Ask a Massage Expert! Answers To Your Top Questions

If you’re considering a massage, in Seattle or anywhere else in the country, you may have some questions about what to expect during your first visit. Of course, this is perfectly natural. After all, while you may have heard from friends what a massage is like, you’re about to experience it for yourself. And you may want to have a better understanding of how your session will go when you arrive.

Not to worry.  The massage experts at Dreamclinic are here to answer your questions. Our professionally trained staff is always happy to provide you with guidance when it comes to your health and massage, in Seattle or beyond. And today, we’re answering some of your top questions!

What should I wear when I get a massage?

You should dress as you normally do and in what is most comfortable for you. Our staff recommends dressing down, and for many patients, a pair of shorts works well, along with a t-shirt. Once you have had a massage, your relaxed body will appreciate a comfort-oriented approach to your wardrobe.

Are there any risks associated with getting a massage?

While massage therapy is known to be an extremely safe activity, patients should be aware of a few considerations before beginning. If you have concerns or known medical conditions, it’s best to talk with your doctor to make sure massage is medically safe for you.

Should I feel sore after my massage session?

Especially if you’re getting a deeper tissue massage, it’s normal to feel a little soreness the next day after your massage. In fact, that soreness is likely a result of the positive effect of your massage. Increase your fluids to assist your lymphatic system and decrease soreness.

Is a massage more about the experience or the medicine?

The answer is: both! Massage therapy is as much as a science as it is an art. In addition to being enjoyable and relaxing, massage therapy does  also offer numerous health benefits.

Can a massage help me with my active lifestyle?

Yes! For those of you who live an active life, massage can offer even more benefits. That’s because active people tend to pick up dings and stress to their muscles and need more regular maintenance. When you arrive for your  Dreamclinic massage, please feel free to bring up how massage can benefit you regarding the specific activities you engage in.

What licensures exist in the United States for massage?

In the United States, each state has its own regulation that pertain to massage therapy. For our massage team in Seattle, our  excellent team of professionals are licensed with over 750 hours of training.

Does my health insurance plan cover massage sessions?

In some cases, insurance plans may cover your massage therapy. This is especially true if your general doctor or specialist has referred you for massage therapy. However, every insurance plan is different. Best practice is to check your specific plan for benefits pertaining to massage. Also if you have been in a car accident, your auto insurance should cover massage.

Does Dreamclinic offer office-based sessions in Seattle?

Yes! We’re proud to offer workplace massage, onsite sessions for your office or corporate events.

Can I customize my massage session at Dreamclinic?

One of the most important aspects of getting a massage is discussion your goals for the session with your therapist before the massage begins. Before your first session, talk to one of our trained staff about what is right for you.

Ready to get your first massage at one of our Seattle area locations? Get in touch with us!


Depression and Diet: Could What You Eat be a Big Factor?

For decades, researchers have been trying to pin down the exact causes and factors involved in Depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States, over 350 million people worldwide are battling this health issue in their personal lives. Over the years, countless studies have attempted to address the effectiveness of treatment, while others focused on the possible biological basis. Because Depression can be such a serious challenge for those who have it, any new research that can shed light on it is welcome news to both the health community and the general public. And just this year, researchers have uncovered a significant connection between Depression and diet that could rock the healthcare world.

How One Study is Changing How We View Depression and Diet

Experts at Deakin University in Australia have published new results in the medical journal BMC Medicine that are sure to change many people’s lives. In essence, the scientific study has shown that there may be a strong association between Depression and diet that researchers may have been overlooking. During the study, patients with Depression were given guidance on how to better choose their regular diet and with a foundation of healthier choices. The results? Patients that more closely followed the dietary recommendations showed dramatic impact on their symptoms.

Comparing This News to the Classic View of Depression

Through history, the views on Depression have shifted and changed with time. Not until the early 1900s did professionals formulate that it could be a result of something other than a patient’s external situation. As the decades went on, researchers used various methods, from cognitive-behavioral therapy to antidepressant medication, to help patients manage their symptoms in everyday life. Still, because diet was less of a focus, it’s unclear if those methods were having their maximum effect.

Why this Study is so Important Today

While some meta-study data indicated that there might be a link between Depression and diet, this study is the first of its kind. In reality, it represents a major breakthrough in how we understand Depression. Because it was also a rigorous scientific study, it has the backing of the scientific community and offers a good first indication of where new methods of treatment might come from. This very well could mean a healthier and happier life for anyone who is or has been suffering from Depression at any point in their life.

Next Steps if You Suffer from Depression

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of Depression, you’ll want your first step to be seeking the support of a professional. Since each person’s situation is different, relying on their expertise to help you with any signs of Depression is a must from the start. In addition, you can also discuss with them some of the dietary changes suggested in the Deakin University study. These include focusing on a diet composed of:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes and nuts
  • Leaner red meats
  • Fresh fish
  • Olive oil

In addition, the research indicated that you may want to avoid some of the following if you’re considering Depression and diet:

  • Sweet snack foods
  • Fried foods
  • Refined cereals
  • Fast-food meals
  • Meat that’s been processed
  • Sugary drinks

As always, our professional staff here at Dreamclinic will continue to follow the news regarding this subject, as well as other medically-relevant news. This way, you have a trusted source for your health-related needs and updates.


Recognizing the Signs of Fibromyalgia

By Larisa Goldin, MBA, LMP

An interview with Margaret Mulroney, RN


Fibromyalgia Syndrome, or FMS, is a condition that involves significant pain in the muscles and joints of the body. People suffering from fibromyalgia often seek out massage therapy as a means of temporary relief from pain.  Dreamclinic sat down for an interview with client Margaret Mulroney, a registered nurse and advocate for greater understanding and information about FMS.


Fibromyalgia Points

DC: You hear the term fibromyalgia a lot lately.  For those not familiar, what is this condition?


Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease, because the doctors don’t know the cause of it yet.  It is a disorder of the central nervous system where there is perceived pain without any obvious thing causing the pain: no visible signs or inflammation.  The pain involves the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the body.  The most common symptoms are fatigue and muscle pain all over the body.  Other conditions often go along with it, such as irritable bowel syndrome and numerous hormonal imbalances, adrenal gland or thyroid being the most common. Another common condition that goes along with fibromyalgia is an underlying sleep disorder. FMS is diagnosed by a rheumatologist who will check along 18 common tender points and will also rule out other conditions that mimic FMS, such as hepatitis or thyroid condition.

DC: One of the things you hear about Fibromyalgia is it often goes undiagnosed for years. Why is it so hard to diagnose?


The onset can be very slow.  It can take years for the symptoms to become so clear-cut that they can be properly diagnosed.  Sometimes fibromyalgia develops as a post-traumatic condition: if a person has a car accident and a lot of pain that never full goes away.  Then, because the symptoms can be vague, health professionals will attribute them to other causes: viruses, menopause in women or anxiety. Often, doctors downplay the condition: they can’t find an organic or physiological cause for the pain or fatigue and so they focus on the patient’s psychological outlook and they decide the causes of the illness are psychosomatic.  In my case, I had depression for many years, so the fibromyalgia symptoms were ignored.  I was treated as a person with depression rather than a person with a physical condition.

DC: In your case, what symptoms were you experiencing and how did you discover you had fibromyalgia?


I’ve had insomnia since high school and also 20 years of muscle pain.  My first job was in nursing, and after 10 years I had to quit because nursing is very physical and I had a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders.  Chiropractics helped partially, but I always felt something was wrong with my neck.  The pain was never fully gone.  Then, after 10 years of seeing a chiropractor, I developed low back pain.  I went to see a physical therapist and, instead of improving, I began to experience neuralgia (a pins and needles sensation in the hands and feet). An MRI ruled out multiple sclerosis so my next stop was to see a neurologist.  The neurologist said my symptoms were caused by anxiety.  Then I saw another chiropractor.  But, in all these years of seeing different health professionals, there was no answer to why I always had pain.

Four years ago, I started seeing a massage therapist for the low back pain and there were spots on my body so tender they could not be touched.  So the massage therapist told me about her mom who had been diagnosed with FMS and the symptoms were very similar to mine.  So I went to my primary doctor and said I think I have fibromyalgia and he sent me to a rheumatologist.  As it turns out, I had 17 out 18 tender points that are used to diagnose fibromyalgia.

DC: You have had a number of related conditions.  How are they linked to fibromyalgia?


All we know is that fibromyalgia is a disorder of the central nervous system but not the root cause.  Whatever is responsible for fibromyalgia could be causing other multiple disorders.  A lot of people with fibromyalgia have multiple autoimmune conditions. They have low thyroid, lupus or chronic fatigue syndrome.  Also, ninety percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women who are pre- or post-menopausal.  After many years of trying to deal with the pain and fatigue, isn’t it normal our bodies are going to show the signs of all this stress?

DC: Based on your personal journey with fibromyalgia, what would you recommend if someone suspects they have this condition?


Listen to what your body is telling you rather than what the doctor is telling you.  If I had paid better attention to what my body was telling me, I would have quit my nursing graveyard shift much earlier.  The fact that I didn’t really took a toll on my body. To be a better advocate for yourself start keeping a journal and get specific. When you talk to a doctor, try to keep your emotions out of the explanation so the doctor is less likely to write off your concerns as psychosomatic. Doctors don’t like self-diagnosis, but if you think you have Fibromyalgia, speak up and ask to see a rheumatologist.  Don’t let the system intimidate you.

There are some good resources I should also mention:

  1. A good website in Seattle is 
  2. There is also the Fibromyalgia Personal Support Center at through which you can locate a number of support groups
  3. The Arthritis Foundation at has some good information about Fibromyalgia
  4. Pacific Rheumatological associates are doing some interesting research with FMS.  Their website is