Please refer to the Common Conditions page, as the answer is too long for a FAQ. You will be surprised at how many varied conditions we have been able to help clients with.
What is the consultation length?
Usually, the initial consultation is 75 minutes with the first 15 minutes free of charge so as to allow time to listen to your story and determine the best treatment plan. Included in the treatment time is the time taken to undress/dress, perform a postural assessment, and any necessary tests for flexibility etc. Presently, however we are not taking new clients due to COVID-19. When it is clear a second wave of infection has been avoided we will welcome new clients, especially the word-of-mouth referrals from our loyal and much valued clients. We hope to be able to once again accept new clients in the near future.
It is now a requirement of all health funds that for an extras benefit to be paid, the consultation must include history taking, pre-treatment assessment, a treatment plan, and post-treatment assessment. Follow up consultation is usually 60 minutes. Hands on time will be at least 45 minutes in a 60 minute consultation. 30 minute and 45 minute consultations are also available, as many jurisdictions and associations recommend that the least exposure time in the necessary close contact in a small room that is massage, lessens the risk of aerosol exposure. Given Victoria's very low community spread, we are however confident that 60 minute consultations are very low risk.
How often is a massage session recommended?
We strongly advise committing to an initial 75 minute consultation (once we re-commence seeing new clients), and three (3) subsequent 60 minute consultations at an interval of one week apart with a review at the fourth consultation. Years of experience has shown this to be optimal in getting results you'll be happy with. Most musculo-skeletal problems are posture and work related, and after often years of putting up with pain and restriction, a single or occasional consultation is not going to resolve months or years of overwork or neglect.
90% plus of clients have substantial improvement after their four (4) sessions. After review, many are discharged as being back to "normal" with goals achieved and pain eliminated. Together, we will decide on future actions. It may be a trial of fortnightly for another two sessions, or monthly, or just return when the pain and dysfunction begins to re-appear.
In a small number of instances we may suggest referral to another practitioner such as a podiatrist, physiotherapist, GP, osteopath etc. Should a referral be necessary, we maintain a wide referral network of practitioner we can personally vouch for as being excellent in their field.
What modalities do you use and what can I expect in a session?
Your massage session will usually commence with steam heat hydro-collator packs to soften your muscles, This will be followed by massage in varied styles especially aiming for muscle and fascia release. Trigger points ("ouch" points when pressed) will be identified and treated.
A number of other remedial massage techniques with baffling acronyms e.g. MFR, PRT, MET, ART, PNF will probably be incorporated, but all with the common aim of reducing your pain and improving your life. We use a lot of different cupping styles both static placements and sliding/moving cups. Traditional glass cups may be used, but we also utilise rubber and silicone cups as well as small acupressure point cups. Hot, steam towels will be used to remove excess oil and relax during the treatment.
We have also invested in a state-of-the-art vibrating, wooden tool designed in West Germany called a Fascia Releazer®. This can be used separately, or in conjunction with bamboo tools designed for myofascial release. Various liniments or creams may be used during or after the session.
Japanese Press needles may be used during the treatment, or offered as a take home pain relieving aids A TENS machine may be used to relax muscle and reduce pain, or recommended for home use. Stretches may be suggested, but we only prescribe a minimal number of stretches, as given too many, they become a chore and will soon stop being done.
Every client and every session is different. We have clients who have been seeing us every week for 15 years plus as prevention, with some clients having been coming regularly for more than twenty years. We are thankful and blessed to have such loyal clients. We take that as an indication that such clients find our treatments effective, and always changing in response to changing needs.
Should I expect my massage session to be painful?
Definitely not! The outdated "no pain, no gain" mantra has no place in modern therapy. There may be mild, brief discomfort experienced with some pressure techniques, but overall your session should be comfortable. You may however experience some short lived soreness/stiffness for 24-48 hours post treatment.
Should I expect to be bruised?
Definitely not! We are horrified by the bruising some clients receive from other therapists. It is unnecessary and unhelpful. If you have a medical condition that causes you to bruise easily, please make this known and the treatment will be tailored accordingly. Cupping can leave marks, but these are not bruises in our and other expert’s opinion, and despite being unsightly, are not painful and resolve within a week. The more tight your muscles are, the greater the tendency for cupping to cause marks, but every time you are repeat cupped the marks will be less. Some clients never ever mark with cupping, a testament to their good blood circulation and low levels of muscle and fascial tension.
Are there side effects caused by massage?
If you are new to massage, then you may experience some muscle or joint discomfort for 24-48 hours. This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is similar to the transient soreness/stiffness experienced after an athletic workout or gym session when you are unfit and unused to such exercise. It is often described as "good" pain and is easily distinguished from "bad" pain. The press needles we use have been shown in Japanese studies to prevent and relieve DOMS.
Very occasionally, some clients experience some mild nausea attributed to the massage accelerating body processes and this may also be indicated by a need to go to the toilet more often short term. It is self-limiting and harmless. Very rarely some clients experience a mild headache after treatment. This is similar to the now medically recognised "weekend headache".
The “Weekend Headache” starts typically on a Saturday morning if you work 5 day weeks. It is considered a release from the tensions caused by a stressful, busy work or lifestyle fuelled often by adrenalin from stimulants such as caffeine, smoking or energy drinks. When you stop, the release of tension causes the headache. Think a rubber band wound up tight, then releasing all that stored energy.
I get temporary relief from massage, myotherapy, physio, osteo etc, but my pain soon returns. Why is this?
Most conditions that bodyworkers see are caused by lifestyle. Too much of anything or too little of anything will make you sick and cause pain. Too much or too little exercise, food, sleep for example. A single 60 minute session with any modality will not provide lasting relief unless you are prepared to change the lifestyle contributing factors. This can be as little as getting up from your desk more regularly to move and perhaps stretch. We take a holistic approach taking your whole body into account as well as your specific issue especially identifying causes, not just treating symptoms. Regular massage sessions will give more permanent pain solutions.
What massage oil is used?
We use an expensive rich blend massage oil from Auroma, which includes pure vegetable oils including safflower, sweet almond, jojoba, wheatgerm, avocado and added vitamin C and vitamin E. This blend will not leave you sticky, does not stain, and is excellent for your skin health. Coconut oil is also available, or you may bring your own oil if you wish.
What is the consultation cost?*
Initial consultation: Not currently available sorry. We hope to resume accepting new clients very soon. Standard consultation 60 minutes: $100.
30 minutes: $75
45 minutes: $85
90 and 120 minutes: Currently unavailable due to COVID-19 guidleines
*Health fund rebates may apply. Medibank Private & HCF not available sorry.
What are the payment options?
We accept cash, credit and debit cards, but not American Express or Diners Club cards. Of course you may redeem our gift certificates if you have been fortunate to be gifted them. EFTPOS facilities are also available.
Is HICAPS available and do you offer health fund rebates?
Yes, we have a Health Industry Claims & Payment Service (HICAPS) facility for instant and hassle-free claims for those clients with private health cover and the necessary level of extras cover. Unfortunately, Sonoko is not able to offer rebates with either Medibank Private or HCF, but many clients with those health funds still choose her services.
What rebate should I expect?
Given the variables of the many health funds, and variance with your individual and extras cover, it is not possible to answer this question precisely. Some clients have very low out of pocket expenses. The eighteen “Members Only” not for profit health funds, consistently seem to provide best extras coverage for natural therapies such as massage, myotherapy, and acupuncture etc.
What level of undress is involved?
Your call, but underpants must be worn. Most clients undress to underwear, with most female clients removing their bra. No matter the level of undress, you will be professionally draped (covered with a towel) with only the area being worked on uncovered. Draping is used for warmth, but also provides a feeling of safety for both yourself and ourselves, and to ensures modesty is maintained. Should you wish not to undress, we are experienced in Asian massage styles which can be very effective provided through light clothing and no undress is needed.
Are there bathroom facilities?
Yes, we have an adjoining modern en-suite with disability toilet, wheelchair access, and COVID-19 approved sanitation.
What is the parking situation?
There is unlimited free street angle parking immediately in front of our building in Hutchinson Street, and further unmetered angle parking in adjoining Ruby Street. Hutchinson Street is a wide residential street with lots of free parking close to our clinic.
Is there wheelchair/disabled access?
Yes! Our clinic has wheelchair access and our co-tenant and remedial massage therapist Warren Chen is an experienced Disability Support worker, and Aged Care worker who understands the access needs of those with disability. You may consider booking a remedial massage with Warren. His business is Why Massage www.whymassage.com.au
I'm a new client, should I arrive early?
Sorry, no new clients bookings available at present due to COVID-19 concerns, so the question is moot. We can only have one person plus therapist in our clinic to conform to the COVID-19 four square metre rule for now. Once the COVOD-19 situation is more clear, we hope to revert to our previous advice to arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before your appointment.
40 plus degrees is forecast, do you have air-conditioning?
Yes, our clinic is air conditioned. When the weather is cold we utilise both an oil filled electric heater, and reverse cycle split heating as needed. No matter the weather, you will be comfortable. COVID-19 has changed the way we heat and cool the clinic however. Concerns about aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has brought recommendations that clinic rooms be aired between clients, and we reserve the right for your safety and ours, to vary cooling/heating protocols to conform with COVID-19 recommendations.
Are gift cards available?
Currently gift cards are not available sorry, due to COVID-19. If a second wave does occur, and it becomes necessary to return to lockdown, having money tied to gift cards that may not be able to be redeemed for an indefinite period seems prudent.
We hope to be able to offer our presentation wrapped, beautifully printed quality gift cards again sooner rather than later. Gift cards make a thoughtful gift for almost anyone be it a friend, partner, family member, workmate or to show appreciation for a good deed.
How do I book?
Booking is easy. We have an online booking system called "Timely" which allows 24 hour a day bookings with instant confirmations, reminders and follow ups if necessary . Use the "Book Now" button below or other buttons found on this site, or directly through Timely – www.bodytopia.gettimely.com Our Facebook and Google pages also have abilities to make bookings .
You have pain, then we may have the answers. Contact us for an appointment or book using the button below. EXISTING CLIENTS ONLY – WE ARE UNABLE TO TAKE ON NEW CLIENTS AT THIS STAGE