Massage

Maria Gail, Massage Therapist Welcome!
I am a massage therapist in private practice for over 25 years. I graduated from Downeast School of Massage in Waldoboro in 1992. I work from my home office in Belfast, Maine.

When I first graduated I could give a lovely relaxation massage, but I probably failed a number of clients who came to me hoping to address physical problems with massage. Thankfully, my work has evolved. Through continuing education and over 25 years of experience, my hands learned have to listen. Now while I massage, I am constantly gathering information through my hands, assessing muscle texture to target problem areas.  Each massage is different and fascinating, and I love my work.

I have learned from so many of you. Thank you for your stories and for sharing your bodies with my hands, allowing me to grow in my profession. I am honored to work with you.

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What is my massage like?
Apple blossumsMy massage is firm and focused. My hands are gentle and soothing, but I also find the knots.

I believe massage should not be painful, and with your feedback I adjust my pressure to your comfort level.  Massaging problem areas can “hurt so good” and I believe that when done with care and accuracy, massage does not require crippling pressure to feel deep and effective.

I work with my hands (no elbows or knobbers) and a few hot smooth stones which impart heat directly to trouble spots.  The direct heat increases circulation and soothes and relaxes your muscles, preparing them for deeper work.

I hope and believe that I am approachable, levelheaded and responsible.  I want you to feel confident that you are in good hands, comfortable about speaking up, and comfortable enough to relax.

Your feedback helps us both.
Call for your appointment at 338-4628.

See Contact, Hours, Directions

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Massage Rates

Massage Rates

Apple blossums60 minutes is the most common length for massage. This is enough time for a relaxing full-body massage or for a more in-depth treatment of a particular area such as back, neck and shoulders. For a full-body massage with additional attention to particular problems, schedule 90 minutes.

• 60 minutes   $75
• 90 minutes   $100

I offer lower rates for youth aged 18 and under, or still attending high school:
• 60 minutes   $65

Please Note: There is a 24-hour cancellation policy, with a $25 fee for a missed appointment.

Sorry, credit cards are not accepted at this time. Cash or check please.

A massage makes a wonderful gift...

Gift certificates make wonderfully relaxing and thoughtful gifts.  Arrange to have a gift certificate mailed, or pick one up at the office, by calling 338-4628.

Re: Insurance

Payment is expected at the time of service. I can give you a receipt with the correct massage billing code and you may submit it with your insurance company or wellness flex account. But I no longer write SOAP notes or other paperwork for insurance reimbursement.

Useful information: In Maine, massage therapy performed by a licensed massage therapist is sometimes covered by automobile liability insurance and other liability insurance (if there's been some sort of insured accident), by workers compensation, and by some employee wellness programs, but is seldom if ever covered by Medicare, Medicaid and personal insurance. Sometimes massage is covered by the latter, but only if performed by a licensed physical or occupational therapist. If you're dependent on insurance payment for bodywork, consider inquiring with PTs and OTs for “manual therapy” and you may find reimbursable hands-on therapy that works for you.

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What Can I Expect?

What can I expect when I go for my first massage?

Apple blossumsA typical massage lasts one hour, and you get to choose how to spend that time. Let me know what you need from your massage. Choose a full-body massage, or or request an in-depth treatment of a particular area (for example, neck, back and shoulders).

While the actual hands-on part of the massage lasts an hour (or longer if you choose),  you'll need to figure extra time for getting undressed and dressed, and to relax and reorient yourself after the massage.

Let me know about any trouble spots, health concerns, areas to avoid, and what you hope to gain from your massage. Then I'll leave the room while you undress in privacy and lie down under a flannel sheet on a comfortably padded massage table. For a full-body massage most people undress completely, but underwear is left on or off at your discretion. Therapeutic massage is safe and non-sexual, and you will always be professionally draped during your massage.

(Your personal modesty is respected. Know that it is possible to receive massage through light clothing, such as leggings and a t-shirt. Although clothed-massage is very different and will lack hot stones and long soothing massage strokes, it is still very beneficial. Please request what feels right to you. Clothed-massage is suitable for people who are feeble and for whom undressing and dressing are such a production as to be discouraging. I do not currently offer chair massage or house calls. In some cases you may want to find a massage therapist who offers that.)

This is your time. You may want to close your eyes, focus inward, or just sink into relaxation. Do whatever feels most comfortable, but don't hesitate to ask questions or report any discomfort. Please don't make the assumption that the massage therapist knows best. Those nerve endings are yours! I welcome your feedback so I can adjust pressure accordingly.

My hands detect restriction, tightness or injury in the texture of the muscle and focus on areas needing more attention.  Massage to treat a painful injury or tender area may at first cause some discomfort, which usually lessens noticeably in the first few minutes. Using your feedback and my techniques to minimize pain, I will adjust my work to feel right to you.

After the massage, I will again leave you in privacy to reenter this world and to dress. Give yourself a moment to reorient before slowly getting up from the massage table. You will probably rise with the rosy cheeks of a child getting up from a nap. I've usually managed to dishevel your hair as well!

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A word about different massage modalities:

Bodywork now comes in a confusing array of names.  When I attended the Downeast School of Massage in 1991-92, the term “Swedish massage” encompassed all massage techniques other than oriental/meridian methods--not because it was Swedish, but because massage became associated with Swedish physical therapist Pehr Henrik Ling in the 1800s.

Today the term Swedish has been demoted to referring to gentle kneading and long soothing strokes, to differentiate from “deep-tissue massage” and other “new” modalities. New names reflect emphasis on varying styles, and many are due to instructors naming their particular style of massage along the road to fame and fortune. It is probably more important to choose a massage therapist who is good at their craft rather than by the name of their technique.

There were 44 of us in my class at massage school and although we all took the same classes each of us graduated with our own individual style. Get recommendations from trusted friends and try a few different therapists to find one who's right for you!