We'd like to be clear about how we can support you, our ethical perspective, and why we work the way we do. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about our practice and bodywork in general.
First and foremost, massage and yoga make you feel good! They're enjoyable. Additionally, both have been shown to improve circulation, improve sleep, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve posture, and improve the immune system. Somatic (body) therapies are more important than ever in our increasingly touch-starved, digital world: non-sexual intimacy provides the brain with feel-good neurotransmitters which promote well-being, social improvement, and personal evolution while supporting the release of trauma held in the physical body.
Massage and yoga can be helpful complementary therapy for those experiencing:
We regularly work in conjunction with western and eastern medicine practicioners, chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers, dietitians, nutritional therapists, naturopaths, osteopaths, doulas, mental health therapists, and psychiatrists.
For massage, not if you don't want to! Our rule of thumb is for you to get undressed to your level of comfort. We are trained in many modalities of massage, most of which can be performed over clothing. That being said, if you're looking for deeper work, it's often easier for us to work directly on naked skin, especially in muscle dense areas of the body like the hips and legs. We palpate the muscle more efficiently when there is less material in the way. Whatever your level of undress, we use draping to only uncover one area of the body at a time, leaving you feeling unexposed and safe.
For yoga and mindfulness sessions, you can keep your clothes on. We'll keep our clothes on too.
No. It doesn't. In America we have a prevailing cultural value of "no pain, no gain," but often the very opposite is true when it comes to healing work. In order for the body to recover, it must be able to maintain a parasympathetic state in the nervous system. Pain elicits our sympathetic response - this puts healing on pause while the body deals with the "threat." In short, punching you in slow motion isn't going to help you. Mindful bodywork, on the other hand, can teach us to self-correct without self-punishing. When we reform our bodies painlessly, it's a lot more likely to "stick." Our work can be intense or sensational at times, but it does not mean that work is more or less effective than gentler techniques. Sometimes it only takes a little to get a lot.
We hold a space of compassion and patience for you to explore your body and thoughts. As such, we encourage you to communicate during any given session as much or as little as is comfortable. In this regard, we follow your lead.
Often sessions will begin with some conversation or guided meditation: this is a way of establishing the trust and connection that makes touch feel safe and comfortable for both the recipient and the practitioner. Let's be frank: getting touched by a complete stranger can be a little weird. We know. Bodywork is a unique therapy in it's impersonal intimacy, as such, we feel it's important for both recipient and practitioner to bear in mind the humanity of the other.
For yoga and mindfulness sessions, yes, we will probably talk quite a bit while we work.
For massage, we recommend a minimum of a one hour session every 1-3 months for general body maintenance and well-being. Monthly massages make for calmer, happier humans.
In cases of psychical injury treatment or recovery, and for ongoing emotional support in cases of depression, anxiety, or trauma recovery, weekly or biweekly treatment (whether massage or yoga therapy) may be advisable until a baseline is established or an injury healed.
For general private yoga and mindfulness sessions, we recommend using us as an as-needed resource to support and empower you in life. We're happy to see you whenever it's right for you.
Bodywork is a powerful healing system, and it’s wonderful the medical establishment is encouraging the American public to seek its benefits. Insurance companies, on the other hand, are in the business of claims, not preventative wellness. As such, today's pay-out rate for manual therapy does not provide us reasonable resource to cover our expenses and the additional efforts involved with claim filing. For each one hour massage billed to insurance there is an additional average of 2-4 hours of unpaid work to receive payment. We'd rather spend our time effectively, helping people more directly.
Provider payouts for deal-discount site (such as Groupon, Yelp, or Living Social) average 40% of whatever you paid for the voucher. For example, a voucher for a $70 facial might pay an esthetician around $28 for her time and effort.
Small businesses love Groupon and similar sites because they connects us to you, and we love to meet you. We here at Ritual appreciate the ease and simplicity of Groupon, which is why we continue to offer and accept their vouchers. We have no qualms with this arrangement. We love the clients we've met through this service.
If, however, you'd like a session at the Groupon rate and are willing to pay us directly, that's better for us. You can simply schedule a session and note that you'll pay the Groupon rate.
We do not expect tips on top of your sliding scale payment. You choose the compensation amount that is right for you. We set up our sliding scale within reasonable parameters, any payment within that range is deeply appreciated. If you're coming in on a Groupon, however, we appreciate the extra gratuity as we earn less for those sessions. That being said, it's up to you.
Mindfulness is a practice of present awareness. To be mindful is to know what you're doing when you're doing it, and more importantly why you're doing it in the first place. Mindfulness teaches us about intentionality, or how to make choices with integrity. When we train our brains to be here now, it clarifies our needs and feelings. This makes life better.
Our mindfulness training sessions are our equivalent to what others in the healing arts may call life coaching or intuitive coaching. We work from the umbrella of mindfulness because the tools are very broad, generally secular, and can apply to just about any life.
We work with beings of all ages, genders, orientations, races, religions and political views. As bodyworkers we work with the one thing we all have in common: a body which senses.
As far as we're concerned, nail fungus, stretch marks, cracked heels, dandruff, unshaven legs, pot bellies, scars, and regretted tattoos are all marks of a life well lived.
We are never judging you. We're actually rather honored you'd be so vulnerable with us.
Rest assured: you are a perfectly imperfect human being. All we care about is helping you recognize and remember this. Our work is dedicated to helping you feel more comfortable being the wonderful being that is you, whoever that wonderful you is today.