Massage: Frequently Asked Questions


We're so glad that you're interested in learning more about massage therapy, and specifically massage therapy at Watershed Wellness.

We've written a few articles that may answer questions you may have about getting a massage at Watershed Wellness.

Quicker answers to some frequently asked questions are below the articles.

New to Massage at Watershed Wellness in Astoria?

Your Massage Appointment: What to Expect

Does Getting Naked Make You Nervous? A Massage Therapy Primer.

Massage for Stress Relief – It's a Real Thing


Who gets massage?

Massage is great for a wide variety of reasons. People come to us who are needing help with acute pain or chronic tension. We see folks who have been in auto accidents and need some support around the changes that they are experiencing due to the accident. We see people who want to be touched, people who have stress or anxiety, and people recovering from surgery. These are just a few of the reasons that people come to us – if you have questions about whether massage is a good fit for you, reach out!

How can I get the most out of my massage?

Be clear with your massage therapist about your needs for your massage. The more we know about what brings you in, the better we'll be able to help you. Ask your massage therapist if they have any suggestions about how you can help yourself between massages – they may have some suggestions about self-care including stretches, movement, anatomy education and/or when you should come in next. We approach the human body from a place of curiosity and are always happy to share our thoughts with you.

Does my insurance cover massage?

Some insurance plans cover massage! Please look at our insurance page to see if we take your insurance plan. The next step would be to check your member benefits to see if massage is a covered service. If you still have questions our in-house insurance billing specialist can help by checking your benefits for you. We'll just need the name of your insurance company, your member ID, and your date of birth to check your benefits.

What sort of training do your massage therapists have?

Our massage therapists are all licensed by the state of Oregon. You can read about each individual massage therapist on our practitioner page. We are all well versed in helping people with pain relief, relaxation, recovery from surgery, and people who have been in motor vehicle accidents.

Can I get massage from more than one massage therapist at Watershed Wellness?

Sure! We're all invested in you getting the best care possible. If you don't resonate with one of our practitioners, it's our goal to help you find the massage therapist that best suits your needs. We also can coordinate care, so if your massage therapist is unavailable, another massage therapist can pick up where they left off.

Should I be sore after a massage?

Soreness sometimes happens after a massage. Part of our job is to get into your musculature and work out any adhesions (sticky spots between and around muscle fibers). It's almost like we're giving your muscles a workout – and the day or two after a massage can feel just like you worked out for the first time in a while. If your soreness persists for more than two days, or you feel like your soreness is more than expected, please let us know.

How long is a massage?

We budget enough time for each session to allow us to understand what your massage needs are, check in with how life is going, and get you rescheduled after your massage. We aim to give you an hour of hands-on treatment time, assuming you arrive reasonably on time. In general, you can expect to spend about an hour and fifteen minutes in total.

Will I have to get naked?

Ultimately, it is up to you! While skin-to-skin contact usually gives the best quality of touch in a therapeutic massage, there are many techniques that can be done even if fabric is present. The majority of clients undress down to underwear, removing them when hip or gluteal work is an important part of the treatment. We follow all state mandated draping techniques, so we'll never see an intimate part of your body that we shouldn't be seeing. Above all, you are in control of this aspect of treatment and can talk to us before your session if you have further questions or concerns.

Do I have to listen to whale calls or flutes during my massage?

Haha! There is definitely “spa music” which can include funny sounds and terribly cliche compositions and we try to avoid that. If you prefer not to have music on, or even if you have musical requests, just let your massage therapist know and we will do our best to accommodate you!

Should I tip my massage therapist at Watershed Wellness?

This is completely up to you. You'll be given the opportunity to tip when checking out. Our massage therapists never expect, but always appreciate, your gratitude by way of a gratuity.

What do I do during a massage treatment?

It's up to you! Most people like to relax and take the time to be quiet and experience the massage. Sometimes it takes awhile to clear your head from busy, everyday thoughts. Taking deep, conscious breaths helps. If we need to check in with you about a specific technique we are doing, we will. Otherwise, we'll leave you to relax and let us know if something needs to be different.

Can I talk during my session?

Everybody is different regarding their interest in talking during massage. Our therapists will generally follow your lead, but we're happy to chat if you like. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, we prefer that you keep talking to a minimum to help limit our potential exposure to the virus. Thank you for understanding!

Will the massage hurt?

Depending on the focus of the massage, there are times when what we are doing will be uncomfortable. It all hangs on what brings you in that day. If you are coming in for a relaxation massage, we're not going to push you. If you are coming in with a specific ailment that you'd like to be addressed, the massage has the potential to be a little uncomfortable at times.

At no point during the massage should you be gritting your teeth to get through something we are doing. If you are feeling discomfort to the point of tensing up, we'll ease up. If we don't, let us know! No hard feelings. We're not of the philosophy of “no pain, no gain” and certainly have techniques that allow us to get the work done with minimal discomfort.

What if I get an erection, or am otherwise aroused, during my massage?

It does happen sometimes, and it can be terribly embarrassing to the client. But, don't worry! This is a physiological response to touch that, in the context of therapeutic massage therapy, is nothing to be worried about. All of our practitioners are trained to handle the situation with grace, and typically massage can proceed without issue.

How will I feel after my treatment?

Most people leave their treatment feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, and with less muscular tension. Many of our clients have reported having emotional responses later that day. Massage can be a powerful release for a lot of people, and it can bring up some interesting things. Be kind to yourself and allow for whatever comes up. Hopefully you'll feel more relaxed and in less pain than when you came in. If this isn't the case, let us know what we can do to make your next session better.

How should I take care of myself after my massage?

Depending on your massage needs for the day, you might expect a little soreness after your treatment. Sometimes this doesn't happen until the second day after your massage. Stay hydrated, use heat if it feels good to you, and your soreness shouldn't last more than a day or two. Ice on soreness like this is generally not a good idea. If you are so sore that you are cursing us a couple of days later, let us know before your next session and we will adjust our pressure accordingly for the next session.

How often should I get a massage?

Your massage therapist will determine a treatment frequency once they assess your situation. In general, more acute situations (post car accident, for instance) benefit from more frequent treatment, usually not more than once a week. For maintenance, or general stress relief, a monthly massage is usually preferred.

Are there times when I shouldn't get a massage?

Don't come in if you are sick, or feeling like you might get sick. Massage can actually accelerate an infection and make you feel worse. It's also exposing your massage therapist to infection – never a good thing. If you have a skin condition on the part of your body that needs massage, we cannot massage you if the skin is open or has recently been surgically altered (within the month). Finally, you cannot get massage if you are intoxicated. It can make you feel more intoxicated, and you are going to be less able to give appropriate feedback to make sure the massage is safe.





Written by Eric Grey

Eric is co-founder of Watershed Wellness and a Classical Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist. He specializes in the treatment of chronic, recalcitrant and difficult-to-treat diseases including auto-immune disorders, Lyme disease, migraines and digestive disorders.