How to: Buy a Great Massage

“If I wanted to buy someone a massage for myself or as a gift, what do I need to know?”
Massage expert and friend of mine, Ilse Hernandez-Allen (DOM, LMT, BA, P-Doula), answered a few questions for me in regards that I’m so happy to share with you all.

1. Why experience massage?  “The primary benefit would be relaxation, but also improved breathing, stress reduction, improved sleep and digestion, great energy, and much more.

2. Research the therapist’s techniques and qualifications: “There are a variety of massage techniques and modalities to suit everyone’s needs from the sports enthusiast to the expectant parent.  Whether you need more relaxation with a Swedish massage or really get the tightness out with deep tissue – an integrated approach of various techniques seems to benefit anyone and everyone.  In my practice, I incorporate a variety of techniques from Neuromuscular Re-education therapy, Cranioscral Unwindin, Acupressure, and Thai Yoga Massage.”

3. Environment and Positions: “Depending on the service you choose, you can be fully clothed lying on a thai yoga mat while your body is taken and supported through various yoga stretch positions, or you can choose to undress to your comfort level in which the therapist will apply oils and begin massaging your areas of concern.  Some therapists will even incorporate essentials oils, such as lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, marjoram, and others that smell great and have a profound effect on your body and mind.”

4. Session Length, Price, and Tipping:  “Massage and body work sessions can last 30, 60 to 90 minutes and prices range from $35 to $85.  Tipping is always appreciated; a general rule of thumb is 20% of the original price of service.  If you receive a coupon, it’s best to go off the original amount.”

I met Ilse when my older daughter was 18 months and she offered an introductory Baby Massage class nearby.  It was an amazing experience that stills relaxes us both just thinking about it!

Have more questions or need more information?
Ilse can be reached at