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Massage as a treatment

The information below is for those coming for a massage treatment for the first time, but hopefully anyone can benefit from them. Most of the things it’s not essential to know beforehand and you certainly don’t need to have experienced massage treatments beforehand to benefit from the treatment we provide. A trained masseur will always guide you.

Toni Ilola 2016

Professional health service

We are professionals approved by the Finnish National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira), and we must follow certain laws and regulation. We have a patient insurance that covers professionals in healthcare, which is required by law. The insurance covers personal injuries caused to the patient during the treatment in the unlikely event that they would arise. Here you can read further information about the patient insurance. In Finland all registered masseurs are “trained masseurs”. Nowadays all the masseurs complete a competence-based qualification and get the title of “trained masseur” if they complete it.

A “trained masseur” is a protected qualification title in healthcare, and only Valvira-approved masseurs have the right to use it. This means that anyone can use the titles masseur”, “sports masseur” or “massage therapist” but not “trained masseur” unless they qualify. It is good for you to check that your masseur is a healthcare professional. You can check this from the central register of healthcare professionals, JulkiTerhikki in Finnish or Swedish).

Sports massage or classical massage?

Remember anyone can use the title “sports masseur” but most of the sports masseurs have received their knowledge and experience from working with athletes and sports. From 2007 onwards the muscle treatment of athletes has been a part of the specialist vocational qualifications. This training includes the athletes’ needs regarding training, competitions, coaching and sports injuries. The techniques and methods in sports massage and classical massage are still similar.

It’s not even true that sports massage is more painfull or sports masseurs use more pressure in general when performing the massage. Every experienced and professional trained masseur should know how to perform massage fullfilling the needs of the customer.

Heat and Cold treatments during massage

A masseur can use different physical treatments, like cold and hot treatments as a preliminary treatment or during the massage, depending on the customers’ needs and problems. These needs are mapped during an introductory consultation and examination when the masseur suggests a treatment that he/she thinks is the best for the customer.

A heat treatment needs to be agreed beforehand because the heat packages need to be heated before the treatment. It is good to remember that heat and cold don’t work in the same way for everyone and therefore similar conditions can sometimes be treated in different ways.

Heat relaxes muscles and makes them more elastic, eases pain and improves the blood circulation on the surface of the skin and the metabolism in the tissues. Heat is relaxing and calming. A surface heat treatment is usually used as a pre-treatment for tight, sore and tight muscles and for relaxation. The treatment is made with heat packages wrapped in towels and the treatment time is about 10–20 minutes but packages can be moved and left over customer’s body if performing longer massage.

Heat treatment is not used for e.g. treating a new injury if the customer has infections or a severe heart or blood vessel disease. The masseur decides if the treatment can be done and therefore it is good to ask the masseur at the time of booking if surface heat treatment can be used.

The cold treatment used as a physical treatment reduces the blood flow in the treated area and slows done the metabolism in the tissues and “numbs” the nerves, thereby reducing pain and swelling. Hot and infected muscles and tendons can also be treated with cold packages. Cold treatment is given with cold packages wrapped in a thin cloth for about 15–20 minutes. The area being treated is observed during the treatment.

Other treatment forms

The law obligates the healthcare professionals to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. On top of this many professionals extend their knowledge by learning different treatment methods and techniques. Sometimes these skills form a treatment that is meant for a specific problem and is then marketed as a separate service.

The treatment ideology and way of treating is individual for everyone who provides manual therapies and the skills develop with experience and further learning. This means that it can sometimes be hard for the customer to find the most suitable masseur. It is important to test different treatment forms and masseurs to find the best treatment for you.

What problems does massage help and when should I try it?

The most common reasons for a massage appointment are pain, aches, tightness or stiffness around the neck and shoulders, arms, upper back, lower back, buttocks or feet. The symptoms can also be repetitive headaches, dizziness, shooting pain in the limbs or numbing. Common problems are also ischia or cramps. A massage can help you to relax in a stressful and busy life situation.

Some customers have pain spots that radiate pain; these are called trigger points and they can be on the muscle or on the membrane on surrounding the muscle. The customer can feel that the trigger points ache, that they are numb or radiate pain to other places. During the treatment these feelings usually get stronger at the start but go away when the trigger point “melts”. We usually treat the trigger points during the massage without any extra session or so.

Symptoms can in many cases begin as a feeling of stiffness, light ache or pulsating pain. If the symptoms don’t go away or if they get worse then you should contact us as soon as possible. Stiffness in muscles or joints can also start to limit movements, the pain can start to disturb everyday tasks or pain can wake you up in the night.

If we think that massage is not the right treatment for the problem then you will be directed to the appropriate healthcare professional.

Female or male masseur?

It does not matter if you choose a female or a male masseur from the perspective of the quality of the treatment you receive. However, we know that for some customers the gender of the masseur makes a difference because of e.g. religion or culture. Therefore the customer can freely choose the gender of their masseur.

As healthcare professionals it does not matter to us if the customer is a male or a female. We work with humans of all shapes and sizes and we are in daily contact with different people. In our work we always respect the intimacy of the customer and we follow ethical working principles.

Some customers may think that female masseurs massage more lightly and men harder, but this is not the case. A professional masseur can adapt the correct strength and technique according to the customers’ needs. Every masseur has their own “fingerprint” even if the strokes and techniques are the same.

The right to your own body and integrity

A massage is built on trust and respect between masseur and customer. A massage includes touching, closeness and feeling good, but the masseur carries out the massage from the perspective of a professional.

It is quite normal that some customers may feel uneasy when they are wearing less clothing or if they have to take off clothing in the presence of another person. One body part may for one reason or another be more sensitive so perhaps you don’t want anyone touching that part, and some people are just more insecure about their bodies.

If you are uncertain about how you feel and think then we recommend that you speak to the masseur either before the massage or during it. A massage can be adapted in many ways so that it is a comfortable experience for you and the masseur.

We respect our customers’ intimacy and we follow ethical principles in our work. Sexual harassment is illegal under Finnish law and we don’t accept sexual harassment from our customers or masseurs.

How often can I have a massage?

The frequency of massages you require is personal and it depends on many things, e.g. what kind of need you have for a massage, is a certain problem treated or do you just want to relax? The pressure of everyday life, work and hobbies also matters when you’re considering your need for a massage.

Some people have acute problems and in such cases a serial treatment of several times in a few days can be the best option. Some people like to keep up the wellbeing of their mind and body by having a massage once or twice a month. If you have chronic pain or acute problems and there is no change during the first 3-5 sessions we usually guide you to see other health care professional. The main rule is that it is good to have a few days between treatments if the same part of the body is being treated.

Regular appointments are recommended and you will find out in time what the right frequency is for you. After the first appointment your masseur can discuss with you what the need for further treatment is.

Contraindications to massage

There are contraindications to massage and in those cases some parts of the treatment should be left out, adjusted or not be done at all. You should ask the masseur when booking the appointment if you have some questions or doubts. If we can’t answer straight then we still find out and get back to you.

You should mention the things listed below and other serious and acute illnesses and accidents when you are making the booking and definitely during the introductory consultation. The things listed below don’t always prohibit the treatment if the treatment of the illness and the medication is correct.

In uncertain cases you should ask the treating doctor if massage is suitable for you. If you e.g. have recently had a cancer surgery you should ask for a written permit for a massage from the doctor or another party.

Relative contraindications to massage

Cases when the massage treatment might have to be modified

  • Active rheumatism
  • Acute vein thrombosis
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Flu and cold (mild, no fever)
  • Wounds, abscess, blisters, infected hair follicles and otherwise broken skin
  • Eczema
  • Gout
  • Other heart conditions
  • Other problems in arterial blood circulation
  • Infected joints
  • Neurological problems e.g. spastic muscles
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy
  • CAD
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Fresh injuries
  • Hernia

Absolute contraindications to massage

Cases when the massage treatment cannot be done at all, treatment must be modified heavily or we need written approval from your doctor.

  • Antibiotics prescription (after you’re done taking the medicine you also need to make sure it has helped)
  • Infections caused by bacteria, viruses or fungus
  • Haemophilia
  • Fever
  • You are hungover or intoxicated
  • Untreated cancer and uninvestigated tumours
  • Contagious skin diseases or other diseases

Massage during pregnancy and breast feeding

Healthy mothers with normal pregnancies can have a massage. It is good to tell the masseur about the pregnancy so that he/she can take it into consideration when planning the treatment. For example the pelvis is not treated heavily and the stomach is not treated at all. When it is no longer possible to be on the stomach the customer can be treated lyin or sitting up.

Expectant mothers have different pains and other feelings because of the physical, psychological and hormonal changes of pregnancy. Back pain and soreness around the neck and shoulders are common. The situation does not necessarily get better immediately after pregnancy because of breastfeeding and carrying the baby. You should therefore also tell the masseur if you have given birth recently.

Sore muscles and stress can be eased with a massage treatment that will contribute to comfort and wellbeing during the pregnancy and also after it during breastfeeding. Pregnancy can often result in bloatedness, tiredness in the feet and varicose veins. These symptoms can be eased very well with manual lymph therapy, which is gentle, effective and relaxing. An expectant mother should use correct sized first-class medical compression socks (support socks) to reduce tired feet and swelling.

Can I get a KELA reimbursement for the massage? (Only for customers who are residents in Finland)

Unfortunately not. It is not possible to get KELA reimbursement for physiotherapy provided by a professional masseur with a referral from a private doctor. To get the reimbursement the treatment and examination must be given by a physiotherapist. You can find more information on KELA’s homepage.

The prices for a physiotherapist are often more expensive than the prices for massage and therefore it can be much more affordable to buy a serial treatment from a professional trained masseur if the customer does not need actual physiotherapy.

The KELA reimbursement is max 75% of the amount of reimbursement confirmed by KELA and it is not 75% off the price you are charged by therapist.

What are your opening hours and how can I get further information?

We are open by agreement in the morning, day and evening. You can also get treatments during weekends. We are open during holidays, e.g. Easter and midsummer.

We are at your service weekdays from 8–20. During weekends Toni provides services from 10–20. We aim to serve our customers as flexibly as possible and therefore you should always contact us to find the most suitable time for you. You should also ask for times the same day.

If you book the treatment on time then it is easier to arrange the schedules and the treatment can start when it best suits you. Regular massage relaxes and prevents stiffness and pain.

We are present at Studio Eudokia according to agreement and therefore it is easiest to book times and buy gift cards from our homepage or over the phone, by SMS or e-mail.

We are not necessarily at the studio if we don’t have any times or meetings booked. And when we are there, then we prefer that treatment is not interrupted by walk-ins.

Why am I being charged for a missed (un-cancelled) appointment?

When we book a time for you then we also commit to being there at a certain time. Youmight also be the only customer of the day and we are in that case there only for you. If the cancellation is made in time then we can schedule another customer for your cancelled slot.

In the case of an unattended treatment the price charged is compensation for lost working hours and it is standard practice in many industries. The same applies when the payment method is a gift card; we consider the gift card used.

Make sure to book a time that you can attend. If it looks like you can’t make it then ask a friend to use the booked time for you and in this case please let us know.

Gift card or gift voucher

A gift card is a good way of remembering or congratulating a family member, your partner, colleague or friend. You can provide them a relaxing massage that reduces tightness and pain, or some other treatment.

A gift card is a flexible and ecological present that is also suitable for someone who already has everything. By buying a gift card you also support local entrepreneurs and the local economy.

A gift card is valid for 6 months from the purchase date. Please note that the gift card is only valid for a specific masseur – either Toni, Outi or Jarno. Please take the gift card with you when you come for a treatment.

You can get the card either as a paper copy or in electric form. The electronic gift card can be printed and sent or given to the receiver. Buy a gift card.

Serial treatments

One treatment is not always enough. The problem or pain relief may require several treatments. In this case we recommend a serial treatment.

Many customers take massages as a part of their life, which means that a moment of relaxation is guaranteed once or twice a month. It is also easier to hold on to massage times that you’ve booked beforehand.

Serial treatments can be used together with your partner, relative or friend – if you agree it separately. By buying a serial treatment for a classical massage you also save money. The serial treatment card is valid for 6 months from the date you buy it.

Please note that the serial treatment is for the specific masseur – either Toni, Outi or Jarno. By agreement the massage can also be done by the other masseur.

Take a friend with you

If the treatment situation makes you nervous then you can bring a friend, relative or partner along with you for company – that’s completely fine with us! While you are having the treatment your companion will wait on the other side of the curtain in the waiting area. There is a comfortable sofa and some magazines to read.

Please note that we don’t have a separate waiting room, but a curtain separates the space and therefore your friend can hear any discussions.

Makeup, hair, scents, clothes and jewellery during massage

Makeup may spread or smudge the paper cover when you are lying on your stomach. It is not an issue for the masseur and it does not affect the treatment.

Hair can be a bit messy after a neck and shoulder massage and especially after an Indian head massage. We recommend that you do your hair up during the neck and shoulder massage.

You should use a moderate amount of scents, e.g. deodorant or perfume, because the next customer might be sensitive or allergic to strong odours.

You should remove your belt and items from your pockets so they don’t press uncomfortably when you are lying on your stomach.

You should also remove your eyewear, jewellery and watch because they make it harder to receive treatment and they may come into contact with massage oil.

Your clothes should be easy to remove and loose so they don’t press and they are easy to move during the treatment. The masseur will always cover you up properly and that means parts of your body that are not being treated will be covered.

Please let us know if you don’t want to remove some piece of clothing so that we can adjust the treatment.

Customers may keep their bra on during the treatment. In this case the masseur will open the hooks and move the straps to the sides when the upper back is treated. The masseur will close the hooks afterwards if the customer wants to. Sometimes a bra with an underwire can press uncomfortably during massage.

Customers can also wear underwear. When the buttocks and thighs are treated then it might be necessary to move them a bit. Long boxers or underwear might make it impossible to do certain strokes during the treatment.

The masseur will always ask for permission to move underwear. If you don’t want underwear to be moved, please let us know, so we can use other techniques during the treatment.

Our customer information is completely confidential

All discussions and information about our customers are completely confidential and we follow non-disclosure legislation in the law. In some rare cases the National Supervisory Authority of Welfare and Health (Valvira) may ask for information about our customers, but only to the extent that is allowed by law.

From the register description you can see what information is collected and how the information is used. Toni Ilola’s register description.

Customer intake form

When you come for a massage you will fill out a customer intake form that asks for your contact details, illnesses you have that could affect treatment, other basic details and reasons for having a massage. This background information helps us provide the best and safest treatment.

We are obligated by law as healthcare professionals to collect some information about our customers.

Download Customer information form

Introductory consultation and different tests

The first time you come for treatment we will do an introductory consultation. The point of this conversation is to find out about possible illnesses and other details like surgery and treatments you’ve had, along with your personal preferences. This is important for planning the treatment we provide.

During the interview the masseur will also get to know about your work, hobbies and daily tasks, which helps understand the reasons why your muscles may be sore or tight.

After the consultation we do different tests for assessing muscle strength, joint mobility etc. With these tests we find out what kind of massage, physical treatment and advice would be best for you.

After this we will look for tightness in your muscles and pain spots by hand. Usually these procedures take about five minutes if you don’t have any special issues and you are coming to relax. In special cases it may take a little longer.

How do I place myself on the massage table and how should I be on it?

The masseur will always instruct you to find the right position and he/she will also adjust the table to fit you. Normally the customer lies on the stomach or back. When lying facedown the face will be placed in a hole to reduce unnecessary pressure. Your hands can be on either side of you or on the hand supports by the shoulder and head.

Under the ankles we place an ankle pillow to help relax the feet. If necessary other pillows are used to support the body.

When you lie on your back your head will be supported by the same headrest that supported your face when facedown and the masseur will adjust it upwards. A soft pillow can be used during massage of the neck. Supports are also used on the sides of the massage table so you can rest your hands beside your body. Many customers have their hands on their chest or stomach. The ankle pillow is moved under the knees so that the position is more comfortable and relaxed. For customers with issues in their lower back a higher psoas pillow can be used under the knees.

The customer can also be treated in a sitting position or lying on their side. Old age, low mobility, bad back pain, pregnancy, etc. can be reasons why lying on the stomach is not possible. In these cases the face hole with two hinges or a neck/shoulder support, which is placed on the table, can be used.

A massage should not be too painful, but pleasant and comfortable

A massage should not be too painful, but the aim is to get results and sometimes it’s possible to feel “nicely sore”. You should say during the massage how you feel and then the masseur can adjust the pressure of the massage.

A massage as a treatment is not an endurance competition where we measure who can take the most pain and hardest strokes. The aim is to give a pleasant, effective and relaxing massage.

The masseur will ask during the massage how the customer feels and if the strokes should be harder or lighter. A massage should never create bruises, but some people get bruised more easily than others. In these cases you will probably be aware that you bruise more easily so this will not cause alarm. Some illnesses and medication can also impact your likelihood of bruising.

After the massage

After the treatment you may feel relaxed, sleepy and light. You should get up slowly from the massage table and sit for a while before getting up, especially if you have a tendency for dizziness or low blood pressure. It is good to drink a bit more liquid (water) than normal because the massage speeds up your metabolism and makes you thirsty.

You should not do any heavy sport the rest of the day or do any physically heavy work because the aim is to relax and therefore you should enjoy feeling good the rest of the day.

Will I get a headache or sore muscles after the massage?

The day after the massage and during the following couple of days you may get a headache or a bit of soreness in your muscles depending on what the treated problems were, what areas have been treated and how they were treated. Often it helps to take painkillers or anti-inflammatory medication until the pain goes away on its own.

It’s not a rule that massage will create the above reactions, but some people may sometimes experience them. The feelings are normal. If the pains are significant and last long then you should always contact the masseur or the health service.

Sport before and after a massage

You can exercise and do sports normally before and after the massage. If the exercise has been heavy then the massage can be more “painful” than normal if the muscles have not had time to recover. You should let the masseur know about this before the massage.

We recommend that you relax the rest of the day after the massage and also the next day, because the aim of a massage is to relax and shape the muscles and the muscles won’t stretch to optimal performance after a massage. The muscles need time to recover after the massage and therefore we recommend that you don’t do hard physical exertion the day after the massage. You can do some light exercise and stretching.

Massage is an important part of bodywork

You should pay attention to the things that cause problems with your muscles, fascias, nerves, joints etc in your everyday life. Things like ergonomy, stress, sleep, relaxation, hobbies are just some things which should be considered and be in balance in your life.

During or after treatment we may show you some stretches or give instructions how to maintain and improve strength to improve your wellbeing.

Feedback and satisfaction are important to us

So that we know how the treatment succeeded and so that we can improve our business we will ask you these questions after the treatment. It can sometimes feel hard to answer the questions straight after the treatment, but it is important that you tell us if something was not the way you hoped and then we can figure out a solution.

You can also give us feedback afterwards by calling, by SMS or e-mail!

Please tell your friends and others about us so that they also get the chance to enjoy our excellent relaxing treatments!

You are served by

You are served by

Jarno Mattila – Bodyworker, Trained masseur
Outi IvaskaBodyworker, Trained masseur, Reiki-master
Toni IlolaBodyworker,  Trained masseur, Bachelor of Social Sciences
Veera HeikkinenBodyworker, Phsysiotherapist’s assistant, Trained masseur
Ville Vertanen – Bodyworker, Trained masseur, Osteopathy trainee

(suomi) Koti- ja yrityskäynnit

(suomi) Koti- ja yrityskäynnit

We are also doing home, event and office massages at the metropolitan area of Helsinki. You can book us to come to your parties, conferences, fairs or other events. Contact us and ask more!

(suomi) Ajankohtaiset uutiset

(suomi) Ajankohtaiset uutiset

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