criteria:

If you do any type of construction, outside work or exercise you will need to take a shower before seeing a massage therapist. Debris such as dirt clings to the skin and may scratch you when massage strokes are applied. A hot bath or shower will open up pores, relax and help loosen the fascia and muscles. Exfoliating the skin with a cotton washcloth, loofah or Agate cloth will help increase circulation while removing dead skin cells.

I have no shower facilities at my office so you will need to take one before seeing me. 

For the ladies:

“I’m a bit embarrassed but I haven’t shaved my legs. Is it ok to still schedule my appointment for a massage?

As I always stress never allow hair stubble (hairy legs) deter you from getting your regular massage maintenance.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me if you shave or not. By not shaving your legs it will never take away from the quality of your massage session.

Have a question about massage therapy?

If you have any massage related questions, please feel free to ask them and I will answer them.

Suzan Walker, LMT

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You may have recently noticed my business name has changed and might be wondering why I have done so. For some time I have been contemplating on changing my business name to reflect what I do now. I do more than just travel and relaxation therapy as was the intended goal for my business in its early years. My business now emcompasses much more than those two concepts combined. My business grew into a pain management service that was incorporated into a office type setting. Clients were not only coming me for pain management but were coming to me for holistic service that entailed energy work as well. Energy work in my opinion is vital to massage therapy. You cannot have one and not have the other.

Back in massage school I was taught more than just Swedish massage. I had many wonderful teachers that taught me the skills of neuromuscular and sports massage therapy. Before becoming a MT, I was a Reiki practitioner and a reflexologist. What my massage entails is not only medical but applies alternative therapies such as energy work and holistic healing.

What do you get when you mix modern and old school modalities together? You get integrated massage. Integrated massage incorporates a variety of therapeutic massage techniques along with energy work. You receive the best of both worlds. You have a therapist that brings together mind, body and spirit so that YOU can “heal thy self”.

We all have growing pains and it’s normal to want to hold on to things that no longer serve us. Some people don’t enjoy change all. Yet we need change so that we can grow spiritually. This is my growing pain – letting my old business name go. It was difficult to change the name since I put so much time and energy into promoting, networking and creating a image. It was a difficult choice since I have had the name The Traveling Masseuse of DFW for nearly six years. Besides, I do more office visit appointments rather than onsite for chair massage or hotel out calls. Of course as a business owner you got to change with what the client needs. From my personal experience, people need one on one work with a therapist in a private, safe and comforting environment. I knew it was time to bite the bullet this week and change the name once and for all. It’s a new start, name and energy that with bring forth new a synergy to my business.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

I was brainstorming with a friend over a week ago about a new name. I could not decide on a name and my brain was totally fried. Every time a name came to mind it was taken. (Never hurts to do a name check on google.) My friend and colleague Andi told me “just allow it to come to you. Don’t think of it too much”. Of course I get my best ideas when I am about to nod off to slumber land or in the shower. The name Connective Integration Massage Therapy came to me before lying down for a nap. Connective – bringing things together. Integration – the act of combining or adding parts to make a unified whole or harmoniously to desegregate. I jumped out of bed, wrote down the name quickly and completed a search online to find out if the name was already taken. Sure enough it was not. From there on Andi and I have been playing around with acronyms for the name such as CIMplisity and CIMplified. For now I will just leave it alone.  Andi also has been helping me create a new logo for the business too. All of it is coming together quickly. Thank you Andi for assisting me.

As of now I am working on a new website design, logo, web listings, business cards and a door sign for the office. All of this will reflect the name change in a matter of weeks. I will still keep my domain http://www.travelingmasseusedfw.com for future reference for old clients that have not seen me in a while.

I will still offer out call services between the hours of 10 am to 7 pm. Please call ahead of time for this service. A out call service fee does apply.

Always, I do appreciate your business and I thank you all for being supportive of the recent changes.

Suzan Walker, LMT

Connective Integration Massage Therapy

817-966-1020

massageandhealingdfw.com

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What is the one major thing we do from the time we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed?

The answer is touch.

It is one of the most vital of the five senses that we use for interaction with people and things around us everyday.

If we fail to receive or give touch, we are denying ourselves a basic human necessity. One of which helps us to thrive. On a day-to-day basis I see people from all walks of life that are touch deficient.

Do you realize how many people do not receive touch therapy in our society today? A society deficient of touch is an unhappy society. By being deprived of touch, it may create symptoms of sleep deprivation, depression, anger, irritability, hypersensitivity, learning disabilities and various other medical conditions.

Without essential touch we cannot produce necessary chemicals and/or hormones we need to for our bodies to properly function. Endorphin’s which are the bodies natural pain relievers cannot be produced without touch.

Did you know by touching someone’s arm that has pain or tension you can relax them? Hugging can release endorphin’s, a natural pain reliever. Oxytocin is hormone the body produces that is considered the “bonding and love” hormone. Oxytocin is released into the bloodstream when we are touched. Studies have shown that the body produces oxytocin along with other endorphin’s when exercising. A recent medical study showed that eight hugs a day increased the health of an individual due to production of oxytocin. What better way to feel good and reduce your pain by hugging someone you love and cherish? You both will receive a great health benefit from hugging everyday.

Stress creates havoc on our bodies by producing excessive amounts of cortisol causing weight gain. Touch and massage therapy can help reduce cortisol levels in the blood stream. Another thing to consider is that touch therapy aides in reduction of blood pressure, too.

Another example of the power of touch is in early child development. Lack of touch impedes social interaction, creates future behavioral issues and the development of eye and hand coordination. These are vital so that young children may develop properly.

The bond between mother and infant is vital within the first three weeks after birth. With the mother and infant relationship, skin on skin contact helps reduce stress levels and lowers depression in the mother. Both mother and child bond more effectively. Skin on skin contact helps to calm the infant and aides the child in restful sleep.

Touch is a powerful tool. As we all know through our past experience’s touch can be negative or positive. It’s the intent of one’s touch that wields the power on how they choose to use it.

All these things in mind, please consider incorporating massage therapy in your health and wellness plan regularly. One massage a month can make a sufficient difference in your life.

Motherly touch

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For new clients that are redeeming gift certificates:

Please book your appointment at least 24 hours in advanced. Sometimes same day service is not available for new clients due to my schedule. Not only do I provide office appointment but I perform out call and doula services too.

My schedule is on a first come first served basis. You may call the office at anytime. If I have same day availability I can place you on the schedule.

By scheduling your appointment ahead of time, it ensures you have that time scheduled especially for you. It is your time to relax and enjoy your massage. I send out reminders via email and by text a day before your scheduled session. To ensure you do not miss your allotted time please put it on your calendar. By arriving a ten minutes early this helps reduce rushing and stress. This time is set aside to become familiar with me. This time is necessary to fill out paper work before the session begins. If you need a little extra time on paper work, you may go to my web site to find the forms. Your time begins on the hour you requested. Depending on my schedule late arrivals may have time deducted from their appointment time.

Thank you for understanding.

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You get what you pay for

I receive daily calls asking this same question…

This is always the first question that a possible client ask, “how much do you charge?”
The question you should be asking what type of massage the massage therapist provides or specializes in, how many years have they been in business business and are they qualified to perform the work on you or a loved one.

Are they compassionate? Do they care about your health and well-being? Will they be there after your massage? Will they tell you what you need to do to maintain your massage? Regardless of the amount you pay, if you have a well qualified therapist that shows compassion and is knowledgeable, the massage worth is priceless.

Price should be the last thing on your mind. You are interviewing a possible therapist to work on your body whether it be relaxation or medical. You are interviewing for a possible long-term massage therapist. Trust must be earned from both parties involved. You are allowing someone into your personal space to perform a massage on you. Massage is intimate. Within five minutes of meeting someone, you are giving them your faith and trust that they are knowledgeable in their craft. You want to be as comfortable as possible with the therapist. That is why you interview before the massage takes place.

By someone calling to only inquire about the price of a massage only tells me that you do not care what my business has to offer nor how I can assist in your long-term massage therapy goals or needs. It tells me you are not serious in booking a massage at all. You are wasting your time including mine if price is your only concern.

If you cannot afford the price of a massage I can always work something out with you. There is nothing that cannot be negotiated in life. Remember, I do perform a service for a fee. I am not a commodity nor a product. You will never see me on groupon nor deep discounting my services. I will not send out daily texts or even emails weekly to bother you about specials. I don’t “do” discounts or specials. My personal view of massage therapy is not that way and should never be treat as such in my opinion. I’m not a fly by night business. I have been in business for nearly six years with fourteen years experience in massage therapy and in the healing arts. I’m a professional and that would be a disservice not only to you but to my profession if I treated massage therapy as a product. A question I pose is that would you treat your doctor the way you treat a massage therapist?

Massage is a life long goal for health and well-being. It will assist in all aspects of life. From relaxation to prenatal to muscle injury but not limited to the every day stress of life. Massage helps to better improve your quality of life. It helps increase circulation, breaks up muscle adhesion, reduce trigger point formation, calms the mind, relaxes the muscles and the list goes on and on. Ask me how massage therapy can benefit your condition. I can give you a answer.

If you are on the fence you are more than welcome to review my web site http://www.massageandhealingdfw.com/ to make a informed choice. There is plenty of information to read for your review. You certainly will get what you pay for when you ask questions and are informed about what massage therapy really is all about. It will make you a informed consumer and client. “You are paying for quality not quantity.” Be a client not a customer.

Massage therapy is a partnership involving both client and the therapist. The therapist communicates and works with you in massage therapy goals and needs. It is vital that you do communicate with your therapist.

Please consider all of this before calling any massage therapist.

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“HEY, WHY WON’T YOU ANSWER THE PHONE AFTER 10?”

After careful consideration and multiple problems with calls after 9 pm, I decided to end the 24-hour/emergency service as of last year.

My hours of operation are Monday thru Friday, 10 am to 7 pm and Saturday, 10 am. to 4 pm. These are ideal hours for most people. If you would like a later appointment, you must call in advance during business hours. If you are calling after my regular hours of operation, I do screen calls and listen to voice mail. If it is truly an emergency, leave me a message and I will return your call.

All out call sessions must be secured by credit card. Please keep in mind I do not schedule massages past 10 pm. Want to know why? Keep on reading.

I am always honest with my clients as to why I no longer perform late night out calls. I need to take extra precautions for my own safety and well being. One of the reasons is that Yellow Pages has placed every massage therapists in the DFW under keywords “erotic, tantra, sexual and hand jobs.” This places massage therapists in possible danger.

The massage profession is completely different than what it when I first started my out call business nearly six years ago. From personal experience I have had a few very close calls during several late night out calls. I’ve had calls from male clients asking for deep tissue or sports massage. Some claiming that they were in severe pain. Upon arriving, they changed their request to sensual/sexual massage. The client called me to their location under false pretenses. I won’t go into details of what has happened in a few occurrences. I will tell you no amount of money is worth going through the emotional trauma or sexual harassment of some predator getting his jollies off. I love the work I do. I am willing to help anyone that is in pain yet I will not place myself in unsafe circumstances nor tolerate this sort of behavior. Like anyone I do have limits. Anyone that does not understand my reasoning on this issues I prefer not to have you as a client.

This is simply not a rare occurrence. I network with other therapists experiencing similar occupancies. Unfortunately, several LMT’s I know left the massage profession due to the sexual harassment.

Whether you are seeking a professional massage or something sensual, you need to review the web site before calling. This ensures that if you are calling a LMT or a prostitute. There is a difference and it is not appreciated when a LMT receives solicitation for sex. It’s offensive. A LMT is not part of your fantasy. A LMT went to school to study massage therapy, the anatomy and physiology of the human body. We’ve spent hundred if not thousands of hours perfecting our craft. Many of us have spent thousands of dollars each year for specialization course work, CEU’s, licensing, liability insurance and rent each year. A LMT would never jeopardize their license nor their credibility to provide you with sexual services. If they do, they are not a LMT.

Thank you for understanding.

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This is a topic I feel that needs to be addressed with potential clients. Every so often I book a client that makes this statement:

“Please don’t hurt me.”

We have all had bad experiences in life. You should know what you want and do not want out of a massage session. We’ve all had unpleasant experiences but do not allow one bad massage experience ruin it for you for the rest of your life. Never allow fear to deter you from a massage.

If that thought crosses your mind about any therapy or massage therapist please do not book a appointment. If you worried about the massage therapist may harm you please do not book a appointment at all. You have it already in your mind that that sort of therapy or therapist may hurt you, you will tense up during the session and will focus on the negative aspect of someone harming you. Worrying about a therapist harming you is a negative thought form and can ruin any massage experience. Once that thought form is in most people’s heads there is nothing that can deter them from believing otherwise.

If you have concerns please address them with the therapist before scheduling your appointment. This is important for all involved in your therapy. Communication is vital and you need to tell the therapist what you like and no not like in a massage session, the pressure, etc.

A informed client is a knowledgeable client. Please research and ask questions about a certain massage technique.

As a massage therapist my intention is never to harm or hurt you. The definition of hurt is as follows:

1. To cause physical damage or pain to; injure.
2. To cause mental or emotional suffering to; distress.
3. To cause physical damage to; harm:
4. To be detrimental to; hinder or impair:
a. To cause distress or damage:

Hurting a person is to cause and inflict emotional and physical pain intentionally. No therapist that I have ever worked with or that I know of has ever intentionally inflicted pain or harm on a person.

Depending on the technique you such as deep tissue you maybe sore the next day. There is no guarantee that you may not be sore the next day after such a session. I always ask for feed back and I make sure the pressure is to your liking. There are many techniques that do not require going deep into the muscle under belly and I am more than accommodating to use those techniques for your session.

I am trained in traditional TMC medicine, deep tissue, connective tissue integration (SOMA) and sports massage. Those are the main modalities I work with on a day to day basis. (I provide a pretty good Swedish and Esalen massage, too.) Some of these techniques can be uncomfortable especially when the work requires breaking up negative muscle patterns, scar tissue and adhesion. There are periods in the session when one will be uncomfortable. I always tell my clients if the uncomfortableness gets to be too much tell me to back off. Never allow me to continue when you are in pain. I can always water the technique down and apply lighter pressure. I can also do a therapeutic massage which uses a combination of techniques. Every client is different and the massage can and will be catered to your needs.

I will not schedule a appointment with you if you feel that I may harm you. That is not the image I wish to project to you about massage therapy. Your massage session should be a positive experience and that begins with you.

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