FAQs

Answers

What are your prices?

My pricing is based on time, so whatever modality you need (massage, lymph drainage, or scar release) this is the price you can expect:​

30 min - $45

60 min - $80

90 min - $120

120 min - $150

What length session should I choose?

It can be hard to know what length of time is right for you, so here are some general guidelines to help you:

Scar Release

  • Scar release work only (no matter the size or severity of the scar) - 30 min

 

Massage

  • One area with moderate tension (e.g. neck/shoulders, legs, wrists/forearms) - 30 min

  • Half-body (upper or lower) with moderate to extreme tension - 60 min

  • Full body with moderate overall tension - 60 min

  • Full body with significant overall tension - 90 min

  • Full body with areas of extreme tension - 120 min

Lymph Drainage

  • One area of moderate severity - 30 min

  • Whole body for occasional conditions (bloating, constipation) - 30 min

  • One area of extreme severity - 60 min

  • Whole body for chronic conditions (fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, auto-immune conditions) - 60 min

Mixed Sessions

Modalities can also be mixed according to your needs. Add together the length of the desired focus areas/modalities to get an estimate of your ideal session length. If uncertain, an appointment of 90 min is a good start for first-appointment assessment and allowing time for varied work.

What's your cancellation policy?

Appointments may be rescheduled or canceled up to 24 hours before your appointment time. You can do this directly from the confirmation email you receive. If you have any trouble with this, feel free to reach out via phone (text/call) or email.

If you need to cancel your appointment after that point, you will be responsible for the full cost of the appointment UNLESS you find someone to take the appointment time for you and notify me of this change before your appointment time. If your replacement person does not show up, you will still be responsible for the cost of the session. 

The session fee will be waived in the case of illness only if I am notified before the appointment time. I definitely do not want you coming in if you are ill with something contagious, but please let me know as soon as you can so I can adjust accordingly. The fee may also be waved in the case of an emergency.

 

Thank you for respecting my time just as I respect yours!

Why do you need my credit card number to book an appointment?​

This allows me to enforce my cancellation policy which in turn keeps my schedule more open and available since it doesn't get cluttered with half-hearted appointments that may be made and then immediately forgotten about. Also, this affords me some safety since a credit card number requires a real name to be on file.

Do you accept insurance?

Unfortunately, at this time I am not able to accept insurance. 

How much should I undress for a massage?

Your comfort is the most important thing. I have worked on people fully clothed or fully disrobed and everything in between. Do whatever makes you feel most comfortable. The most common choice is to just leave underwear bottoms on. If you wear a bra, and wish to remain clothed on top, consider wearing a soft sports bra or removing the bra but leaving your shirt on so I can get good work done on your back. But again, choose what sounds most comfortable to you.

You can also watch this video for a more in-depth walkthrough.

How much pressure is too much?

The amount of pressure I apply is constantly and carefully assessed judging by how your muscles respond to the work I am doing. If they soften to my pressure, that's wonderful! If they tense against what I am doing, then your body is sending a signal that it's too much pressure, and the sympathetic nervous system (in charge of the fight-or-flight response) is telling the muscles to protect themselves. Continuing to add pressure through this response can result in intense soreness for several days after your session, and may result in you feeling even tenser after you heal. My goal is to help you improve the way you feel over time, and that is often achieved with less pressure than you may expect. Don't worry, I will definitely be getting rid of tension and working out knots, it will simply all be done with careful awareness to your body's response and needs.

Will I be sore after?

You may feel slightly sore the next day, but no more than you would feel after a good workout. If you experience more soreness than this, let me know, and I'll adapt my approach so that you'll feel relaxed and mobile afterward, rather than sore.

What does the lymphatic system do?

What does the lymphatic system do?

 

The lymphatic system is comprised of a network of capillary-like vessels that web through just about every tissue of the body, plus a surprising assortment of organs and tissues including the spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and of course, lymph nodes. There are a lot of complexities in this system, so I'll just focus on the parts relevant to lymph drainage as a therapy. 

 

This system is what collects excess fluid from all over the body, taking with it the cellular waste that results from normal cellular activity.  However, it doesn't have a handy pump to keep things moving along like the heart does for the circulatory system. Instead, it relies on the movement of nearby contracting muscles to keep the lymph flowing.  Usually this is taken care of in movement of everyday living, but when that isn't enough for one reason or another (blockage, too few lymph vessels in an area, to much or too little pressure on the vessels, and many more possibilities), the tissue can start to swell.

 

Lymph movement is crucial in the process of wound healing. You may be familiar with the yellowish crust of dried fluid that appears around a cut as it heals, or the clear liquid that fills a blister on a burn.  Both are the lymphatic system delivering fluid and nutrients that help supply cells with what they need to build healthy tissue.

 

The lymphatic system is also a large part of the immune system and produces cells that fight infection. The lymph nodes are well known for swelling up when your body is fighting an illness. That’s because infection-fighters (lymphocytes) filter through the lymph fluid at the lymph nodes and seek out and destroy foreign bodies in order to prevent sickness or help you recover from it.

When all these pieces are working efficiently and in perfect harmony, you probably won’t even stop to think about your lymphatic system. When it doesn’t work quite as it should, the results can be uncomfortable or even painful, and that’s where the therapy of Manual Lymph Drainage comes in.

How does Manual Lymph Drainage work?

Since the lymphatic system needs pressure and/or movement in order to move lymph along, Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD for short) simply provides those two elements externally when your body cannot keep up on its own.

With a knowledge of lymph node locations and the direction and placement of larger lymph vessels (anastomosis), a practitioner can create alternating low and high pressure in an area to create a pumping effect that moves the lymph along. This is done by lightly moving and releasing the skin along critical pathways, which in turn creates the suction necessary to clear out the smaller vessels connected to it. Simple physics (siphons and capillary action) combined with knowledge of human anatomy make this a safe, effective, non-invasive way to help the lymphatic system do what it does best.

What will a lymph drainage session be like?

If you come for a lymph drainage session, we will begin with a brief consultation so I can get an understanding of what issue you are dealing with, and what area in particular you would like me to focus on. Next, you can decide whether you would like to leave your clothing on for your session or remove some (or all) of it in order to allow more direct access to the skin. Either is fine, but if you prefer to remain clothed, be sure to come in wearing soft, thin, nonrestrictive clothing (think workout attire). Once you are lying on the table cuddled under sheets and a blanket, I will start work at your neck (you probably already know there are plenty of lymph nodes there!) and you will feel the very light amount of pressure that I will be using for the duration of the session. I may need you to flip face-down or turn onto your side at some points during the session, but the pressure of the strokes will always be very gentle. People usually find this a wonderfully relaxing and soothing therapy. Don’t worry about falling asleep, it is completely fine if you do.

After the session is over, be aware that the movement of your lymph fluid will be increased over the next 24-48 hours. That is exactly the goal, but it often means that frequent trips to the bathroom may be necessary during that time as your kidneys and colon process the extra fluid so it can leave the body. This is totally normal, but it helps to know what to expect ahead of time.

What conditions can be helped with lymph drainage?

Lymphedema/Fluid retention

Whether it is sudden, localized edema (swollen feet from pregnancy), or chronic fluid retention (like in lymphedema). lymph drainage helps maximize the movement of fluid so your body can “catch up” to the lymphatic load it hasn’t been able to process. When people are holding on to excess fluid, they may notice that they weigh less after a couple days because the weight of that liquid is gone. It is important to emphasize that if this is a chronic condition, the results will not be permanent. After a few days, lymph flow will slow to the normal rate and fluid will start to pool again. However, the great advantage to using MLD is that with an appropriate treatment program, draining the lymph allows even weeping wounds from lymphedema to heal and the affected limb to shrink down to a normal size. That size can then be maintained with a compression garment, and return treatments can be conducted as needed as you notice fluid beginning to build up again. The critical difference here is that instead of a large, swollen, painful limb being compressed by the garment prescribed by your doctor, the compression wear will help you maintain a more mobile, lighter, healthier limb.

 

Common examples:

  • Swollen feet

  • Lymphedema

  • Large swollen bags under the eyes

  • Enlarged lymph nodes

  • Localized edema

  • Menstrual bloating

 

Surgery/Injury

Swelling is a natural part of the healing process, and to a certain extent, it is a helpful response where the sends nourishing lymph to tissues that need to be rebuilt. However, swelling can go too far and cause incredible pain and discomfort. Sometimes, a swollen area may not receive fresh lymph at the rate that it should because the pressure level inside the lymph vessels is too consistent across the area so the lymph has no low-pressure area to easily flow toward.

 

Helping lymph movement after an injury or surgery ensures that fresh fluid gets to the area and doesn’t stagnate. Increasing the speed of lymph movement also decreases swelling, which in turn decreases discomfort from the wound. This can help speed and improve the healing process. Properly drained tissue will lie flat and knit together more smoothly.

 

Common examples:

  • Broken bone recovery

  • Knee replacement

  • Hip replacement

  • Bunion surgery

  • Rotator cuff surgery

When should I NOT get lymph drainage?

Acute kidney failure and acute heart failure are absolute contraindications, which means anyone with either of these conditions should avoid lymph drainage in order to best maintain their overall health. Active infections are also contraindicated. Be sure to be clear of infection before getting lymph drainage done. 

If the client in question is in need of palliative care, sometimes conditions that would otherwise be contraindications may still be treated with manual lymph drainage in the interest of comfort. For such cases, I will require documentation that they are on palliative or hospice care and may need approval from their doctor before beginning. This can be done by calling the doctor and requesting approval for MLD treatment and bringing in said document to your first session.

If you are unsure whether or not lymph drainage would be safe or beneficial for your condition(s), give your doctor a call and have them determine whether or not this treatment is suitable for you. If it is, have them send you a record of their approval so we can dive right in to your sessions when you come.

Will scar release make a scar less visible?

 

This therapy isn't focused on minimizing the appearance of a scar, though that may happen in the course of treatment. I recommend trying this treatment for functional reasons like softening the texture of the scar, minimizing pulling, helping restore normal nerve sensation, etc..

What types of scars is scar release good for?

This therapy has been proven effective in scars that are large, small, old, new, external, internal, surgical, or accident-related. This treatment is not appropriate for areas that have had surgical mesh installed.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Located inside Black Tulip Salon & Spa

12330 James St Suite B60

Holland, MI 49424

Muscle & Lymph Massage Therapy

is welcoming and affirming to all people, regardless of race, gender identity, religion, or sexuality. 

© 2019 created by Kari Bechtel-Unekis, LMT, CMLDT