Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I get a massage?

Do you feel guilty about getting massage or feel as though it's an expendable luxury? Many people do but in reality massage has so many health benefits that when incorporated into your wellness program it can help you maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, the physical benefits of therapeutic massage can include: relief from pain, muscle tension, stiffness and spasms; faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reduced pain, swelling and the formation of excessive scar tissue; greater joint flexibility and range of motion; enhanced athletic performance; improved circulation of blood and movement of lymph, lowered blood pressure, improved posture, a strengthened immune system, and faster post-operative and injury rehabilitation.

Massage therapy also: fosters peace of mind and a feeling of well-being; promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness; helps reduce anxiety levels and mental stress; enhances your capacity for calm thinking; and creates body awareness.

Should you feel pampered and cared for after a massage? Sure, but never self-indulgent.

What should I expect when I arrive?

When you arrive at my building I'll greet you at the door, invite you in and offer you a seat and a glass of water. If it's your first massage with me I'll ask you to fill out a brief intake form, then we'll discuss your medical history and your expectations for the session. Then, I'll give you an overview of what I'm planning to do to make sure we're in agreement. Next I'll step out of the room so you can undress and get on the table.

What should I expect during the massage?

When you give me the go ahead, I'll come back in and begin the session. If at any time during the treatment something doesn't feel good, let me know and I'll adjust what I'm doing. The most important thing to know is that you are in charge of the session and I'll do my best to honor any request you make. When the session is over, I'll step out again and let you relax a moment before getting off the table and getting dressed. When you give me the go ahead, I'll come back in and give you some more water, check to make sure you're doing OK and get your feedback on the session.

Will you see me naked?

No. Ill leave the room while you're getting undressed before the session and putting your clothes back on after the session and it's up to you how much of your clothing you decide to remove. Some people prefer to receive their treatment with no clothing on and others prefer to leave on their underwear bottoms. No matter what you decide, draping will be used during the session so you'll be covered by a sheet and/or blanket the entire time. I will only undrape the area that I'm working on.

The only exception to this is for the Garshana Abhyanga treatment. Because of the large amount of oil used it is best if you are completely undressed. You will of course be draped with a towel. If you are comfortable, the upper body lymphatic system is worked on with the chest exposed. This is a wonderfully healing and integral part of the treatment but if you are uncomfortable with this exposure I'll be happy to adjust the treatment accordingly.

What should I do after my massage?

The most important thing to do after your massage is drink plenty of water. Since massage promotes the circulation of lymphatic fluid, it is essential that you promote the movement of toxins out of your system (through the kidneys) with sufficient water intake.

Depending on what kind of work we do I may also have you apply ice to some areas or give you some stretching exercises to do at home.

And of course, treat yourself with loving kindness so that the benefits of your massage session extend beyond the session.

Will you tell everyone about the hairy mole I have
on my back?

Absolutely not. All health and personal information provided as well as the details of your session will be held in strict confidentiality and will never be shared without your prior consent. If you tell someone that you got a great massage from me and they mention it, I'll say that I'm glad you enjoyed it, ask if they'd like to book an appointment and leave it at that.

Is deep tissue massage painful?

Deep tissue work can be uncomfortable but it should never be so painful that it makes you tense up. At that point it becomes counter productive. I'll probably notice if I've gone too deep but please let me know what you feel so that I can adjust the pressure to better suit your needs.

What is ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. Although suppressed during years of foreign occupation, Ayurveda has been enjoying a major resurgence in both its native land and throughout the world. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical ayurvedic medical texts dating back thousands of years.

More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.

For more information on ayurveda, please visit my links page.

How can I pay for my session?

You can pay for your treatment with cash, check or credit card either before or after the session.

What's your tipping policy?

I don't expect cash tips, however if you were to bring me a tomato from your garden or a couple cookies I wouldn't complain. But really, that's not necessary either. The best gratuity you can give me is to book another session.

However, if some day you go to another therapist who works in a spa or a hotel please do tip them if they allow it. Often, they only get a fraction of the cost of the treatment and most really do rely on tips to get by.

Where are you located?

I work from my apartment in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Northwest Washington, DC very near the intersection of 16th and Columbia Rd. My building is an 8 minute walk from the Columbia Heights Metro station and a 15 minute walk from the Woodley Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan station. I'm also convenient to the H, S and 42 Metro buses.

The address is:
1705 Lanier Place NW #308 Washington DC, 20009

Check here for a map of the neighborhood.

How can I contact you?

You can reach me by phone at 202-361-5541 or by email at DN@DonaldNorwoodLMT.com.

What if I can't make my appointment or arrive late?

If you can't make your scheduled appointment just call me and let me know at least 24 hours in advance. Cancellations without 24 hour notice will result in a charge for the session. I understand that none of us has a crystal ball to predict the future so in cases of sudden illness, emergency or inclement weather I will waive the 24 hour cancellation policy.

If you arrive late I'll do what I can to ensure you get your full time on the table but your session may be shortened in order to accommodate others whose appointments follow yours. In either case full payment for your session will be expected.

What if Donald can't make my appointment or arrives late?

If for some reason I can't honor your appointment I'll notify you at least 24 hours in advance and reschedule our session at your earliest convenience. In cases where 24 hour advance notice isn't possible I will give you a $20 discount on your rescheduled session.

If I keep you waiting for your session I will either extend the length of that session or a future session to balance out the time, or give you a $1 discount for each minute I kept you waiting, whichever you prefer.