Pacific Wellness Institute Clinic: Bloor-Yorkville Toronto

Massage Therapy: Frequently Asked Questions


female receiving relaxing upper back massageWhat to Expect When You Come for A Massage at the Pacific Wellness?

If you’ve never been to a massage therapist before, you are in for a treat.

Regardless of whether you are coming for therapeutic reasons or just to relax, massage can have an amazing curative effect. Many people who have received a massage experience releases of tension and pain in muscles, improved circulation, increased flexibility, reduced mental and physical fatigue, and a general sense of calm, focus and well-being. Therapeutic massage is one of the most effective means available to combat stress.



Here’s a list of the most frequently asked questions about massage therapy.


What is the first appointment like?

You will begin your first appointment at Pacific Wellness by filling out a health intake form. Please arrive about five minutes early to allow time for this. After it is complete, you will be introduced to your therapist who will lead you to your massage room. He or she will ask you any questions pertinent to the session after reviewing your intake form. The therapist will then instruct you how to position yourself on the massage table, and will leave the room while you undress to your comfort level.

You will relax on a padded table designed for stability and comfort and cover yourself with the sheet. The room will be warm and quiet, with soft music to set a relaxing mood.

leg massageUpon the therapist’s return, the session will begin. The massage is done with professional massage lotions or light oils that are good for your skin and absorb easily. Some forms of massage do not require the use of oil or lotion. The therapist will begin by stroking your body with slow, even strokes. He or she will ask you if the level of pressure is to your liking. Remember, the more feedback that you give, the better the massage will be for you. A typical one-hour body massage covers the neck, back, arms, legs, face, upper chest and scalp. Some clients like to receive massage over their stomach area, some do not, so please communicate your likes and dislikes with the therapist. If you have any sensitive or ticklish areas that you want avoided, tell the therapist. You can talk during your session, or remain quiet. After your massage is finished, you will be given privacy while you dress.

What should I expect afterward?

After a session, most people feel extremely relaxed and sometimes feel a little fatigued. Many experience freedom from aches and pains that have built up over weeks and months from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, clients often experience an increase in energy that can last for several days.

How long is a session?

An hour is the usual length of your treatment. This gives time for a deeply relaxing full body massage, or more in-depth work on a particular area, for example back, neck and shoulders.

What will the massage room be like?

Our session rooms are cozy, clean, and comforting. We strive to create a relaxing atmosphere for clients by using freshly laundered sheets, soft lighting, and relaxing music. 

back massage

Do I have to get undressed?

In the case of general, or relaxation, or what is often called “Swedish” massage, there is an almost universal procedure among massage therapists in the North America. You are asked to undress to whatever point you are comfortable. Most clients choose to undress entirely or choose to leave on their underclothing, and some leave on most of their clothing. Whatever you choose, the massage therapist will act in a professional manner, and will provide you with a relaxing experience, no matter what your level of undress. Some clothing may, however, interfere with the natural flow of the massage, and preclude the use of certain techniques.

The massage therapist leaves the room and gives you sufficient time to undress. You get onto the table under a sheet to cover yourself. During the massage, only the part of your body currently being worked on is uncovered. When necessary to change your lying position during treatment, the therapist will first make sure that you remain properly covered and then tell you what to do (such as turning over). Our massage therapists are all well-trained in draping techniques.

If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of the massage, you should inform the therapist immediately.

What if I don’t want to undress?

Other forms of massage such as shiatsu do not require undress. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of finger pressure massage and it is available at the Pacific Wellness. You can also consider reflexology session.

What else is necessary besides treatment?

You will be in the treatment room for approximately an hour. How you spend the other 23 hours of the day also influences your recovery and therefore, requires some attention. You might be advised to do or not to do certain exercises, apply heat or ice packs. In some cases, altering your occupational and recreational activities might be necessary. Your therapist will make recommendations for your condition to assist your improvement.

stomach massage

Will you instruct me in any stretching exercise that might be helpful for my condition?

Since we would like to find out how you respond to the massage treatment alone, we rarely ask you to start any exercise regime during the first several visits. At some point, your therapist may feel you will benefit by doing certain stretching or strengthening exercises at your home or office. In this case, he or she may recommend a specific exercise for your condition. Please note that time spend for exercise instruction is during your session. Therefore your actual time being massaged will be shortened accordingly. It is also important to note that exercise will not provide any benefit unless you are committed to do it regularly and following the instructions. In case you are not ready for this or already have someone looking after you in this area, please do not hesitate to inform the therapist.

What are the benefits of massage during pregnancy?

Massage is a wonderful way to relax, relieve pain and discomfort, and help you cope with stress and fatigue during pregnancy. Massage helps relieve pain in your muscles and joints that must support extra weight and helps increase flexibility, making it easier for your body to adjust to additional weight.

Massage therapy is one of the ideal natural therapies for management of chronic conditions and prevention of illness. Regularly scheduled massage treatments are particularly essential since many medications that are considered relatively safe or acceptable to control these symptoms and discomforts (such as pain killers, anti-inflammatory, laxatives, sleeping pills) are not recommended (or desirable) to take during pregnancy.

Related: Benefits of Prenatal Massage

Does my insurance cover the cost of massage?

Many insurance plans provide excellent coverage for massage therapy by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). In some cases, we can bill directly to your insurance company. Click here for more information.

calf massage

Should I tip?

Our massage therapists are health professionals (licensed under the Health Practitioners Act-the same law that governs physicians, dentists, etc.*).  Tipping is not expected and necessary. Your return visits are the best reward and your referral is always most appreciated. * Tipping for registered massage therapy varies depending on the type of facilities. It is often customary to tip if you receive a massage at spas or salons.

Who does the massage at the Pacific Wellness?

At Pacific Wellness, your massage will be given by a Massage Therapist registered in Ontario. Currently, the Ontario licensing program to becoming the registered massage therapist is a 2200 hour course, followed by the provincial board exam. In addition, our therapists must complete additional training at our institute to further meet our top of the industry standards. Click to see our registered massage therapists (RMT) >>>

neck massage


For more information about our Massage Therapy Clinic in Toronto